The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has floated a proposal to erect billboards with pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi every 25 km on all National Highways under it.
The 20×10-ft boards will carry a picture of the two leaders on both sides of the road — clearly a move to highlight the UPA effort in pushing the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP).
[Source: Indian Express]. Great. If you thought our government wasn’t wasting money, these 4 lakh-a-pop billboards are going to be the epitome of wasteful spending and worse still, are nothing more than political propaganda. We are used to a dusty granite plaque embedded on the side of a flyover listing the names of people supposedly responsible for making it happen. But these billboards are going make us offer our thanks to the ‘king and queen’ of India who’ve deigned us worthy enough to ride on these ‘golden roads’. And we would’ve to be thankful by willing to witness their smiling faces every 25 kms. Indeed we are still a country that wants to look up to its masters and reminded of favors done onto us. This would be akin to seeing Eisenhower’s portrait every 25 miles on the U.S. interstates. Talking of competing with China, we are living up to the Communists ideal of ‘honor thy leader’. While we are at it, why not hang a giant picture of Sonia on the Red Fort and stop kidding ourselves? Instead of those billboards, I suggest we invest that money in a pothole repair fund that we’re going to dip into after a year.
PS. Some of my Congress voter-friends have often hailed the Sonia-Manmohan team as the former managing the party and latter the nation; so in that case would my friends tell me why Sonia deserves a place on these billboards? Of course, this assuming we need faces of our leaders every 25 kilometers on the roads they built for us.