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Millennium Post

Have a heart now, Mr Prime Minister

It’s extremely unfortunate that the first routine heart and eye checkup of the Indian prime minister at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) became a spectacular chaos for the aam aadmi, subjecting the latter to utter duress. While Narendra Modi’s decision to undergo medical tests at the country’s premier government hospital in itself is commendable, the commotion it resulted in is not at all a matter of joke.

As this newspaper reported, PM Modi’s precautionary tests ended up becoming cautionary tales of citywide disturbance and shutdown, bringing the national capital to a grinding halt on Sunday morning. The entire vicinity of AIIMS was cordoned off, and patients, including those suffering from extreme ailments such as cancer, hepatitis etc, and in need of frequent and urgent medical attention, were compelled to wait out the whole time. As the PM underwent checkups intended to keep the topmost elected leader of this 120-crore strong democracy in robust health and spirits, the unflattering state of bureaucratic affairs was on full display.

It seemed the citizen, who gave a thumping mandate to the political commander-in-chief of 2014 in the last general elections, was being ignored at the altar of the prime minister’s monstrous VVIP security apparatus, which occupied three main arterial routes along the Capital with three cavalcades.

Providing foolproof security to the prime minister seems to have choked an already exasperated national capital, which is battling a number of urban problems, such as power and water crises, high inflation and dwindling infrastructural services, particularly medical care. In their overenthusiasm to please Modi, the officials end up neglecting exactly those whom the PM bats and works round-the-clock for. Eagerness to meet Modi’s high standards of efficiency had resulted in destruction of thousands of files by the ministry of human resource and development barely a few months back.

Without reflecting and without backing them up, the HRD ministry had junked crucial files in order to present for the new PM a paperless office! It is exactly this callousness that made a corpuscular comeback when the gigantic security system logged out the aam aadmi of New Delhi in order to sign the PM in. Has sycophancy become ingrained in our officialdom that it has forgotten the fundamentals of good governance? Else, how was this allowed to happen barely days after the PM’s first Independence Day speech when he broke tradition and removed the customary bulletproof glass? Fix this chink in your armour, Mr Modi.

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