V Pattabhi Ram
Kerala’s governor missed his flight to Trivandrum.
Well, the pilot refused to fly him because his Excellency had dropped in late. That an Air India pilot took the decision is what makes it doubly exemplary. I stand up to salute the man, I mean the pilot. Let me tell you why.
For long these politicians have made a joke of the national carrier. Let’s focus on the most recent of these.
There was a chief minister, answering to the name Devendra Fadnavis, who had an Air India flight from Mumbai to New York stranded because someone in his troop, a babu named Pardeshi had forgotten to get the relevant passport. For an hour, the passengers were stranded. Of-course Fadnavis denied that he was responsible. Of course, Air India said that the delay was due to technical reasons. Fadnavis would have risen in our esteem if only he had asked Pardeshi to take the next flight.
There was a Congress MP, answering to the name Renuka Chowdhry, who delayed an Air India flight to Hyderabad from Delhi by 45 minutes because she failed to turn up for boarding at the scheduled time as she was reportedly busy shopping. Of course, the lady known for her loud histrionics denied the allegations and said that the cart she had requested to take her to the departure gate took some time to arrive! Wow, she was finding it difficult to walk.
These are the reasons why I stand up and salute the pilot for showing arrogant politicians their place. I wouldn’t have called the governor arrogant except for the fact that it was he who erred, and he has the gall of lodging a complaint against the pilot.
Newspaper reports suggested that when his Highness turned up, the flight was taxing on the runway. The argument was that someone had briefed the airport about the delay and that waiting for him for a couple of minutes wouldn’t have brought the skies down. Whether he had the boarding pass or not, whether he told the airport about his late arrival or not, whether he said good evening or not are not matters of concern. What is important is did he report on time like other passengers. If he didn’t, he had to be detained. Period.
The former Chief Justice and now Governor would have risen in our esteem if he had just walked back home. But in our country we have people, and we have the privileged people.