Frisking Kalam – Highly Condemnable

kalamThe western world is hypocritical about the protocols. No frisking for its leaders but top to toe clean check up for the Eastern leaders. It is highly condemnable act that the continental airlines had frisked the people’s president Dr. A. P.J. Abdul Kalam and refused to apologise intitally. After the uproar in parliament and society they have finally apologised. But the high humility filled Kalam down played the act and said “it is minor”.

The Times of India writes (23 July 2009)

When it became known that the people’s president as former president A P J Abdul Kalam is popularly known was subjected to frisking before he
boarded a Continental Airlines flight to the US, it’s but natural that the Indian public was miffed. The issue rocked Parliament this week with members cutting across party lines condemning the incident and the media has splashed the story all around. Are we overreacting? Not quite.

The outraged responses are a reflection of the immense popularity Kalam enjoys with the Indian public, as well as against what is perceived as a blatant violation of ground rules by a foreign airline. Indian law clearly mandates that certain people are exempt from body checks before they board an aircraft. These include the head of state, and an assortment of politicians and other public personalities. The law, of course, needs to be followed in this regard. But the issue goes beyond that. It’s a major breach of protocol that the former president of India, a much-revered figure in this country, should be subjected to humiliation; moreover, that such humiliation should be allowed to occur on Indian soil itself.

The outrage expressed in Parliament, therefore, is entirely justified. It reflects the sentiment of the nation. The airline claims that it was following standard operating procedure, which requires passengers to be frisked if they are flying to the US. But the aircraft was taking off from Indian soil, and therefore had to abide by the regulations that are binding in this country. All international airlines are given a list of people exempt from body checks by the Indian authorities, and they ought to know that Kalam was one of them.

Not following Indian rules in India is a calculated insult to the nation. Imagine what would have happened if Barack Obama were to be frisked by Air India crew. Now that would create quite a hullabaloo, wouldn’t it?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: