The viral video of a man brandishing a gun outside a five-star hotel in Delhi is a classic example of how power continues to be abused in the country, specially the capital. In this video, Rakesh Pandey the son of an ex-BSP MP can be seen arguing with a couple outside a five-star hotel, with a gun in his hand. This clip is not from some dark alleyway or a drug dungeon or a shady pub. It is an upscale place, where the staff is merely a mute spectator.

While the jokes doing rounds on Twitter talk about Ashish Pandey’s pink pants, expensive ride and female friends with an accent. And how his arrogance is oh-so-cliched, it feels like a warning of a dam about to overflow. Is Delhi today too full of powerful men, for its own good? Does it need to re-examine the flow of this toxicity which makes its men aggressive and brazen?

Like the mythical Ouroboros, Delhi seems to be eating its own tail, locked in an eternal struggle to satiate the hunger of its domineering residents.

It just keeps getting worse

One would be a fool to think that aggression and hot-headedness is just a street level problem in Delhi. It is as much a part of VIP culture of the city. Not much has changed since nearly two decades ago, when a hot-headed somebody shot a model because she refused to serve him a drink. That incident had warned us all of the rapidly evolving demon that is the entitlement culture in our capital city. Many governments have changed hands since then, but the attitude hasn’t.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Ex-BSP MP’s son Ashish Pandey threatened a man with a gun in the lobby of a five-star hotel.
  • The video of this incident has gone viral now, and highlights how dangerous the entitlement and power culture in Delhi is today.
  • Over the years our capital city has gained a notorious image of being full of powerful men, which is intimidating.
  • There is a lack of resolve to get rid of VIP culture among Delhiites themselves as none of those who can get things to change, want to lose their own privileges.

It is concerning, because citizens aren’t supposed to find their capital city intimidating. One shouldn’t feel like one is out in a battlefield, when out for an innocent meal. But there is just no escaping fear. Especially for outsiders, you are afraid when you are hiring a cab, out for a meeting after dark, sitting in a car at a toll plaza, where an argument has broken out, as someone feels he is too entitled to be paying meagre 30 or 50 or 100 bucks.

Here, you are always in the vicinity of one argument or another. There is always a probability that someone will pull out a gun or call out ten burly dudes to start a brawl. The bottom line here is that there is no escaping rage and entitlement.

Even outside the loo of a luxury hotel, people can point a gun at your face because of a petty quarrel. Yet, the citizens of the city keep their heads down and bear with it.

This is not going to bode well for any of us. Not only has our capital gained a notorious reputation over the years, but things seem to be stagnant. There is a lack of resolve to get rid of VIP culture among Delhiites themselves. Plus the chalta hai attitude of the authorities has made this VIP entitlement an inherent trait. Even the if authorities take strict action against Mr Pink Pants, I doubt a lot is going to change. The arrogance and short temper are beyond help now. It seems that one day our capital will choke on this display of power and collapse because none of those who can get things to change, want to lose their own privileges.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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