UP Election 2017: Narendra Modi gives his security a nightmare as he gets cavalier in Varanasi

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi accepted a bouquet of flowers and got blown to bits.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stuck out of a vehicle in Varanasi showing 70 percent of his body and accepted a bouquet of red roses and then allowed for a cloth or ‘safa’ be thrown at him from the crowd which he placed on his head. Both items got past the cordon of commandos and the inner security ring of the Special Protection Group and Modi made himself a target.

Huge crowd gathers at Prime Minister Narendra modi's roadshow in Varanasi on Saturday. PTI

Huge crowd gathers at Prime Minister Narendra modi's roadshow in Varanasi on Saturday. PTI

The anchors were waxing lyrical about Modi’s love for the people and how wonderful it was that he was catching bouquets flung at him and no one even mentioned that it was a rank disregard of one’s sense of responsibility.

You are the Prime Minister of India, Sir, not the Mayor of Varanasi. You are also Narendra Modi, an extremely high profile target and a man with enough enemies to be a lot less cavalier about your public appearances. This is not courage because hundred of your people on duty are directly affected.

Getting your vehicle into a sea of humanity not only creates a logistical nightmare for your security detail who looked marooned on the little moving island of a vehicle but the marigold petals that covered it would have made it nearly impossible for the driver to see where he was going.

Not only did the prime minister make himself vulnerable to an attack on his person he made getting away in case of an emergency impossible. That vehicle, if he had, God forbid, been injured would not have been able to move to a hospital.

That you would do this in a nation which is number one on the number of VIPs it officially lists and beats the world combined the exchequer is vacuumed out of crores of rupees (believe it is Rs 400 crores on just the prime minister) and maintains a 3,000 strong special security group (SPG) making them look so redundant as they did in Varanasi on whatever this roadshow is about, is not acceptable. He has a larger mandate than canvassing in Uttar Pradesh.

The prime minister must follow security parameters or else dismantle all these special forces, save all this money and take your chances.

In fact, I would go as far as to say there should be an inquiry into why the security head has not put in an official report about the prime minister’s ‘oh so cool’ conduct and the compromise of the role of the SPG who were literally reduced to a laughable human frill at the edge of the vehicle.

That is the trouble in our country. We confuse protocol with the sentiment. It is all about Modi’s courage and the love of the people and the ‘hug hug, kiss kiss’ emotions on display.

Now, we all understand the stakes in Uttar Pradesh are high and Modi is a major draw but he must not be allowed to override his own security.

Imagine if some hostile element had gotten through that mess and harmed him. This security detail would have been hauled up and castigated by all of us. What were they thinking?

If we have to spend so much on security per se then let us ensure norms are followed. Not to do that is to waste money and take a risk to your life prime minister that we, the electorate, have a right to equate with a lack of common sense.

Someone threw a bouquet at you and you caught it…what’s wrong with everyone.


Published Date: Mar 04, 2017 09:23 pm | Updated Date: Mar 04, 2017 09:23 pm