There have been some adverse reactions to the initiative targeting “VIP culture”.
The Yogi Adityanath government has downgraded the security of 46 VIPs in Uttar Pradesh, while doing away with those of 105 others. While this may seem in keeping with the Prime Minister’s initiative to get rid of red beacons on official vehicles, some caution is advisable regarding decisions on security matters. Considering that only Opposition leaders’ security is being dismantled, there will be suspicion whether this is a political act or a genuine desire to abolish the trappings of “VIP culture”. It’s true, of course, that security is often a status symbol than genuine need, specially when wives and families also get the privilege of streaking through traffic as if on an urgent mission to save the planet!
Decisions on security issues should, however, be taken only after a proper review of threat perceptions, as is done by the Union home ministry on the basis of intelligence inputs. State governments do take care of the security of prominent individuals with its police and commando forces, but the treatment must be equitable. It is understandable if security for CM Yogi Adityanath has to be stepped up as threat perceptions rise on his taking charge as CM, but there can’t be a blanket scrapping of security cover for Opposition leaders. There have been some adverse reactions to the initiative targeting “VIP culture”, at least in Congress-ruled Karnataka, with one minister pointing crudely to the PM’s security in a bid to insist on cover for himself. What everyone must appreciate, though, is that “VIP culture” is a different matter from providing security on the basis of need.