Lindsay Pereira: Some MPs are more equal than others
What does it say about our long-cherished VIP culture if Members of Parliament are no longer allowed to abuse or attack the rest of us?
What makes me angrier are reports that Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was, at some point, compelled to use a chartered flight, simply because he allegedly attacked an ordinary citizen with his slipper 25 times. File pic
Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was right. The 57-year-old really was unfairly targeted for too long, and not just by the media but also by everyone with access to a Facebook or Twitter account.
What does it say about our long-cherished VIP culture if MPs are no longer allowed to abuse or attack the rest of us? It's almost as if we are forcing them to act like normal, law-abiding people instead of the gifts from God that they really and truly are. Shame on us all.
I, for one, am appalled that private airlines spent over two weeks preventing this calm, extremely reasonable man from flying between Delhi and Maharashtra. Everyone knows that India may simply stop functioning if our MPs fail to turn up in Delhi every two months or so.
What makes me angrier are reports that the poor man was, at some point, compelled to use a chartered flight, simply because he allegedly attacked an ordinary citizen with his slipper 25 times. The citizen in question should have been honoured.
Everyone knows our MPs are like Gods. They may not be educated, of course, and a number of them may have a questionable attitude towards the laws that govern the rest of us.
Some of them may have criminal cases registered against them too, but how can we call ourselves truly patriotic if we start preventing such people from flying First Class?
The honourable Gaikwad was understandably angry because he had to travel economy class on an all-economy flight despite possessing an open business class ticket. Everyone knows that the airplane should have immediately asked all other passengers to disembark and converted that all-economy flight into an all-business flight to make the MP happy.
It's the only reasonable thing to do for people who spend almost two or three whole days in a year thinking about how to make our lives better. At some point, Gaikwad told journalists that he was a poor man who couldn't afford to charter a flight. This was obviously true. When did you last see an MP who could afford anything?
A few days ago, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi scrapped its earlier decision to open a special counter at its out-patient department to cater exclusively to patients recommended by the Officer on Special Duty to the Union Health Minister and "VIP references" from MPs.
Everyone knows that patients recommended by VIPs are obviously more in need of medical help than regular patients are, so I'm not sure why this counter was scrapped. In fact, I find it strange that we still don't have hospitals and airports that cater only to politicians. It's as if we want them to live just like us. It boggles the mind. How will they cope?
Luckily, there is still some hope for the people who serve us. Earlier this week, the chief whip and whip of two ruling parties in Maharashtra were reportedly given cabinet rank status, which meant a red beacon car and government bungalow.
Apparently, the state government exempted them both from being disqualified for holding offices of profit by making amendments in the Maharashtra Legislature Members (Removal or Disqualification) Act. This was supposedly done to mollify the leaders who could not be accommodated in the council of ministers.
I breathed a sigh of relief on their behalf. That piece of information made me extremely happy because, as everyone knows, a car and housing are huge reasons for why so many people take up politics instead of a job that actually requires one to work. Some deluded people say the red beacon should be done away with, because it creates a sense of inequality between the common man and his elected representatives.
This is ridiculous. That inequality is essential simply because, as the writer George Orwell pointed out way back in 1945, 'all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.'
All MPs should be given cars with red beacons and right of way across the country. It's ridiculous that they have to deal with traffic jams, queues and other mundane things that prevent them from reaching the Parliament canteen on time for their subsidised meals.
In fact, I would go a step further and urge authorities to inform the rest of us when our MPs are travelling, so we can all stay home and ensure they don't hit traffic. After all, everyone knows that India functions only because of its MPs. The common man's need to work is grossly overrated.
When he isn't ranting about all things Mumbai, Lindsay Pereira can be almost sweet. He tweets @lindsaypereira Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org