He said the red beacon had become a symbol of VIP culture which had crept the mindset of those using it. Photograph: (Zee News Network)
The decision to get rid of red beacons is aimed at removing the VIP culture from the mindset of certain people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today and added that the concept should be replaced with "EPI", meaning "Every Person is Important".
A day before the government decision on red beacons comes into effect, he underlined that all the 125 crore people of the country have equal value and importance.
"I did not know that people have so much contempt for the VIP culture before we took the decision recently banning use of red beacons on vehicles of ministers and others," he said in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'.
He said the red beacon had become a symbol of VIP culture which had creeped the mindset of those using it.
"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.
"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," Modi said.
He said getting rid of red beacon was an administrative decision but efforts have to be made to remove the VIP culture from the mindset also.
"If we all make concerted efforts jointly, this also can go (from the mindset)," he added.
The Prime Minister said his government's concept of 'New India' is that instead of 'VIP', importance to 'EPI' culture should increase.
"When I say EPI instead of VIP, the meaning is clear -- Every Person is Important. Every person has value and importance. 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," he said.