More than equal

More than equal

Some people presume that they are more equal than others. This dictum, it seems, holds good for a section of the City’s populace — doctors, army people, advocates and mediapersons among others — who literally flaunt their symbols of power on their cars and vehicles.

Metrolife interacted with a few people who belong in this league and sought to get beneath their skin to understand the psychology behind this ostentatious display of power.

There appeared to be three reasons behind some of these symbols of power making it to the vehicles’ windowpanes.

Firstly, they helped them get preferential treatment wherever they went and evade the police if they were caught.

They were helpful in building business contacts and third, they were genuinely proud of their profession and used their symbols to help other people in need. 

Nakul Shenoy is a corporate entertainer, whose car flaunts three stickers: one of the apartment association that provides him access to his home, the second one reads that he’s a member of the international brotherhood of magicians and the third announces that he is one among those rare people to visit the magic circle in London which is almost inaccessible to people at large.

“My objective is genuine. These stickers have helped me widen my contacts and it’s a sheer business proposition. And I am proud of what I do and want to share my talent with people,” he reasons.

Lawyer Nataraj Ballal says he wears his professional identity on his car as it gives him access to the High Court premises and Vidhana Soudha and helps him avoid the usual long procedures of checking at these places. “The best thing is that the cops look the other way in case of any violation. It saves time and money,” he laughs.

A consultant at various hospitals in the City, Dr J Kiran says he too sports the doctor’s symbol but admits that it is more misused than used today.

 “It’s a status symbol for some people. And in case of any violation, the cops reduce the fine amount and even better, let the offender go scot-free. Also a doctor’s symbol is supposed to come in handy during emergencies,” reasons Kiran.

The cops have their tale to narrate as well. Having learnt from experiences and understood very well that such symbols are more misused than used today, the cops say they have begun fining and catching (in case of violation) these guys who sport symbols.

As far as the cops are concerned the days of “preferential treatment” and “special considerations” have gone.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Praveen Sood says these symbols were started decades ago with a genuine purpose but today the cops merely look down upon such symbols.

“There was a time when the objective was a noble one but today there’s a lot of stuff happening under the sticker garb which will be thoroughly checked and not tolerated by the cops. We have even found some ambulances rushing off with the red light and siren blaring but with no patients in them. How insensitive can people be?” he asks.

Praveen further reasons that with these symbols people want to proclaim a more than equal status and think they can seek more immunity under their cover.

Sticker-makers across the City say they make brisk business and there are not less than 10 cars and bikes that come in everyday to get various stickers. The more popular ones being, ‘Press’, ‘Army’ and ‘Advocate’.

“The fancy ones cost anywhere between Rs 50 and Rs 200 depending on the size. The handmade ones cost less,” says Rajashekar, working in a sticker shop in Seshadripuram.

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