It is quite interesting to observe VIP cars with flag-posts zooming across the congested city areas and the traffic police trying their best to accommodate the situation. It feels like the roads literally belong to the people holding high chairs. A layman can only watch and at times be unceremoniously shooed away by the armed guards whose sole duty of the escort is to singularly ease the traffic without a second though for public comfort.
Those in the helm of power enjoy certain privileges according to their ranks and files and of course wealth besides their political status in the state. Those in the legislative affairs have the authority to form policies for the benefit of the public and they have been elected into power by the public. The mandate when comes election time is that the candidate plays the role of a Samaritan, he becomes a dutiful brother or father, he promises a world of development, he makes the election days a Valentine’s day with the public of his assembly constituency. However, he remains the same person whom we voted into power perhaps by selling our own votes. Yet, he shows a smile and a folded hand while attending his public functions and repeats the same promises all over again.
Some loyalists and those who profit by being with the powerful literally stick by his side, but when promises are broken repeatedly, the Valentine days become a sordid affair, it does not last long, the lover turns away his head and leaves his heartbroken public in tears. This has been a continuum since the state attained statehood in 1972 and before. So, what can we do and what can we hope for? St Valentine had cured the blind daughter of the judge, who condemned him to death as history tells. We showed love, we sold our votes, we drank the wine and consumed the food and also elected the individual. At last, he leaves the public high and dry.
The subconscious mind wants and expects changes to arrive in due course of time. If one must elect leaders in this so called democratic state, we must do so and rethink once in five years at least. We may take note of the huge mandate in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the recently concluded Delhi elections and laud Arvind Kejriwal’s triumph over rival parties like the BJP and how the Delhi public has given a cue to the rest of the nation. The anti-corruption and avoidance of ‘dirty politics’ coupled with various development models have stood firm against the slandering of the nationalists opposition party. Kejriwal definitely maintained a firm relationship with the Delhi public and has not turned his head like an unfaithful Valentine and the public still loves him.
Now back to the shooing spectacle over VIP juggernaut on the roads, the harsh reality is here to stay – the public are treated as having no right over the roads and that is the only tip of the iceberg of public woes. It would be a wonderful exercise to think once again before we vote in the next elections, that the sheep should not make the same mistake twice or as Edward Murrow puts it – a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
Leader Writer – Paojel ChaobaVIP culture, VIP culture in Manipur, VIP convoy