Thursday, April 25, 2024

VIP Cult & Commoner’s Woes


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This week out of seven days, at least 4 days were a nightmare for daily commuters. First it was the Presidential visit, her delayed take-off and the commotion for ordinary citizens who are not exactly out of their homes for a joyride but because they need to reach their workplaces; go to the market to buy essentials, visit a hospital or a doctor’s clinic and a host of other things that ordinary mortals have to do on their own because they don’t have servants, orderlies, peons etc. to attend to all their needs as the VIPs ruling this State have. Hence they are compelled to come out of their homes not because they want to but because they need to. It’s not possible for everyone to walk long distances when there are no footpaths in most places. Try walking on the road to NEIGRIHMS to understand how precarious the life of a pedestrian is.
Considering that Shillong is becoming an unsustainable city, was it compulsory for the President to come to Shillong Raj Bhavan in an entourage and thereby bring life for ordinary people to a complete paralysis? What happened to the Garrison Ground where choppers used to land? Is that no longer tenable to function as a helipad? Then comes the Home Minister who heads straight to the Assam Rifles campus in Laitkor? Why could the plenary of the North Eastern Council not be held at the sprawling Assam Rifles complex? Was it necessary to host the NEC meeting at the State Convention Centre so that the traffic chaos reaches its peak? Those who coordinate these meetings need to come down to earth and not plan things in the comforts of their cosy little office cubicles. This distance between the rulers (?) and the ruled has become unbridgeable and the trend only continues. In a country riddled with the caste system where some are more privileged than others, the VIP cult is a natural progression but how did this culture entrench itself among tribals that are supposedly “egalitarian?” Surely the VIP cult following should be repugnant to the tribals. Unfortunately the tribals too have made this part of their culture and those holding positions in government believe they are above the citizens that elected them to power.
A government that cares for its citizens would be cognisant of their problems and should be able to imagine that if on an ordinary day Shillongites face the worst traffic jams and are delayed on their way to work and their return home then their woes would triple if a VIP were to pay a visit and therefore would organise for the meeting to be held away from the city. After all, the President and the Home Minister are as human as anyone else. They don’t come from another planet. So why this need to bend over backwards by this supine State Government that does not have even an iota of empathy for ordinary citizens. It’s time the public speaks up against this obnoxious VIP cult.

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