VIPs Protected While Plundering India

Vampires and demons in the guise of political leaders or “Very Important Persons” (VIPs) are plundering India while enjoying protection.

Romi Jain Updated HeadshotIn February 2013, the Supreme Court of India directed the central and state governments to furnish details on the expenses incurred in providing security to public and private persons. This was a necessary move since the security cover has been injudiciously extended to anyone, including the vampires and demons who in the guise of political leaders or “Very Important Persons” (VIPs) are plundering the country while enjoying protection.

In response, the Delhi government deployed 8,049 policemen at Rs. 3,410 million annually for the protection of VIPs, whereas the Bihar government spends nearly Rs. 1419.49 million annually on the security of 3,915 VIPs – of whom 70 are facing criminal charges.

Other states have also reported heavy expenses, which benefit those with criminal records and former members of legislative bodies. Moreover, it is a matter of extreme concern that security forces such as the National Security Guard and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which were formed under specific acts for national security, have been “partially diverted” for VIPs’ protection (India Today, February 7, 2013).

Juxtaposed against this scenario is the plight of common citizens, especially women, who feel unsafe in the face of intensifying crimes. Shockingly, there are only 137 policemen for every 0.1 million of the Indian population, while nearly Rs. 380 million have been allotted for the security of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official home of the Indian President.

The Supreme Court has hit the nail on the head by questioning such designations as VIPs and VVIPs which denigrate the notion of equality in a democratic country. Moreover, because of the movement of VIP convoys, the common people feel encumbered when roads are blocked, resulting even in deaths of patients in ambulances which get stuck in traffic jams.

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Similarly, Indian citizens experience nightmares in foreign lands. Indians have been left to suffer without concrete efforts by the Indian government for their release at the hands of sea pirates or barbaric foreign armies. Natural calamities further expose the vulnerability of the common people in the face of insensitive civil administrative machinery that slavishly caters to political VIPs.

The Uttarakhand flood disaster is a stark example. It was the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force, reflecting courage, compassion and professionalism, which came to rescue of the flood-hit people. For example, Indian soldiers built up makeshift bridges over the wild and fierce torrents of water and, unmindful of personal safety, piggybacked the victims to safer sides.

Apart from the defense forces, the Supreme Court is doing a fine job by seeking to clear up the mess created by the legislative and executive branches of the government. Now the onus is on the common citizenry to give up apathy and servile attitude.

One can sense the frustration among youth who unhesitatingly air their views against the inequitable system on social media sites. Their anger and agonies need to be diverted into establishing a truly democratic regime, led by those for whom politics is not a gateway to personal comforts. This might be an idealistic proposition to some, but is indispensable.

Romi Jain is Vice President of the Indian Journal of Asian Affairs. Read other articles by Romi.

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