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MPs are no super citizens, needs to be treated at par with common man
From various news reports it is now in public that Directorate General of Civil Aviation instructed private airlines to extend a royal treatment to the Member of Parliaments (approximately 800) during their air travel as per its letter dated 16th December 2013.

The treatment includes following services- when a MP reaches at the airport, a designated protocol officer would greet him and escort him/her to VIP lounge. Check-in will be done by the staff, while MP would be taking rest at the lounge with free refreshments, after which he/she will be zipped through immigration or security checks to an aircraft waiting for him to board. Similar courtesy during the arrival as well.

There was a time when the father of the nation was thrown out of a first class coach because he was a subject of colonial rule. He fought against the colonial rulers to free this country. Look at the leaders of today. How have things changed? Surprising.

In this free country today, the public representatives are seeking the same royal treatment, the British rulers adopted. The father of the nation travelled throughout his life, in third class (trains) and the public representative now travels in business class, in expensive airliners.

Interestingly many MPs are shamelessly defending such royal treatment as a matter of privilege. Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Sabir Ali (JDU), Rahul from Shiv Sena, Madhukar Jaitely from Congress are such defenders. In the name of privilege, they justify such treatment, while other MPs except few like Derek O' Brien, Omar Abdullah remain selectively silent.

What does a privilege mean? It is a specific right in performing one’s duty whose regulator would be from the same type of job. Parliamentarians have privilege to discuss anything and everything they want inside the Parliament whose sole regulator would be the concerned speaker of the house. No one can intervene from outside. But when they leave the boundaries of the Parliament that privilege ends there.

Same privilege is applicable in other professions too. When a lawyer argues in a court of law he has the privilege of citing anything subject to regulated by the judge only, when a doctor prescribes tests for knowing what the disease is, it’s his privilege regulated by the MCI guidelines. Privileges can’t be extended beyond his area of working.

Some MPs are of the opinion that they are doing a top job and hence need special treatment. This is wrong. All jobs are equally important in a democracy and despite the post, position or nature of job all are equal in the eyes of the constitution. In no democratic country has any public representative or public servant ever availed such royal treatment. Even, the British during their colonial rule were treated at par with a common man back home.

The MPs must realize that the business class ticket is paid by the public. When public is paying your ticket as master of this democracy, how can you be a super citizen? I think the public must remain alert and wherever such royal treatments are given by AI or anywhere, they need to object immediately.

They have to be treated at par with the common passenger who pays for ticket. They are to carry their baggage, should be in queue for frisking and no special treatment at all. You come as MP promising to serve the people and after getting mandate you make yourself super-citizen-cum royal ruler of public? When everybody is talking about closure of VIP culture, the MPs are perhaps still living in fool’s paradise.

Reason of such arrogance perhaps was well described by Omar Abdullah through his tweet, ''To be demanding special privileges for VIPs in this political atmosphere takes a special kind of disconnect with reality.''  Derek O’ Brien rightly suggested not only ending such royal treatment, but also convert the VIP lounges into a ‘Senior Citizen’ lounge, which would be accessible to every senior citizen irrespective of the fact whether he is an MP or not.

Thus it is high time the public representatives realize that nowadays Indians are no way ready to tolerate hypocrisy. They are to conduct themselves, else will be thrown out. They are to perform or perish. They need to realize that neither they are super citizen nor they are (colonial) rulers. They have been sent for a specific job and they need to remain at par with the ordinary citizens. Gone are those days when people feel the MPs are ruling class or kings.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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