mid day editorial: It's time to transform our VIP obsession
We have seen so many infrastructure projects awaiting openings, because Mr So and So VIP is unavailable or too busy to cut the ribbon
This paper's front page story about the Cooperage Bandstand garden awaiting an opening as the mayor is too tied up to inaugurate it evinced plenty of oh-oh-here-we-go-again reactions. We have seen so many infrastructure projects awaiting openings, because Mr So and So VIP is unavailable or too busy to cut the ribbon.
In Mumbai, where people are deprived of open spaces, it is especially disappointing to see the endless wait because that rigmarole is yet to happen. That rigmarole reads: ribbon cutting. Applause. Speeches. Applause. Netas garlanded. More applause. Finally VIPs and coterie taken around the space by organisers and some hangers on, hoping to get their selfie-moment, with the so-called important person.
While it may be entirely true that so-called guest is struggling to find the time in their diary to inaugurate the space, it is also important that we get over this fixation on who will cut the ribbon. This is similar to our penchant to fight over what a public facility should be named, after who it should be named (cue for political parties to start bickering) and delay usage.
We need to concentrate on more important aspects. The facility should be thrown open to the public as soon as possible. Post completion and a sedate, small opening, we need to ensure quality of said infra is maintained. We see grand projects initially, but slowly and soon enough the rot sets in, especially when it comes to gardens or open spaces.
Finally, the amenity and the usage is vital, not the person who is called for inauguration. If political bigwigs are too tied up, call a community worker or a do-gooder who is not famous. It will be a way to show gratitude, expose the public to a new face and serve as huge inspiration for others, especially the younger generation. The old order should yield, giving place to the new.
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