Published: 03rd November 2018
Welcome to reason: Was it ok for G Parameshwara to jump the super slow Bengaluru traffic?
Thousands of commuters suffer in long traffic jams in Bengaluru every day but Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara believes he is well within his right to zip past common citizens
Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success — Rick Pitino
Arrogance and humility have been on opposite axes throughout history. For instance, Christians celebrate Maundy Thursday, a day before Good Friday, remembering the time when Jesus washes the feet of his Apostles before a meal, kisses them, and says — You call me teacher and master. I have washed your feet. Go and do likewise. Elsewhere, he advises invited guests not to occupy the front seats but wait till the host calls them up to give them a proper seat of honour.
There are sure to be such prescriptions and practices in the texts of other religions as well. But our netas, including ministers, seem to be too egoistic to follow such sage advice. Such arrogant action has resulted in pregnant women delivering in ambulances, critical patients dying on the way to hospitals due to roadblocks imposed to make way for ministers. But first, the facts as reported by The New Indian Express recently.
Thousands of commuters suffer in long traffic jams in Bengaluru every day but Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara believes he is well within his right to zip past common citizens. Deeming ‘zero traffic’ his privilege, Parameshwara, who is also the Home Minister, said he will continue to use the facility despite being fully aware of the inconvenience it causes to commuters in a city like Bengaluru where traffic jams are a serious concern.
When asked why traffic needs to be halted to allow his convoy to pass, an agitated Parameshwara said it was a privilege accorded to the Deputy Chief Minister. “If, according to you, I shouldn’t have it then, should we have it removed?” he questioned a journalist who raised concerns about the VIP culture. “They didn’t want it but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have it. This is my decision. I know it all,” he said when told that his predecessors in the Home Ministry, including Ramalinga Reddy, had said no to using the zero-traffic facility while travelling within the city. When contacted, police refused to provide clarity on who is entitled to the privilege of ‘zero traffic’.
“I regret the inconvenience caused to common citizens due to zero traffic. However, managing time is crucial because of many government programmes and meetings. The Governor, Chief Minister and Home Minister have the privilege of zero traffic. I have instructed the police to ensure the least traffic,” he tweeted. Springing to Parameshwara’s defense, the government said the Deputy CM’s post will be treated on par with the CM’s. In a clear attempt to justify Parameshwara’s sense of entitlement, the government, just hours after the controversy broke out, issued a circular saying the Dy CM’s post will be treated on a par with the CM’s.
“The current government has a Deputy Chief Minister. It has been reiterated that the protocol mandated for the Chief Minister should be extended without changes to the Deputy Chief Minister as well during all state-level and district-level visits,” the circular said. It may be relevant to point out that the posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have no Constitutional imprimatur but are political creatures to share the perks of office. There are even two of them at the State level, like in UP now.
(The views expressed here are the author's own)