It isn’t every day that we see a major A-list celebrity coming out of their condo atop a bicycle but who would know that this thought would cease to remain just a dream. On the 6th of April, Vijay, the superstar of Tamil cinema, rode a bicycle to the polling booth to cast his vote. 

The move, in itself, was speculated to have been a form of protest towards the ever-increasing rates of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, alongside products such as CNG, LPG, natural gas etc.

The COVID-19 virus’ spread lead to reverse inflation concerning the price of all forms of oils. The world witnessed a massive drop in the per-gallon price of petrol, with the USA selling off their storage of refined petroleum for free owing to overflowing storage.

All this happened when the Indian government thought it to be the best time to raise the price of the fuel and its subsidiaries to the highest the country has ever seen. 

Why Was There A Rise In Fuel Prices? 

Owing to the pandemic in 2020, India had supported the decision of most oil-producing states to cut down on the production of oil due to the lack of public demand during the period.

This decision of the government would prove to be a bane for the public since, the sudden spurt in the need for oil around the world, only stood to mean that fuel prices would reach new heights. 

The Indian government had further asked the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to not cut the production costs after the pandemic situation attained a semblance of improvement.

This request was made since it would affect the price of petrol in the country. However, with the price of petrol bordering 50 INR or $0.70 per litre in our bordering country, Pakistan, it is time to actually hold the authorities under the scanner of doubt. 

Dharmendra Pradhan, the face behind the rise of petroleum prices and mostly everything that has to do with petroleum

According to the Union Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, the rise in fuel prices is not necessarily in the government’s control but depends on the quantitative production of petroleum.

Both petroleum manufacturing countries alongside the international market have decided to produce less petroleum to cut costs and make more profit, owing to the pandemic.

“There are two main reasons behind the fuel price rise. International market has reduced fuel production and manufacturing countries are producing less fuel to gain more profit. This is making the consumer countries suffer,” Dharmendra Pradhan stated.

Also Read: Despite Historic Collapse In Global Oil Prices, Why Are Petrol, Diesel Prices In India The Highest They’ve Ever Been?

Like, Pradhan said, it does make the consumer countries suffer. However, what stands as fact is the lack of action on the government’s part to ease the excise duties and the union tax collected by the government to make its purchase that bit easier. But, as things go, one cannot trust a politician- in life or in death. 

Vijay: Was South India Victorious In Displaying Their Bravado

Before writing anything additional than I should at the moment, what stands as fact is the Tamil actor’s team’s statement made upon his exit from the polling booth. It stated the following: 

“Thalapathy Vijay decided to go by cycle instead of using the car because the poll booth was right next to his residence and taking the car might have congested the road even more. There was no other intention behind it!”

This statement was made by Vijay’s manager, however, it never can be beyond reasonable doubt to believe that Vijay may have had chosen to ride the cycle to oppose the terrifying price hikes.

Considering the fact that it is India, I wouldn’t be surprised if ever an additional detail came out stating that Vijay had to wager between his heart to protest with and a possible skeleton in his closet (a literal skeleton). 

The entire fiasco makes you hope for Vijay’s act to not just be another PR stunt, but there’s only so much one can guess

In this country, where most celebrities would prefer to stay as armchair activists, Vijay’s act of perceived public defiance was met by garlands of hope from all sections of the society.

Indian brethren on Twitter gathered up their bearings and went behind Vijay’s show of courage and bravado, at the zenith of human achievements.

Possibly the entire narrative around his cycling stunt is just another publicity stunt, however, the fragment of hope during that period is exactly what people need to progress towards a world where the government doesn’t cut its citizens’ livelihood for oil. 

What essentially needs to be done at the moment is for the many eminent personalities of Bollywood to join hands and actually work towards a better tomorrow. Staying lounged up in front of coffee tables only helps in gaining a pound or two.

Honestly, they could just open a blog up and educate the public about the government, but I doubt they ever would.

Image Source: Google Images

Sources: Hindustan Times, NDTV, The Hindu

Connect with the blogger: @kushan257

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