Earlier this week, the people of Delhi displayed exemplary wherewithal by inaugurating the Gurgaon-Palam flyover after their patience had reached breaking point. In keeping with what has become practice, the neta-ji had no time to inaugurate the bridge. At the same time, he didn’t want any rival to do the needful either. So the inauguration of the flyover simply got delayed and delayed and...
What those Delhiites did is generally not feasible in other areas as people have become used to living under the umbrella of our ‘ma-baap’ leaders and would not like to miss an opportunity to flaunt their loyalties. About two years ago, in Gurdaspur district in Punjab, two rival parties set a precedent by carrying out an inauguration ceremony of a bridge at two different spots of the same structure by inviting their respective leaders. The police had their hands full trying to save the supporters of the two rival parties from clashing.
But the inauguration that I do remember is that of a road in a far-flung area of Himachal Pradesh. It was in the early 1960s when Y.S. Parmar, a down to earth man, was the Chief Minister. Braving all practical difficulties of terrain, a local overseer, Budh Ram, built a road to join two important points. Despite his best efforts, Parmar, who was to inaugurate the road, could not reach in time.
The next day Budh Ram waited till noon. But when the CM did not reach, he inaugurated the road and laddoos were distributed. As it happened, the CM arrived while the celebrations were on. People assembled again to show their respect. But to the bewilderment of everyone, Parmar, after offering an apology, called out the overseer and made him sit next to him. Using the inauguration as a platform, he announced Budh Ram’s promotion to Staff Duty Officer.