Just a few days ago, I got humiliated when a cop asked me along with many others to go yards away from the roadside just because a VIP( very important person) was about to cross the road. Nobody wanted to be late from office but they had to follow the orders because after all the security, timing and commitments of VIPs are far more important than a common citizen. A person standing there asked the cop “Why early morning routes we are getting late” the cop replied “Vote aap hi daitayhain ab bardashtkarien”. This is not the onlyevent it’s a routine matter especially in big cities. I wonder why this VIP culture is dominating in our society. I understand that public figures are at great security risk but deploying huge number of personnel on security by compromising the security of common man isn’t justified. Block roads, security checks at hospitals, late arrival at schools and offices, deaths and emergency deliveries in ambulances, this is what a common man has to suffer due to VIP protocols.
In the past years, it has been pledged by government many times that protocol culture will be minimized from country because police officers belong to administrative branch not a property of any person. Nonetheless, VIP culture is strengthening day by day in Pakistan. It has taken away many lives in different incidents but there is no learning. We have seen number of times the security vehicles in convoy escorting VIPs. There is nothing important for them at that time but to protect public figure. If somebody is dying in an ambulance – let him die because he isn’t a future of Pakistan but that public figure is. VIP culture is one of the reasons that security and safety of common man is compromised. I must a question from these VIPs that why can’t they travel with their people, why separate routes??
These VIPs are the representatives of people, got elected by votes of these people but simultaneously they need to protect themselves from common men. It’s very self-centered thinking that their lives are more worthy than common man. The irony is that police and security officials are deployed in numbers to rescue the kidnapped children of public figures but nobody cares about the kids of poor.It’s not only VIP protocol but serious mismanagement.
The change cannot be brought at grass-root level before changing the higher elite.We mostly look towards west for examples and in this scenario we have seen many examples of public figures, ministers and even queen of Great Britain travelling by trains with general public. It’s a need of time to work for eradication of VIP culture along with raising voice for it.
DR NABEEL ALVI
Intro: Pharmacist by profession and writer by choice.