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Old 8th July 2012, 21:22   #1
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Default How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

An interesting development happened earlier this week. I was driving my Skoda along the streets of Bombay when a very expensive German car unapologetically and abruptly cut me off on a 2 lane street. It had no siren/ lights/ political license plates. Just dark tints.

I returned the favor immediately.

At the next stop light, a man dressed in a safari suit started tapping on my car and asked me to pull over. When I asked who he was he half pulled out a Maharashtra police ID card from his front pocket and said he was a police officer. The German car meanwhile drove in an adjacent direction and pulled over.

As I pulled over, he asked me for my license. When I asked what I had done, he said that I had "cut a VIP person". He wasnt interested in my side of this so I refused to hand him the license- I remembered my lawyer friends telling me that only an RTO/ Traffic cop has the right to demand a license from a driver.

Mr. Safari suit, obviously a body guard sanctioned by the crime division, then asked for my name. Again, I refused to divulge any information. He then asked where I live and again, I refused to say a word. I then firmly asked him to remove his hand from my vehicle immediately.

He seemed perturbed, took a step back and asked for my license again. This time I reminded him that I was not going to give in to any of his demands and that I knew the law and my rights. Realizing that he wasnt going to gain any headway, he asked me to make a U-turn and pull in the car next to the VIP's car, where another bodyguard waited with the "VIP". He began dialing the other body guard on the other side of the road.

At this point, I drove off because I did not want the situation to get any worse. I'm conviced these were bullying tactics and that they would've made life hell for any poor soul naive enough to hand over any information to them.

I know I should have controlled my road rage and let the VIP cut me off and drive off but something in me wanted the driver to know that he/she doesnt own the road.

My question is simple: I know things could have gotten worse for me but I want to know if there exists any mechanism to protect yourself against these sorts? How would you have reacted?

Last edited by Screwdriva : 8th July 2012 at 21:47.
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Old 8th July 2012, 21:37   #2
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Hey Screwdriva,

I know a lot of people will disagree, but that is exactly what I would have done. I work around Vasant Vihar in New Delhi. Its a diplomatic area and there are a few very rashly driven embassy cars and I do return the favor as and when they do pull a stunt.

You can say its not right, but in my defense, I would never do that to any car/bike/auto so I expect the same kind of respect on the road.

What you did was right. In fact, driving off was a good decision and no matter who the VIP is, mr three stars catering to the high flying rockstar has no right to ask you for your details.

I suggest bringing this to the limelight of the electronic media is the best way to 'get back' but then again it does not apply when you 'return the favor'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post

I returned the favor immediately.



As I pulled over, he asked me for my license. When I asked what I had done, he said that I had "cut a VIP person". He wasnt interested in my side of this so I refused to hand him the license- I remembered my lawyer friends telling me that only an RTO/ Traffic cop has the right to demand a license from a driver...

...My question is simple: I know things could have gotten worse for me but I want to know if there exists any mechanism to protect yourself against these sorts? How would you have reacted?

Last edited by suhaas307 : 15th July 2012 at 22:47. Reason: Please avoid quoting large/entire posts as it may inconvenience small-screen/mobile users. Thanks :)
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Old 8th July 2012, 21:49   #3
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Dealing with such people is very tough in India because a VIP is a VIP, and you can NOT challenge him / her until and unless you are also a VIP or have any VIP connection.

Sorry for being a bit harsh but this is the reality in India. You were the lucky one that the episode ended quite early and without any harms. May be you were driving a Skoda, so he was talking with some respect. Otherwise there have been instances in Delhi NCR / North India, where such bodyguards go to any extent in such situations. If you remember, a famous cricketer was badly injured at Delhi - GGN toll both, few months back and the issue was highlighted in the media also. Reason: He did overtake two VIP cars form wrong side and was BADLY bashed. What was the end result? The concerned minister apologized and the cricketer took his complaint back. Here is the link for thread on this forum:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...road-rage.html (Delhi road rage)

I am not too sure but I think he would have been forced to take his complaint back.

My 'OWN' opinion:

Few of the members may disagree but everyone has his / her own views.

In such circumstances, if you are also a VIP or have any such connection then its okay to justify yourself otherwise just apologize (if you are given some time) and move on. And the biggest VIPs in India are politicians, depending upon their roles / links in the government (state or centre).

So just forget such issues and move on.

Cheers!
Irish

Last edited by Irish : 8th July 2012 at 21:51.
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Old 8th July 2012, 23:18   #4
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

You remind me of one of the greatest misfortunes of our country - the pervasive lack of minimum civility and culture; the 'might-is-right' arrogance.

It indeed is a jungle out there. A hard-to-stomach and humiliating fact is that you indeed are only as strong as you personally are, and no rules/law or consideration of justice will determine the outcome in an encounter.

Police stations will not even register a complaint if you seek that course. Most of our 'leaders' (I say most, not all) unscrupulously clawed their way to power through continuous criminal conduct, and when you annoy a VIP, be prepared for the high odds of having to interact with a high-seated low-life. I think it's this combination that makes it wise to not involve one's ego in such situations - what do you prove after all, and who did you change, right?

Last edited by skandyhere : 8th July 2012 at 23:19. Reason: Immaterial changes
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Old 8th July 2012, 23:44   #5
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

One point also to be noted that the 'chamchas' and the support staff create more trouble and in most of the cases drive the vehicle rashly even though there is No VIP inside.
Now even the most educated and well off people are scared by these low lifes. This says a lot about the pathetic state of affairs of our country.
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Old 9th July 2012, 00:03   #6
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Over the little time I have spent driving on the roads the Mumbai I have come to realise that stick to your lane and the speed you want to drive and let idiots pass. Just concentrate on your drive and hum a nice song playing on your nice music system (don't have a nice one?? Do check out the ICE section on team-bhp) That is the best you can do. Even you tried cutting the guy and you never know what may be in store for you. And do remember that you may not have support out there if things get ugly even from the traffic cops who might just stand there watching helplessly.

The maximum you can do is pull over next to them and tell them about their fault. If they understand, well and good, if not just calmly drive away rather than losing your cool. I did the same recently to the "son" of the CM's car which the loser-ish driver kept on muttering instead of understanding my point and the traffic cop did not seem interested and was just blowing the whistle and asking me to move instead.

It is really not worth it. Really. Forget about the incident and avoid returning favours, that is all I can say.
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Old 9th July 2012, 00:03   #7
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

The best thing to do would be to back off and apologize even if you're not in the wrong.

Why I say this? Well, for one thing, you're just inviting more trouble. VIPs have huge egos, whether they're on the road or in the their office-seat. They expect to be treated well wherever they go and despite whatever they'd do.

Getting into an altercation on the road with a VIP can be extremely dangerous. All they need is your registration number and if it really bothers them, they might even trace you to your house for all you know. And once they know what you drive or where you stay, you're going to have to put up with a lot of stick from them. Even your family could be on the line.

But I do understand that buckling under is not always the answer and everyone is equal. The problem is, everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. But in the eyes of the VIP, everyone is not. Sure, if he crosses a line and manages to catch and thulp you, he may not get away with it, what with the media waiting for such stories all the time. But the hiding is something one can completely avoid in the first place.

It is hard to control one's anger when on the road especially if you have a hundred other thoughts running in your head. That's why it's always a good thing to stay calm and when you are inconvenienced on the street, just breathe deep, smile and let it go. Because it just isn't worth it. I'm still trying to achieve this state of calmness when such events occur.
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Old 9th July 2012, 06:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwdriva
An interesting development happened earlier this week. I was driving my Skoda along the streets of Bombay when a very expensive German car unapologetically and abruptly cut me off on a 2 lane street. It had no siren/ lights/ political license plates. Just dark tints.
Well done! Who is a VIP but what our ill informed idiot public make him? Under the Indian Constitution every Indian Citizen shall be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law. To me VIP means Very Idiotic Person. I will not respect these classifications as a tax paying citizen.

We have too long been used to some yoke or other, some invader, mughal, colonial or otherwise and now our own people who think they have a divine right to rule us.
Well done again. Never give in to these filth!

Last edited by GTO : 10th July 2012 at 13:34. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting an entire long message inconveniences our mobile users
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Old 9th July 2012, 07:06   #9
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

I also had a brush with a VIP a couple of weeks back. This was on the Pune - Bangalore bypass road.

Its a road with 2 lanes on either side. The left lane has lot of bike traffic so i was on the right lane. Suddenly i start hearing the sound of sirens from a distance. So check the rear view mirror and can see a Scorpio with the red beacon on it. So move to the left lane and see a large line up of cars starting with the scorpio, Land Cruiser (must be the VIP car), 3-4 other Scorps, Sumos pass by. Then i check the mirror and do not see any other car coming so move back to the right lane.

After about 10-15 seconds once again start hearing a siren and again a different Scorpio at my tail. Now on the left lane there is a six seater rickshaw so it takes me some time to move to the left lane. But those guys behind me have no patience. The Scorpio and Sumo occupants while overtaking me start shouting and making signals to me indicating why didn't i move to the left lane faster. The occupants included a traffic policemen.

I am infact happy that i was able to block their way eventhough i did not intend to do that on purpose. I was disapponted and frustrated to see tax payers money going down the drain by having 6-7 cars in the VIP cavalcade.

I think it is best to not get in their way. We have other better things to do. And it will unncessarily spoil our day getting into an argument with them. And who are we mere mortals to give it back to them.
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Old 9th July 2012, 07:23   #10
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I believe there are 2 things that makes Vip's uncomfortable.-media and other politicos(especially opposition parties). I keep a business card of a media friend in my car at all times just for these scenarios.
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Old 9th July 2012, 08:05   #11
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post
I returned the favor immediately.
I would dare not do this anywhere around Delhi/NCR. The diplomatic vehicles come under the jurisdiction of their respective embassies & are 'teflon' as far as bringing them to book is concerned. They even get away with minor accidents.

Coming to the VIPs, most of them cars have a chauffeur who drives with one hand on the steering wheel & the other on the revolver. Ditto for the SUVs which are a part of the convoy.

I once saw a VIP Touareg driven in excess of 150km/h while climbing a flyover. The force with which it swished past the autorickshaw was so much that the rickshaw toppled & its occupants lay there clueless on the top of the flyover, right in the middle of the road.All that was on the numberplate was the digit 1 & it was a dark blue touareg.

You did right in not divulging your identity, else, you might have been a victim to immense harassment given he was probably Ex-Maharashtra police & the I Card was expired. Hence the Half-Pull technique.
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Old 9th July 2012, 08:19   #12
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Congratulations on your stupid act!!
Congratulations on what you did and I respect you for upholding the equality principle.
Stupid - I need not go in to this as many have detailed earlier.

[RANT!!!]
Personally I am also very perturbed at VIP brushing off other road users as if they had a special right. The VIP staff is only for their protection and not to harass others. Only if you have a VIP escorted by a pilot car that you need to give way (will come back to this later).

My personal satisfaction solution is to purposely delay such siren blaring VIP's as much as possible. Use the balance traffic intelligently and manoeuvre my car a little covertly to delay passage. But this is not a solution and they will not learn from this.

Another effect is that all these VIP's give two hoots for posted speed limit and no traffic cop will dare challan them. Me thinks this is vision of George Orwell coming true - Pigs are more equal than others.

Problem is our system does not understand this. All cops and sundry are in awe and do not listen to reason. The difference is between providing protection against security threat and using those protectors to become threat to others. This is not understood and probably needs a citizens action.

Episode of pilot car - Twice every week the Delhi-Lahore bus service is run. And it causes problems on the entire stretch of the NH1 from Delhi to Amritsar as the bus is piloted by two cop vehicles through the stretch. Over the period most of the district cops have learnt to allow left side overtaking for smaller vehicles as even when they are moving within the posted limited of 90kmph they are faster than the bus. However this is not the "everywhere" and the pilot cops in Delhi bear no brooking or over taking and are generally a nuisance to the other traffic. I have been personally "cut off" badly almost a point of collision by pilot car for going about in orderly fashion in my lane (and within prescribed limit) overtaking the bus. And how do they justify the bus is moving at pace much beyond the posted limit of 50kmph for heavy traffic!!??

Delhi NCR is one of the mayhem points for such VIP movements and itis galling to ordinary citizens to see the traffic police disrupting all other traffic to help them through the chaos - even if it causes greater chaos.

Last edited by sudev : 9th July 2012 at 08:21.
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Old 9th July 2012, 09:01   #13
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Again guys, this car was unmarked. Just a 50 lakh German car. No red light. No siren. No fancy license plates and no visible escort anywhere.
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Old 9th July 2012, 09:35   #14
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Who knows it might have been some highly loaded industrialist who has an exaggerated sense of his own importance in the general world scheme of things!

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Again guys, this car was unmarked. Just a 50 lakh German car. No red light. No siren. No fancy license plates and no visible escort anywhere.
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Old 9th July 2012, 09:50   #15
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Default Re: How would you deal with VIPs and their Bodyguards on the road?

Sharing my personal experience, whenever there is a convoy going I stick to the left and let pass. Then I accelerate and tail them. The convoy keeps clearing the traffic and I enjoy a traffic free road.

But I also make it a point to maintain a safe distance from them as they tend to brake suddenly. Just my 2 cents.
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