Nehru told this country that independence was for the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity. A generation of India’s VIPs, who lost the virtues of our founding fathers and mothers, but did not lose the appeal of living like the princes of the past and abusing the power of the state to live and loot like despots in a democracy served that founding principle ill.

You’ve these netas, VIPs, power babus on this channel. Some are junketeering on your tax money abroad filing reports on seeing sheep in New Zealand. Others are buying themselves luxury cars, demanding red beacons so that we get out of the way. Some are so used to their plush Lutyen’s bungalows that they’ll hang to them for years even after the people of this country have voted them out.

These are India’s VIP rajas. Now India’s 14th Prime Minister 70 years after independence has promised a new India. Let’s call it a renewed tryst with destiny. At least in the Congress, the Punjab captain, the Maharaja of Patiala no less for want of irony, has seen the merit in ending the VIP raj, borrowing from Modi’s winning playbook. His first move was to ban the VIP beacons and to promulgate austerity measures in govt. The BJP’s yogi in Uttar Pradesh starting a jam packed day 1 ordering bureaucrats to show up on time, insisting on police reform in a furious race to dismantle the netagiri, the babugiri and the VIP-giri that we’re so sick of. Their brats who think they own the cops, the netas who think you’re a second class citizen. So is this the beginning of a bright future, where this bungalow & beacon fetish is replaced by service. Or is it just an altruistic flash in the pan?