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VIP Culture tends to monarchical system

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By: Er. Prabhat Kishore
VIP culture has been prevalent since ancient times in India as well as in other parts of the world. Such people have always dominated the administration. These include the ruler to the lower level personnel. This culture has continued to flourish even after the end of the monarchy and the establishment of a democratic system, and has expanded extensively in recent decades.
A fixed number of security personnel are deployed by the government for the security of declared as well as unannounced VVIPs and high-risk individuals. From the Prime Minister’s SPG security cover to Z-plus, Z, Y-plus, Y, X category security, there is a provision of one or two security personnel in the name of VIP security as prescribed by the Central and State Governments. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) have been entrusted with the duty of protection to VIPs.
According to the Bureau of Police Research &Development (BPR&D), over 60,000 security personnel were deployed in India for the protection of more than 19,000 current and former ministers, MPs, MLAs, judges, bureaucrats and some other VIPs in the year 2019. This number has considerably increased significantly in recent years. Along with this, the facility of more than 30000 vehicles is being made available in this work, on which more than 12000 crore rupees of public’s hard earned money are being spent. Thousands of crores of rupees are being spent separately on these security personnel for their accommodation, food, transport, health, etc.
Interestingly, states like West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, which are witnessing minor incidents of insurgency or disturbance, have the highest number of protected dignitaries; while states like Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Manipur and Chhattisgarh, which are most affected by militancy and terrorism, have lower number of important people getting the facility of security personnel.
In fact, on the basis of the report of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) at the Central level, there is a provision of providing security to a person by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Similarly, on the basis of the report of agencies like the State Intelligence Department, there is a provision of providing security to a person by the State Governments. But it is a general perception that the related reports are motivated by manipulation and political interference. The inputs generated by the vigilance agencies are neither put in the public domain nor open to scrutiny through any other agency. Accordingly, the criteria other than the actual situation are set by the Central and State Administrations. In most of the states, some politicians, actors and bureaucrats are carrying heavy security personnel just to prove themselves different from common people.
According to the government provision, around 55 security personnel are deployed in Z-plus, 22 in Z, 11 in Y-plus, 8 in Y and 2 – 3 in X category security cover. The Z-Plus security cover has a provision of 55 security personnel including 10 commandos and five bulletproof vehicles. Z Cover has a provision of 22 security personnel including National Security Guard (NSG) Commandos. Y-plus has 11 security personnel, in which one CRPF commander and 4 constables are stationed at the residence and 6 personal security officers are deployed in three shifts with VIPs concerned. There are 8 security personnel in Y cover, in which a commander and 4 constables are deployed at the residence and 3 PSOs are deployed with the concerned VIPs in three shifts. In X Cover, 3 PSOs are posted in three shifts with the respective VIPs.
After independence, Home Minister Sardar Patel had suggested to the Prime Minister that apart from a few policemen, there was no need to deploy more than two security personnel in the houses of ministers from the point of view of security. But after his death there was no one to pay attention to these sensitive issues. Now the designation of a person as VIP is on the rise just because of his/her political and official position.
Apart from the financial implications, VIP movement causes physical inconvenience and discomfort to the common motorists and people. Ordinary people faces a lot of problem due to unending VIP movements on the streets, roads and highways and people are virtually stranded without any fault of their own. VIP movement abandons the flow of vehicles on the busy roads, halts the movement of the pedestrians, hinders the movement of serious patients to the hospitals, causes mental depression to those who are already disturbed due to their hectic work and daily routine. The behavior of the escort police is very rude. These VIPs are not above the law and hence, they have no right to make others life miserable just for their own sake.
Last year, a positive initiative has been taken by the Punjab government by withdrawing the security of 429 alleged VIPs and the amount saved from this can be spent in public welfare works. Central and other state governments should also take this initiative.
There is no doubt that the present day security cordon given to the so-called VIPs in the name of their security are nothing but a show of supremacy. This highly expensive system is being implemented at the cost of public welfare of the people living below the poverty line. This monarchical as well as the unproductive system must be scrapped and if a person demands security cover, he should bear the entire cost.
(Author is an engineer and educationist)

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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