Thursday, October 2, 2014

Misplaced Sense of Entitlement

British occupation of India ended in 1947. Since then, a new bunch of colonisers have tried to rule us by occupying seats of power. These new rulers are our political leaders.  Most politicians have gotten used to demanding special privilege in all spheres of life. This perk is paid for by tax paying citizens of India. Yet, it is the average citizen who is most inconvenienced by privilege wielding politicians.

Politicians hold up road traffic when they pass in their red beaconed motorcade. They hold up and delay flights by not arriving on time for their travel. The common citizen is delayed from reaching their appointment or destination on time. Many netas travel with a posse of security guards paid for by our tax money. Originally, security was allocated to thwart any threat perception to neta when he discharges his duty. Of late, security has become a symbol of importance for politicians. They get, Z, Z-plus categories of security cover. Black cat commandos who are supposed to protect us from terrorists and other internal or external aggression, protect our leaders. Many of these leaders may have criminal cases pending against them.

Our neta has come to think that public property is for them to lay claim on. Many netas occupy bungalow, a prime property in privileged part of capital. They loathe to vacate this property when not in power. They forget that the property was allocated to them to facilitate their job as law maker, and not as a symbol of power. At the time of vacating their bungalows, netas demand government to convert their bungalow into a memorial in the name of the party leader.

This practice started with congress party. Teen Murty Bhawan was official residence was Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, first prime minister of India. Teen Murty Bhawan was converted to a memorial of Pandit Nehru. Several such memorials were created for leaders like Mr. Lal Bhadur Shastri, Babu Rajendra Pradad, Babu Jag Jivan Ram, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Mr. Kanshi Ram etc. All these memorials occupy prime locations in central Delhi. The practice of memorial politics has become so entrenched, that husband of Phoolan Devi demanded that her official residence be converted to a memorial. Phoolan Devi was a bandit before being elected as member of parliament. She was assassinated while she was in office,

Latest politician to put his hat in the ring demanding a memorial commemorating his father is Ajit Singh. After he lost last election, Ajit Singh was asked to vacate his official residence. Ajit Singh was residing in this bungalow for close to 38 years.  Previous governments were either lax in their implementation of rules or they depended on support of Ajit Singh’s party, so they did not insist on Ajit Singh vacating the place. Present government does not need his support, besides several elected member of parliament did not have a place to stay. So Ajit Singh was asked to move out. After several notices and disconnecting water supply, Ajit Singh decided to vacate the bungalow. At the same time, he mobilised his supporters to demand that his official residence be made a memorial of Chaudhury Charan Singh. So brazen were Ajit Singh's supporters that they decided to disrupt water supply to Delhi. It must be recalled that Ajit Singh was a minister in UPAII government. He never demanded memorial status to his bungalow. Rather he was more interested in naming Lucknow airport in the name of his father.  

I think government should not give in to demand of rank opportunistic leaders and must come down heavily on anarchists.Then and only then the sense of entitlement of our netas will abate.

Tags: Ajit Singh, Bungalow, Citizen, Charan Singh, Commando, Entitlement, Jag Jivan Ram, Jawaharl Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Kanshi Ram,  Lal Bahadur Shastri, Memorial, Perk, Phoolan Devi, Politician, Privilege, Rajendra Prasad, Security, Tax Payer
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