No more special treatment for VIPs on India roads
21 April 2017 - Mashable
India has banned its most prominent display of VIP culture — the red beacon light atop cars of ministers, government officials and bureaucrats.
PM Narendra Modi has said, "Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP."
The ban, effective from May 1, doesn't exempt even vehicles of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.
This ban is historic because the red beacon, introduced by British colonizers in pre-independent India, was seen as a "status symbol" and a show of privilege and power.
When a car with a red light, or laal batti as is popularly known, was spotted on congested Indian roads, everyone made way for it. Those vehicles were even exempted from police checks and road scrutiny.
But all that is history now.
And citizens, including VIPs themselves, have hailed the move.
Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP. https://twitter.com/Atmanand6519/status/854685747139432449 …
However, ambulances and vehicles of the fire service, police, and army will be allowed to use blue flashing beacons to cut through road traffic.
Well thought-out, India!