22nd Apr 2017 10:04:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

In urban cities, red beacon-fitted vehicles has come to be despised, together with their occupants, for either causing traffic jams or cutting through them as lesser mortals watched in frustration. These cute red conical lights have been put on vulgar display dubbing them as status symbols synonymous with power social status and divide.

However, come May 1, on International Workers’ Day, red beacons will become a thing of the past. Applicable on the President and the PM too, the ban has a populist appeal and will go down well with the common people.  This means beacons -- the blue flasher -- will be allowed only on vehicles belonging to the fire service, police, army and ambulances, to ensure passage through traffic.

In a symbolically powerful assertion of the principle and ideal of democratic equality, the Centre has banned the use of red beacon lights on cars used by VIPs. Besides, the prime minister has stood India’s infamous VIP culture on its head by declaring that every Indian is a VIP. Now, no one other than the enforcement agencies and ambulances, which do need to travel faster than citizens, can use flashing lights to clear the way.

The move is belated but wholly welcome in a country where the VIP beacon had become a status symbol, a bauble for politicians and administrators to aspire to. By marking them apart from common people, it conferred power out of proportion with their standing. The sight of motorcades bright with red beacons, shouldering aside the common herd on the roads, put the message across with palpable force.

Indeed, the red beacon perpetuated, in democratic India, the segregation of the ruler and the ruled, which was a hallmark of colonial power, and has no place in a democracy.




This practice is unbecoming of a modern democracy and such display of authority makes the sovereign – that is the people – assume a lesser position than their servants. In a democratic country there is no room for VIP culture and all must be equal before the law and should be treated equally. In our aspirations of an equal society, the abolition of car beacons takes us another step closer to egalitarianism even though a long road lies ahead.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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