VIP or EPI? The Common Man is Still CHI (Constantly Harassed Indian)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest edition of Mann ki Baat said in new India, there are no VIPs, only EPI (Every person is Important). But the reality is that the common man is still CHI or Constantly Harassed Indian.

VIP or EPI-The Common Man is Still CHI (Constantly Harassed Indian)-News Time NowOne more abbreviation has entered into our lives – EPI. We are all important people and VIPs have vanished. That’s what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his latest Mann ki Baat address.

“There is a strong opposition towards the VIP culture in our country. I only realised it recently. The government recently decided that no person in India, no matter how important, would not use the red beacon on his vehicle. However, we now need to cleanse the VIP system out of our minds,” PM Modi said. “Instead of VIP, importance will be given to EPI (Every Person Important)”

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The move to remove the red beacon is a bold and good decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Politicians, MLAs, MPs, bureaucrats — even a panchayat level clerk — get drunk in VIP status and put a red beacon on their cars.

In fact, the red beacon should be on their heads to show their arrogance and empty brains.

VIP or EPI-The Common Man is Still CHI (Constantly Harassed Indian)While Modi’s intentions are good and laudable, it will take a long time to root out the VIP culture from India. This is because the VIP culture is ingrained in the DNA and psyche of netas, bureaucrats and the rich.

Removing the red beacon is, at best, symbolic. More action is needed – from the executive and judiciary. Imagine a Lalu Prasad Yadav or Mayawaati or, for that matter the Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, giving up their VIP status. Not in this birth.

Or for that matter the Shiv Sena and the like of Ravindra Gaikwad.

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If India should move into the Every Person Important (EPI) domain, the change has to happen in the villages – in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, the hinterland of lawless Bengal, the corrupt states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the feudalistic mindset in Rajasthan and Telangana; or the sex ratio skewed State of Haryana .

This is not to rule out other states – even Kerala which is supposed to be the most literate but still clings on to male domination.

VIP or EPI-The Common Man is Still CHI (Constantly Harassed Indian)-News Time NowJust go to rural India. There is no water, no employment, no internet connectivity (no road connectivity either) and the poor are deliberately kept illiterate and treated as vote banks. Their lives are a notch better than the cattle they look after.

Women and girls in these villages are treated as chattel – abused, raped, traded and sold. How can these people be important or EPIs?

Also Read: Narendra Modi Wanted to Be a Bureaucrat

Women are abandoned on silly ground using triple talaq. How are these women EPIs?

To get a simple and what is legitimate right or facility, one has to beg and bribe. Be it a telephone connection, ration card, medical facility or even drinking water. Yet, they are EPIs.

The common man is not an EPI, but CHI – Constantly Harassed Indian.

This is not to say that a beginning has not been done. Modi has set the ball rolling. It needs to roll faster and across the heartland of India.

Also Read: After Lal Batti, Narendra Modi Bans Cell Phones During Meetings

VIP or EPI-The Common Man is Still CHI (Constantly Harassed Indian)-News Time NowModi also made other points in his Mann ki Baat address. He said he was overwhelmed by the public response on preventing wastage of food. “I thank people for putting forward their suggestions on topics for Mann Ki Baat address. For instance, some asked me to speak on the food waste issue. After the previous address, I came across so many initiatives that were launched to tackle this issue,” he said.

He urged the youth to step out of their comfort zone and experience new things during the summer vacation.

Also Read: Narendra Modi Becomes Delhi’s Margdarshak, Shuns VVIP Culture

“Our youngsters often prefer leading lives in comfort zones. Now that the vacation period is here, I request our youngsters to move towards new experiences, discover news places and new skills. I urge you to conduct new experiments,” Modi said.

With India experiencing a harsh and unprecedented summer, Modi also touched upon the topic of climate change. “Climate change was earlier a topic for academicians and seminar. However, today we experience this in our daily lives. Nature has changed the laws. May June ki garmi March April mein aagayi,” he said.

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Raj Shankar

Shankar Raj is a senior journalist with more than 30 years experience, mostly with The Indian Express and The New Indian Express. He was the Editor for Karnataka and Kerala editions of The New Indian Express, and former Managing Editor of the Nyusu Digital Media P Ltd. Bengaluru.

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