What PM’s Surat Visit Taught Me: Laws That Apply To Common Men Do Not Apply To Ministers

Posted by Amit Ranat in Politics, Society
April 19, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has mentioned several times in his speeches that he is a common man and works for the benefits of common men. People claim he has done many good things after becoming the PM of India three years back. April 16, 2017, marked PM Modi’s first visit to Surat since becoming PM, for inaugurating Kiran multi-speciality Hospital.

From walls to trees to streetlights, BJP banners and flags were visible everywhere, no matter how much public inconvenience they might have caused. For instance, there were flags obscuring sharp turns on the road. Just before his arrival, there were rumours that several officials had broken traffic rules. The route from the airport to Athwagate Circuit House, where Modi stayed, had speed breakers removed.

As a common man, what I want to know is why were the speed breakers removed? Was it so that the PM and his officials could have a smooth driving experience? Why did traffic rules not apply to them just like they do for all of us? And if an accident had occurred, who would have taken responsibility for that? I know that very soon, those speed breakers will be reconstructed as they occupy important spots but my question is out of whose pocket will this money come from? Of course, the taxpayers’ pocket. So if we do not pay tax, we run into trouble with Income Tax officials and if we do, then our tax money is wasted in preparing lavish welcomes for politicians and ministers.

Because of the visit, I saw my city and its streets remodelled with bright LED lights and beautiful hanging flower pots. New colourful dividers were set up along the road. Within the span of a night, Surat had been redesigned into a smart city. But the question is – will these changes last now that the PM has come and gone? Or will we see little maintenance and things will soon go back to their usual state?

Isn’t this an eye opener? Is our PM, who himself claims to be a simple man, aware of this? According to me, he is, since he’s been into politics for several years now. Why is it then that he does not forbid wasting resources? Can he not see to it that resources are utilised in a proper manner?

And my next question is why is it that local leaders and municipality officials never do these things for ordinary people? Ordinarily, it takes ages for them to repair a road but if a PM is visiting, then overnight, it is repaired like new.

I would prefer a PM who would refuse VIP treatment and unnecessary expenditure to welcome him. According to some sources, local leaders and municipality officials had spent somewhere around ₹ 4.5 crore in order to welcome our PM to Surat.

There have been jokes in the city as of late: If local officials can redesign cities where the PM is going to be visiting with such efficacy, overnight, then the PM should visit River Tapi so that the municipality can stop dumping waste into the river and give it back its natural flow. I would like to summarise by saying that in no way do I object to our PM’s Surat visit but I wish such visits did not come with such a heavy bearing on the taxpayers’ pocket.

I would simply like to ask our PM why the same rules that apply to common men do not apply to ministers.

Image Credit: Etienne Oliveau via Getty Images, Global Panorama via Flickr

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