Thursday, April 25, 2024
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A vote for the finger

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The very vote that gives ministers a status of supremacy serves as a superficial physical and social barrier between the voter and him.

Sirens, used to convey importance or emergency in situations, now possess a diluted significance due to the fallacious notion of the Members of Parliament being “VIPs”. The spirit of democracy and equality is run over by the motorcade of the ministers, passing on roads made vacant to aid their speedy movement. Public wonder over the VIP has been converted to sheer despise and inconvenience, with everyday local MLA’s and ministers utilizing multiple cars unnecessarily to facilitate the transport of one vain minister. 

Symbolising their arrogance and status by placing a red siren on the roof of their SUVs, a vehicle half the size of their egos, they receive the same security as a Cabinet Minister or even the executive head of the country. ‘Public’ roads and highways are now private pathways, traffic comes to a standstill, and along with his cars goes the public perception of the minister. After all, they must reach on time, lest their duties be neglected due to their delay and the polity might run itself. The very public that voted for them on a sunny day is now forced to wait for aeons to even move an inch on the crammed roads. These men, who were once like any other common man, now revel in the glory of their designations, drowned in a world of benefits that come with it. Their status as “VIPs” was destined by the people waiting in those same crammed roads – the public, that placed confidence in their abilities, and who are now at the receiving end of their decisions. The indelible ink on their fingers is now a symbol of social patronage, solidified by the tall promises and sky-high claims. 

A solution would be to place the poster of Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands cycling to the Noordeinde Palace in each of their offices, a beginning to change the bullet-proof protection to the otiose egomaniacal ministers. Inspiration comes in all forms and sizes; thus, a rotund minister on a bicycle not only benefits the environment and public expenditure, but also his own health. A multi-fold problem that has one solution with two wheels.

The very ‘status’ that these people in power hold is due to the public confidence and faith placed in them to carry out their functions and be the voice of the aggrieved. However, the ‘VIPs’ fail to realize this and take their importance over and above the required threshold with rows of cars and crowds of people to make way for them. The core of this issue lies in the failure of the ministers to realize that the very importance they so enjoy and revel in, would be absent if the people who made them important in the first place were to indicate their choice for somebody else. This is not just an issue of thosein power taking undue advantage of the resources at their disposal, but the indifference the public has to these individuals if their vehicle is in front at a traffic light. Contrary to the delirious beliefs that they would be mobbed by persons on stepping out of their protective motorcades and bodyguard bubbles, the public is severely uninterested in them. Thus, the very need for these measures stands invalidated. 

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