PM Modi pushes out VIP, says ‘every person is important’


Dipping deeper into the mindset of the common man who the detests the VIP culture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took the concept beyond prohibiting red beacons by coining a new term — EPI (Every Person is Important).

In his monthly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the Prime Minister said: “Our concept of New India is precisely that — in place of VIP, more priority should be accorded to EPI. And when I’m saying EPI in place of VIP, the essence of my sentiment is clear — every person is important. Every person has his or her own importance, every person possesses a sagacious aura, mahaatmya, in a unique manner.” Modi said that he did not know the “atmosphere of disdain” towards the VIP culture ran so very deep until his government took the decision to remove red beacons atop VIP vehicles.

Apparently, reminiscing the enormous experience that he gathered during his countrywide journeys as an RSS backpacker, Modi asked the middle classes, especially the youth, to come out of their comfort zones and experience the world, instead of seeing it on television or reading about it in books or hearing about it from acquaintances. He asked the middle class to connect with the diversity of India by trying out a new experiment of undertaking a 24-hour ride in a second-class railway compartment without reservation.

In what could be food for thought for dwindling Leftists, Modi offered a simple formula to reduce the wide chasm that exists between better-offs and the poor. He advised the better-off kids to take their sports items to a colony of lesser privileged people and play with the poor kids.

“Play with those poor kids, you will experience a new kind of joy, the kind you would have never experienced in your life before! Have you ever thought what changes would come in the lives of those kids who live in abject poverty when they get the opportunity to play with you. And I believe that if you go there once, your heart will tell you to go back again and again. This experience will teach you a lot,” said Modi.

Modi also cautioned people about the perils of technology when he said that technology is meant to reduce distances and end boundaries but it is, in fact, increasing distances.

“I feel worried when I see that six people in the same house are sitting in the same room but they are separated by unimaginable distances! Why? Everyone has become so busy with technology in his or her own way. Collectivity is also a way of life, collectivity is power in itself,” he said.

He said that he feared that children, while struggling to score good marks, have become robots and are going about life as machines. “Do something out-of-box now. When you are at the stage of career, you will not get time,” Modi suggested. He also had a vacation idea for the youth: at least undertake one of these three — Go to a new place, try out new schemes or have new experiences.

He also announced that India will launch the South Asia Satellite, which will be the country’s “priceless gift” to its neighbours, as part of the ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ concept, on May 5.

Seven out of eight SAARC countries are part of the project. Pakistan refused to join it as it did not want the “gift” from India.

He said that the benefits of this satellite will go a long way in meeting the developmental needs of the participating countries.

“This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia…The satellite of South Asia will help in the overall development of the entire region,” Modi said.

Soon after taking over as Prime Minister in 2014, Modi had made a unilateral proposal of India launching the satellite, whose data would be shared with SAARC countries for their development.

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