ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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But senior SPG officials, who have obviously developed major stakes in the continuation and further expansion of their elite force, are in no mood to allow any move that may curb their influence and reduce their control. Barring V P Singh and Vajpayee, the other ex-prime ministers and their progeny also are not apparently willing to give up the privileges and the status symbol that they have come to acquire, thanks to the SPG. Pressures from this self-seeking fraternity of a new generation of feudal satraps and their retinue of bodyguards allow the continuation of a VIP security system in India that is unthinkable in any other democracy- Not to be left behind, other politicians, who had had the misfortune of missing the bus that leads to the prime minister's office, are determined to have their share of power and privileges in the hierarchically organised system of security for VIPs. Since no special security group is there to look after them, they are now imposing themselves upon the NSG a group that was set up in 1985 to exclusively counter terrorist attacks and carry out hostage rescue operations. But, because of pressures from these VIP politicians, the NSG personnel have been deployed to provide security cover to this fariago of MPs, MLAs, discredited politicians and notorious goons, who claim to 'face threat'. The list includes names of characters like H K L Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar (both facing charges of mass murder of Sikhs during the 1984 disturbances in Delhi) and Jayalalitha (who is undergoing trial on charges of corruption). One is bemused by this paradoxical spectacle of the Indian stale spending crores on humouring the whims, and indulging the paranoia, of a bunch of politicians whom the same state is prosecuting.

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