India bans red car beacons to end elitist culture

2017-04-19 22:17
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Manish Swarup, AP File)

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Manish Swarup, AP File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - India said on Wednesday it will ban ministers and senior officials from using red beacons on their cars to cut through traffic, a longstanding privilege that has caused resentment and accusations of elitism.

From May 1, only emergency services will be allowed to use the flashing beacons to move swiftly through India's notoriously congested streets.

"We are removing the rule which allows state and central government to specify who can use the red lights," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a news conference in New Delhi.

"From May 1, no vehicle will have a red light. There will be no exceptions."

The red beacon, perceived as a symbol of privilege and arrogance, is used by ministers and top bureaucrats to cut through traffic while on official business.

But often even lower-level politicians and officials misuse the beacons to show off their importance, especially in smaller towns.

It is also common for policemen to put up barricades and block routes to allow free passage to dignitaries while the rest have to wait for the roads to open.

"It's a huge democratic decision," said Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took the lead in 2015 by asserting he would not have the red beacon on his car.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the son of a tea-seller who takes pride in his humble beginnings, often breaks protocol to shake hands and pose for photos with the public.

Read more on:    india

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

Makeover saves dog’s life

Lucky Charlie got a complete make-over that helped him get adopted.

 
 

Paws

For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.