After years of listening to those fiery one-liners delivered by Bollywood heroes, we know when we hear a gem of a dialogue that will make Kader Khan seem lost for words. On Tuesday, the exchange between an Air India pilot and an MP at Kozhikode is a sure winner. Captain Rajat Rana was upset that the flight was delayed by the late arrival of Rajya Sabha MP Abdul Wahab. An argument between the two ensued. Unable to stomach this censure, the Honourable Mr Wahab told Captain Rana that he was nothing but a “glorified driver”. Not one to be grounded by an insult, the captain matched it with this glorious repartee, “You will run the country, I’ll run the aircraft,” before offloading the MP. The neta, we have been told, is contemplating breach of privilege charges against the chauffeur, sorry, pilot.
So how empowered and happy did the passengers feel when they saw the literally late Mr Wahab walking out of the aircraft? We don’t know. But if we go by the public mood (always measurable with scientific exactitude by our own mood), the pilot got a hero’s welcome as he entered his cockpit to fly off to Dubai.
The proverbial ‘I-above-all’ mentality seems to come with neta-hood. Reaching fashionably late is a style statement for most of them. A couple of weeks ago, passengers went as far to boo Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury for delaying a flight. As far as we can say, our netas should be prepared for a civil society’s version of the storming of the Bastille.