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Q. Bar on usage of red beacons: Discuss the impact of government’s decision to scrap the law that allows the usage of red beacons.
Apr 21, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently the union government has decided to disallow the use of the red beacon on vehicles on India’s roads. The government has decided to scrap the rule that allowed the Central and State governments to nominate dignitaries who could use such lights. The new rule will be effective from may 1st, and only emergency services vehicles such as ambulances, fire engine trucks, and police vehicles will be allowed to use blue lights. Red lights will not be permitted on any vehicle. Private vehicles will not be allowed to use either red or blue lights. 

Impact-

  • The union government deserves the praise as it decided to shake up India’s privileged VIP culture which descended from colonial era’s supremacy over general public, most notably symbolised by flashing red beacon lights on top of vehicles. 
  • By deciding to remove the provision in the central motor vehicle rules that allowed the Union and state governments to permit designated functionaries to use such markers of exalted status, the government has struck a blow for equality. 
  • This move will discomfit a tiny minority, but delight for the vast majority. It is a low cost but powerful way of reiterating the present government’s stated commitment to reduce the gap between the elite and the subaltern. 
  • This move will definitely plays key role in dismantling the India’s VIP culture to great extent, but doing away with status symbols such as red beacons is not enough. Hence there is need of some subsequent actions to curb VIP culture completely. 

What can be done-?

  • Central government should amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules of 1989 as early as possible, so that the Central and State governments lose the power to nominate categories of persons for the red-beacon distinction.
  • Similarly red beacons are just one category among privileges that maintain a colonial-era overhang on the country’s democracy, there are other numerous privileges like the direct entry at security gate at an airport to a freer pass at the toll-gate on a highway. Such privileges must be also scrapped to enforce more equality. 

Conclusion-

The government’s decision to end VIP culture by disallowing the usage of red beacons on vehicles is welcome move. It will curb the notion of superiority and enforces equality. But this is alone won’t suffice, still there are numerous privileges do exists, those must be brought to an end.

 


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