A US based airlines broke protocol and body scanned a President of India.
More shocking, the airline employee brushes it off as routine!!
Such impudence would not have been tolerated by any human being except President Kalam – one of the gentlest human beings alive besides His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Associated Press has the story here.
The President of India, Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was violated by a US based airlines given business permit by the sovereign nation of India to operate on it’s land.
In less refined times this would have been an “international incident.” Among less refined peoples, this would have been a causus belli.
THIS IS JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE
THIS WILL NOT STAND
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES MUST BE EVICTED FROM INDIA
For the record, let it be said that IndiaUnfinished has vowed not to succumb to jingoism, hyper-patriotism or knee-jerk nationalism of any sort, or arguments of cultural supremacy.
IU is dedicated to simply exploring this world as we find it. And, at the same time, calling out nonsensical values and behavior wherever and whenever it is seen. Why then does IU react so strongly to a simple event like this? After all, he was only a former President?
Consider the wide range of reasons why IU finds this event appalling, deplorable and stupid.
1. Mr. Abdul Kalam held the office of the President of India, the orlds largest, free democratic republic. He symbolizes the virtues and the prowess of over a billion people!
2. No world leader has ever been subjected to such violative treatment on his own home soil by any airline, let alone one that is foreign based.
3. President Kalam was no ordinary politician. He was uniformly honored by all political parties in India, before, during and after his elevation to the high office.
4. President Kalam was not just a leader, but a constitutional Head of State. Any violation of his person is an act of aggression against the Nation that he represents. Never mind that he is retired now. Once a President, always a symbol of the nation!
5. President Kalam is the most revered and beloved of all Presidents of India. I have lived through their tenures -all twelve of them. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was and remains beloved of the people of India from all walks of life, and all elements of Indian polity.
6. Mr. Kalam was not just the highest office holder of India. He was an honored scientist, proud son, and a genius who dedicated himself to the people of India. He sacrificed more personal comforts and ambition than all the politicians combined. In IU’s estimate, he is second only to the Mahatma.
7. As the Missile Man of India, he doggedly worked to put his people on the cosmic map, in a sense.
8. He was nominated by the so-called Hindu Nationalist Party, BJP, but was uniformly hailed as worthy by all.
9. Simply put, it is bad business. Totally unnecessary to insult a former Head of State, period.
10. Well, there is no number ten. This is not one of those lists of ten. Just a small rant. There, whew!
After all is said and done, we can safely predict a number of the usual lame sequence of events: mumbled apologies, loud chest beating, a low level worker sacked, board room knives out for the weakest, and few late night comic moments.
What the political pundits would want to know is: Is this news of an old event that occurred in April, does this have anything to do with politics. Say, the business deal about nukes just announced?
Whatever, the point is that this is a breach of protocol and courtersy between nations. I predict, the guilty will be punished.
On a lighter note, an American news outlet based in Texas, the same state as Continental’s Houston, made this snide remark in their article.
Note to George W. Bush: think about flying American or Delta on your next trip to New Delhi.
It is being reported that Continental Airlines of Houston, TX has formally apologized to Mr. Kalam. If true, this is a belated development. But the airlines should apologize to the Rashtrapathi Bhawan, and the citizenry in general for it’s silly behavior and lack of common sense. No wonder, American business is in the toilet.