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Narendra Modi EXCLUSIVE interview! 'For me it is not VIP, it is EPI -- Every Person is Important' (WATCH)

During his exclusive interview with Asianet News Network, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the persistence of the VIP culture, tracing its origins back to the colonial era. Modi emphasized his commitment to ending VIP entitlements and promoting the principle of 'Every Person is Important' (EPI).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said it has been my endeavour to end any manifestations of VIP culture. Speaking exclusively to Asianet News Network, Prime Minister Modi addressed concerns surrounding the prevalent VIP culture in India, tracing its roots back to the colonial era. Responding to a question from Asianxt Digital Technologies Private Limited Executive Chairman Rajesh Kalra on VIP culture in the country, PM Modi expressed dismay at the persistence of this culture even after independence, attributing it to successive leaders.

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"This is a very worrying and unfortunate thing. As far as I know, the origin of this VIP culture goes back to the colonial period (British era). One law for the British, another law for the general public. Their lifestyle is different from others. All this should have ended after the British left, but it did not. Our leaders continued it. When I came, the first thing I did was no red light on vehicles. When I was in Gujarat, there was a rule for all the ministers that no one would blow sirens while moving in their cars. Are we monarchs that we will move with the sirens on? For me, it is not VIP, it is EPI. By this I mean 'Every Person is Important'," he said. 

PM Modi illustrated his dedication to this cause by citing examples from his personal life, such as waiting for his turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring his mother's funeral adhered to public protocols. 

"It has been my endeavour to end any manifestations of VIP culture. Now if anyone wants the President of the country should go out on the footpath, that is not possible. But our effort is to end this culture to a great extent. Now when the vaccination drive was on against Coronavirus -- it was a question of life and death-- I could have also taken the vaccine. But I decided that as per the rules, I would go on the day when my turn would come. I did not take the vaccine till then. My mother turned 100 years old. She died in a government hospital and her funeral also took place at a public crematorium. As much as possible, I ignore the VIP culture," he said.

The Prime Minister reiterated his efforts to democratize recognition and opportunities.

"At the Republic Day Parade, I invited people who built the Central Vista as special guests. Whenever I go to a university for a convocation, I tell them that I need the first 50 seats for my guests. After this, I take the children from schools and slums near that university to the convocation. Seeing is believing. At that time it occurs in the mind of those children that I will also get my degree wearing the convocation dress," he said.

Furthermore, PM Modi outlined various reforms undertaken to dismantle VIP entitlements.

"Earlier there was a quota for MPs for admission to the school, I abolished it. There was even a quota for the Haj pilgrimage. I finished that too. I ended the subsidy for the Parliament canteen. Now MPs pay the full amount. The Padma Shri award has been praised these days because I search for such people to give it. I want to make it people's Padma. Otherwise, earlier most of the Padma Awards were given to acquaintances of politicians in Delhi. This is a big reform. As you must have heard Mann Ki Baat, I amplify the lives of those small people and tell them to the world. My country, its strength," PM Modi said.

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