It refers to Union Minister KJ Alphons driving his own car to office. He has joined unique group of Indian politicians self-adhered to austerity like Manohar Parrikar and Manik Sarkar, when KJ Alphons preferred doing away with unwanted official staff and travelling in economy class of flights rather than entitled business-class, further sacrificing his Y-category security also. Prime Minister has also desired doing away with red-light culture. But there are many such examples of British legacy where much more than red-light culture is being adopted by a section of privileged ones like judges and their equivalents posted as Election Commissioners and others, like being attended to compulsorily by senior officers along with junior staff at airports both on arrival and departure. They are also privileged for a pilot car being changed with every change of jurisdiction of police station, which is likewise also a wasteful British legacy in free India.
Time has come when a detailed study of all such privileges available to different sections of office-bearers be made, and all useless such privileges, entitlements, and facilities be withdrawn. Even security-cover at public cost may only be provided on basis of necessity rather than entitlement. If KJ Alphons can manage without entitled security, then there is no reason that other ministers may continue to get status-symbol of security.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)