By: Mubashar Mashqoor Mir : Not many days have passed when the personal security personnel of a minister of our state allegedly thrashed a traffic policeman when he dared to intercept the VIP motorcade for not following the traffic rules. It is not very usual for a story of this nature to form a news caption as such clashes between traffic police and VIP cavalcade are of exceptional occurrence. It requires a lot of audacity on the part of the police officer or for that matter any individual to interdict a high-up’s convoy with the security guards clapper clawing and beckoning with the police lathi to give way to the convoy while swaying from inside the security vehicle which is full of red flags blustering all around and the siren almost always adding to the chaos on the road many a times predisposing to collisions between other vehicles in an attempt to hastily clear the road off for the speedily moving VIP fleet.
The situation may not reflect much on paper but on the busy city roads with thousands of automobiles and pedestrians over and around, the state is too grave to be given a blind eye. The self conversion of security vehicles accompanying the VIPs into PILOT vehicles is a matter that has been raised before as well but unfortunately has not been paid much regard. It is not strange for the common man to find dignitary motorcars defying traffic rules and a VIP movement of such nature invariably brings with itself a tide of havoc and disarray on the route keeping the ordinary masses stranded .This cluster of vehicles which the panjandrum group leaves behind in a state of disorder includes doctors, lawyers , and other government employees which are a part of the essential services. It often gets difficult to manage such traffic situations even by the traffic police as the traffic staff on the road who are mostly salaried middle class people like other ordinary people who cannot afford to check the bigwig fleet and an attempt to do so may result in something similar to what happened with Mr. Mohan Lal , the traffic ASI at zero bridge Srinagar.
It is time that the government while expecting the public to adhere to the traffic rules must themselves recognize their responsibility to exercise the same by averting from unnecessary use of alarm bell unless essential, following traffic lights, avoiding improper parking and apprising the security guards not to be uncouth on rest of the traffic.
Now when the state has finally witnessed installation of traffic lights in an endeavor to regulate traffic on the busy urban roads, whether and to what degree will they serve the purpose is a question that needs time to be answered. However it is our moral liability to learn, comply and adapt to this new undertaking. Traffic lights with a germinating surveillance system demands participation from the public at the first place and it is essential for them to abide by the traffic protocols and refrain from crashing traffic signals and overtaking while waiting for the lights to turn green.
It is appreciable that some good gestures have come from the top brass in the government in the form of chief minister Mr. Omar Abdullah and Union Minister for Health & Medical Education Sh .Ghulam Nabi Azad stopping at the red traffic signal like rest of the traffic. While there is still a long way to go, such efforts must serve as a paradigm for the others at the headquarters.
As far as the common man is concerned, he is perhaps perplexed with the glory of new lights on old jittery roads and in a bid to construe, waiting for his turn he may wonder if ‘’red is for the generals, yellow for the captains and green for the rest of the horde!’’.(The author is a scholar of MBBS at GMC Jammu.)
Mubashar Mashqoor Mir
Scholar of M.B.B.S at GMC Jammu
Co-Editor, Editorial Board (SYNAPSE), Govt. Medical College Jammu.
Former State President, Health Wing, NSUI (J&K).