Delhi

Aam aadmi finds no place in Modi govt. celebrations

Two years:Amitabh Bachchan talks to a girl during the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme at the NDA’s mega bash at India Gate on Saturday.Photo: pti  

After attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Saharanpur on Thursday, Rakesh Vishwakarma packed his bags and arrived in Delhi with his wife and daughter a day later.

This time the family headed straight to India Gate from the railway station to attend Modi government’s second anniversary celebrations – 'Ek Nayi Subah' – only to be told by the Delhi Police to go back and watch the show on TV.

Barred from venue

Even after reaching two hours in advance and making attempts from all entries to somehow get in, the family couldn’t even come close to the venue.

“At his Saharanpur rally, Modi ji invited everyone to India Gate on this day. He had said we all would celebrate the government’s two-years together. But, we are instead being shooed away by the police,” said Mr. Rakesh, as his young daughter ate an ice-cream to beat the heat.

Like him, hundreds of other ‘common people’ aimlessly roamed around the C-Hexagon trying to get in.

Star-studded event

Entry to the event was given only on passes, which was given to Union ministers, BJP high ranks, top government officials and celebrities. Most of them arrived at the venue hoping to see Bollywood celebrities, especially megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who spoke on the government’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign. Vidya Balan, Raveena Tandon, Anil Kapoor and R Madhavan were also at the venue.

“We came from Lucknow to get a glimpse of Mr. Bachchan, Raveena Tandon and others. Even if it was for security reason, they could have at least made arrangements at a distance from the main event site for the public. Thinking it would be so, most of us even brought cameras to get clear shots of the stars,” said a disappointed Ritu Prasad, who came with her friends.

Some were quick to draw parallels of Mr. Modi with their regional leaders. “Even though he is surrounded by tight security, he never stops anyone from attending his functions or rallies. Here, we voted for Modi, but he has turned it into an only-VIP event,” said Arim Yadav, who arrived in the Capital from Lucknow.

'Misleading ads'

Mukesh Yadav, who came along with his friends from Saifai in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah district rued, “The ads in the media should have mentioned that entry was only for VIPs. The police is asking us to go back home and watch it on TV. The ads should have stated that the aam janta is supposed to watch it on TV only.”

Owing to the high-profile event, which lasted for five hours in the evening, India Gate was kept out of bounds for the usual weekend crowd as well. Although no major jams were reported, heavy traffic was seen on the Shantivan-Rajghat route, Netaji Subhash Marg, Nishadraj Marg and Geeta Colony road.


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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 12:38:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/aam-aadmi-finds-no-place-in-modi-govt-celebrations/article8662010.ece

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