Rahul Gandhi has got it right ; and voiced it at the proper place – Lok Sabha. He is cited as saying, public outrage in the wake of Mumbai26/11 was really about prevelant perception that the country had stopped valuing lives of the commoner ; India only bothered about lal-batthi VIPs (the type that goes about in cars fitted with revolving red-light).
“We have to change how we view the lives of individuals,” Amethi MP said in Lok Sabha, adding that the powers that be had to decide that not a single life would go in vain.
Excellent thought; which is best conveyed to people through official action. They could decide, for instance, to review the system of providing state-sponsored security to politicians and other public figures facing threat to personal life. Those in the Z category get ’black cat’ protection. If someone were to seek details under RTI Act pertaining to the number of our politicians who enjoy this privilege, we can get a sense of how many among them deserve such entitlement, from the security viewpoint. Z category shouldn’t be seen as a status symbol. Besides, one wonders if those once given black-cat protection ever think of surrendering the privilege after they retire or the official perception of threat to their lives is considerably reduced.
Rahul Gandhi who in his Lok Sabha speech is reported to have said some sensible things would indeed neutralise , to some extent, the public outrage he referred to , if only he were to follow up his words with a demand for a case-by-case review of security-threat status of lal-batthiwallahs under black cat cover. And ensure that the home ministry takes a critical look at the security entitlement criteria.