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 VIP culture must end, says PM

Now that red beacons have been removed, the mindset should also change’

Close on the heels of the decision to ban the use of red beacons on vehicles from May 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Mann Ki Baat address on Sunday that this was an attempt to end the VIP culture with an EPI (every person is important) culture.
All the 125 crore people of the country have equal importance, the Prime Minister said in the monthly radio programme.
“When I say EPI should replace VIP, the meaning is clear — Every Person is Important. Every person has value and importance,” the PM said in his speech.
“If we recognise the importance of 123 crore citizens of the country, imagine the big strength that the country will have in fulfilling the grand dreams. We all have to do it together.”
“Generally, there is an atmosphere of hatred for the VIP culture in the country. How deep it is, I realised only recently when the government decided that howsoever big a person may be, he cannot move around in a vehicle using the red beacon,” he said.
“It [use of red beacon] had become a sort of a symbol of VIP culture. Experience shows that though the red beacon would be used atop a vehicle, gradually the VIP culture would go to the head of those using it and it would lead to a mindset of VIP culture,” Mr. Modi said.
“Although the ‘lal batti’ is gone now, nobody can claim that because of this, the VIP culture which has gone into the mindset would have also gone.”
“If we all make concerted efforts, this also can go [from the mindset],” he added, underlining that this culture needed to go from the mindset too.
Cash incentives
As part of his push for digital payments, Mr. Modi showcased a scheme of cash rewards for those encouraging others to use the government’s Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app for transactions.

Under the scheme, a person can earn Rs. 10 every time he or she introduces BHIM to another person and that person undertakes three digital transactions. “If you make 20 people to do it in a day, you can earn Rs. 200 that day,” he said.