Celina Jaitley says she had a harrowing experience with the airport authorities in New Delhi when she was going through the security check for her morning flight to Mumbai.
In the city for a special Valentine event, Celina Sunday went through body frisking and her belongings being scanned. However, she was shocked after realising that her expensive state of art iPod and Blackberry were scratched while quite a few other things in her bag were broken.
"I agree that authorities there are doing their duty and we too are completely cooperating with the security measures. It is for our own benefit and I understand that we should comply with them. However, who gives them the right to mishandle things belonging to others? It was heartbreaking to see my stuff in a bad shape. Both my iPod as well as Blackberry have lost their sheen due to callous attitude of men who were doing the scan," Celina told IANS.
Worse, the cops who were apparently responsible for the damage, were found smiling even as Celina was complaining against them.
"These guys don't know how to behave with women. I went up to the officer in charge and all he could say was 'Sorry'? Also, they told me in no uncertain terms that they couldn't repair what was broken. Moreover, the guys who did it were grinning in front of him. What a shame! Someone ought to teach these cops how to behave with women", she said.
It wasn't just the material loss that angered Celina. During the same time, she also saw an old female passenger being pushed around. When she approached the officer in charge, all she got from him was a casual 'sorry'.
Celina is thinking of approaching higher authorities and apprise them about what transpired with her at the airport.
"I was not only angry with them for breaking my stuff but for their misbehaviour with other women. They are there to secure us and not to humiliate, insult and manhandle us, especially women. They are misusing the power of uniform everywhere now-a-days. At the end of the day we are paying passengers and they can't break our things, insult us and indulge in indecent behaviour," she said.
Though there wasn't any major showdown at the airport post Celina's outburst, women around her were certainly appreciative about her courage to voice her displeasure.
"True, the women there were thanking me and one of them even said that I did what they couldn't have possibly done in fear. Well, nice to hear this as a compliment, but my request to all womenfolk out there is - 'Fight for yourself and raise your voice in events like this'. Till the time we don't come out in open and let the authorities know that they are there to help us and not harass us, such shameful things would continue to happen."