Mobile phone cameras have increasingly turned ordinary citizens into watchdogs. They have used them to check the apathy of the bureaucracy and capture any injustice they witness. And it resonates all the more when VIP culture is put under the scanner.

In the latest of these incidents, a video showing a presumed VIP asking a motorcyclist to give way while the traffic lights were red has gone viral, garnering over seven lakh views on Facebook alone. It was shot and uploaded by citizen Prashant Saxena, who filmed the incident from inside his vehicle until he was asked to stop by the VIP and his daughter.

Saxena also said he was able to escape the escalating situation in the nick of time because his cab drove off. Not only is the bullying behaviour of the VIP shocking, but what has also drawn the ire of people on social media is his young daughter threatening the man filming the incident.

Last year, a mobile phone camera was used to film an employee at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. Soon after the video showing the employee turn aggressive towards customers went viral, she was suspended by the railway authorities. A 2013 article on the BBC website points out how citizen journalism initiatives are impacting change in rural India and how its use here differs from that in Western countries.

Unlike in the West, where it has been primarily web based and technology driven, in India it has its roots in the lack of an effective mechanism for redressing the grievances of ordinary citizens.