Swearing-in should be tasteful, not wasteful

Yesterday, this paper carried a front page report about how an already broke Maharashtra treasury shall be depleted further, as the BJP has made up its mind to organise an opulent swearing-in ceremony for the new Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, and his top cabinet ministers at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday, October 31.

The report states that the state protocol department is struggling to meet the demands of the party and is taken aback that there have been demands that would require a breach of protocol. Importantly, the mammoth scale of the event is going to make a dent in the State funds as it is going to cost a few crores, at a time when the state is overburdened with a loan of nearly Rs 3 lakh crore, according to an official.

Corporates and Bollywood honchos are expected to be present for the event, which has gone far beyond a swearing-in, if the plans are anything to go by. While enthusiasm is being touted for the megawatt event, it must be conducted with dignity and an element of sobriety. Let the seriousness of the function, the swearing in of a man who will lead Maharashtra, not be lost in all the hype and hoopla, song and dance.

Gusto should not be used as an excuse for a crass and over-the-top show, which would be more of entertainment and less of swearing-in. If the BJP is bent upon making this a grand show, let there also be a rein on the expenses, and the accent should be on tasteful rather than wasteful.

The bottom line is, of course, that we have a CM that gets down to addressing and solving the State’s problems, of which there are so many. Let this ceremony repose confidence in the people and let not the real message of crackling efficiency, delivering on promises and justifying the belief of the voters, be obfuscated in grandiose posturing. Dignity and restraint should be the hallmark of this occasion. Already, ordinary Mumbaikars are on edge about how the scale of the event may cause them to disrupt their normal schedules. Give them a pleasant surprise, BJP. Concentrate on the swearing-in and keep it short, sweet, safe, stylish and smooth.

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