Narendra Modi’s VIP to EPI slogan changes into VVIP in state

Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi has literally abolished the VIP culture in the country with his ‘Every Person is Important’ (EPI) slogan, the initiative has brought about an opposite impact in the state with every possible vehicle of different shapes and sizes with VIP and VVIP stickers seen driving around in Imphal city lately.

Prime Minister Modi in his radio talk ‘Mann Ki Baat’ called upon the country to abolish VIP culture and replace it with EPI while stating that every person is important and collective efforts of the people can bring development in the country.

Subsequently, in May this year, the Centre banned red beacon light from several former VIP cars. Under the initiative, ambulance, fire service, police and army vehicles are allowed to use blue beacon light. Modi also stressed the need for giving up VIP mindset in order to make his dream of a new India come true.

On the contrary, numerous cars with VIP and VVIP stickers are seen at the venues of Manipur Sangai Festival without any restrictions in entering the no-vehicle zones thereby creating inconveniences to visitors. Some sections of the public have even began to raise questions about who should be called VIP or VVIP. There are even apprehensions among the visitors about departments involved in organising the festival allowing their near and dear ones to use vehicles with VIP stickers freely.

Few days back, a video went viral in social media about a doctor named Nirala exchanging heated eargument with union minister KJ Alphons at Imphal Airport over delay of flights in connection with President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit in the state. The video also resulted in debates over VIP culture in the country.

Interestingly, apart from VIP or VVIP stickers on vehicles, even toilets in the festival venues are getting VIP tag, which many visitors have criticised.

In all the venues of Sangai Festival in Imphal, visitors are allowed to enter by foot from a distance as a measure to allow free and easy movement of visitors as well as to curb security threats. Elderly people often face inconveniences in getting to the festival venue due to long walk. Amid such hardships being endured by the public, vehicles marked with VIP or VVIP stickers are seen moving in and out of the festival venue upto the gate and beyond without any restriction.

At Lamboi Khongnangkhong, common visitors are provided a narrow bumpy lane, which could hardly accommodate two persons to walk simultaneously, by the side of the metalled road while VIP vehicles enjoy the smooth road. Moreover, there is no proper lighting system along the approach road except for a couple of street lamps and lights from the residential area.

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