Show us some courtesy

China Daily Life

Open Letter to the Civil Aviation Minister on VIP culuture of airports

Dear Civil Aviation Minister,
As you talk about continuing the so called ‘VIP culture’ terming it as a courtesy and not a privilege how about doing us, the common man, a courtesy and wait in the line, please. After all, it was your privilege to hold the office of the Civil Aviation because we, the people of India, entrusted it to you. So, a courtesy would imply to stop spending our hard earned money and put it to a better use. Moreover, you can afford to buy a cup of tea or pay for your lounge, can’t you? We have had the former president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, go through the ‘indignity’ that every common man faces without a murmur. What irks us most is the claim that you deserve to be treated differently than the people you represent.

If the VIP treatment is just for the constitutional heads of this country and for ministers with real security threats, it would be a different story for that would include just a handful of people. But you would rather have us understand that every MP, MLA and their aides, and relatives, and others who tag along are VVIPs. That is very self-serving and caters only to your comfort and not based on actual reality of security concerns. It is a busy world and now people do not accept leaders who are arrogant but rather the ones who set an example. We need leaders who walk the talk, the ones that connect with pulse of the people. We need leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sree Narayana Guru, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Jayaprakash Narayan and many others. They are the ones who spent time with downtrodden, fighting for justice and equality. As opposed to the leaders of this day, who interact with the people just during the election times canvassing for votes.

Why should life come to a standstill just because a convoy is passing through? Go through the regular roads and traffic and get to understand what affects regular commuters. Why should emergency services, people on the way to an important interview or doctors to a surgery be hindered for almost an hour just to see a convoy whiz by? This VIP culture reminds me of the colonial times, where the powerful suppress the weak. Why don’t you join us in the lines, and remember what it means to be a common man? Use it as an opportunity to connect with the electoral. That will help you score brownie points to invest until next election. It is unfortunate enough that we have caste-based politics and now politics based casteism? So there are the different castes of the politician, the socialite and the aam admi, who are treated differently in a country that has equality for all.

Yours sincerely,
Amy Mary Varghese, Bengaluru

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