It’s been more than a week, since Ravindra Gaikwad’s Air India theatrics and even though the errant MP has yet to apologise for his appalling behaviour on Air India’s aircraft, the organisation took an unprecedented stand by placing an indefinite ban on Mr. Gaikwad.
After thrashing an innocent staffer with his Chappal (slippers) 25 times and then boasting about the same on National Television, it almost seemed like India had relayed itself back to the dark ages of 1980’s and 1990’s. While this blatant act of gundaism should have been condemned and acted against, the Shiv Sena stood like a rock defending its Member of Parliament (MP). Even going to the extent of proposing a bandh in Osmanabad (Gaikwad’s constituency), against the decision taken by Air India.
The MP, who until now was oblivious of the seething anger of the people of India made a glaring demand that instead of him having to apologise to the Air India personnel (staffer), it should rather be on the contrary. The alacrity with which Mr. Gaikwad bragged about hitting the Air India personnel is loathsome, if not distressing. Had the same thing been done by a common citizen, he would have been dragged to the police station by the collar with a FIR registered against him for manhandling an official on duty (possibly even spend a few days in jail).
Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the case at hand, it is pertinent to note that taking the law into one’s own hand and disregarding the authorised security agencies and police forces is morally, ethically and legally a greater wrong than anything else.
Amidst all this drama which seeks to undermine the power of this vibrant democracy, the stance taken by Air India to ban this politician is worth crediting. In an era, where corrupt power hungry politicians (people’s representatives) seek to dominate the Indian democracy on their whims and fancies, this precedent set forth by Air India to ground this notorious Neta, serves as a good example for all the politicians and VVIP dignitaries who continue to live in their own imaginary world.
Continuing with its stance against Gaikwad, Air India cancelled two Delhi-bound open tickets booked by the minister (on 28/03/2017). Namely on flight AI 806 from Mumbai to Delhi and AI 551 from Hyderabad to Delhi, both booked for Wednesday (29/03/2017), were promptly cancelled by Air India. And while this act of gundaism has found support in a host of parties from Shiv-Sena, NCP and Congress, the BJP has taken a stand against its ally (of centre and state) by slamming the actions of this notorious MP.
Shiv Sena has come a long way from its glory days under the aegis of Balasaheb Thackeray to the jingoism led by Uddhav Thackeray. While the nation awaits the authorities to separately file charges against this goon of a neta, a sense of awakening amongst the populace seems to be gathering pace. The democracy which remained subservient spectator all through these years is finally rising high above the sky like a phoenix from the ashes it was burnt in all these decades, and detractors trying to stop this mass movement will suffer the same fate as what Congress did in the lok sabha and UP elections.
New Year (Padwa) certainly does not seem to be doing any good for the minister, with the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) (Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo, Spice Jet and Go Air as members) holding their ground, it would be interesting to see how he would be commuting to and fro Delhi to attend the parliament.
Come what may, the strong stand by the government airline against this rogue government servant will be remembered by many for long and would serve as a prime example for all those critics who feel that India is not changing.
Air India has done an extraordinary thing, it has made us hopeful about our future. India is changing, and this new India will not tolerate such nasty people who seek to take law into their own hands at the behest of the silent democracy.
Desh jaag raha hai janab, aur ye yaad rakhe 2019 dur nahi.