Pilots' protests are really a lot of hot air
With reference to Vir Sanghvi's article Pity the poor drivers (April 13), there is no justification for the Pilots’ Guild to threaten Abdul Wahab, a passenger, and ban him on all flights simply because he called them glorified drivers.india Updated: Apr 19, 2008 22:21 IST
With reference to Vir Sanghvi's article Pity the poor drivers (April 13), there is no justification for the Pilots’ Guild to threaten Abdul Wahab, a passenger, and ban him on all flights simply because he called them glorified drivers. I have seen pilots taking refuge of the provisions of the Industrial Deputes Act, 1948, and going on strike as ‘industrial workers’ like textile workers and bank babus, when even head clerks in any organisation are considered supervisors and not permitted to go on strike under the provisions of the Act. Sanghvi’s analysis of the Indian ethos also has much material that one needs to think about.
Sanghvi’s comments are educative. The MP should be told that there are scores of pilots in the Indian Air Force and other services who risk their lives to defend the country’s sovereignty. They not only pilot the planes but are also fighters trained to take on intruders into our airspace and destroy enemy positions. After spending the prime of their lives in the service of the nation, some of them do join the civil air services. Are they all ‘glorified drivers’? Anyone who has made such a derogatory comment about our pilots must render an unconditional apology.
Sanghvi's article is a blistering indictment of the erosion of our values and lack of respect for people. But will his message be understood by those for whom it is intended? The MP was well within his rights to intervene before the verbal combat of the concerned pilot turned uglier, and not least because the issue involved him. What crime did the MP commit by calling a spade a spade? The meaning of pilot and driver is much the same, except that one steers on the surface of the earth, while the other soars in the air. Most pilots never protested about being considered workmen under the Industrial Disputes Act, because it suited them to extract more money through collective bargaining.
Sanghvi has analysed the situation aptly. His thoughts on reverse casteism are very relevant. Politicians in India are playing dirty politics for the sake of votes. No politician has the guts to condemn this naked casteism. Secularism in our country means appeasement of the vote-bank. Our country is being systematically ruined by these so-called netas.
Shrinivas P Kalibhat,
Karan Thapar's article Thank god for e-mail (April 13) was boring and repetitive. This has made the rounds on e-mail any number of times. In the past too, he has gone into ecstasies about blase e-mail forwards and devoted articles to them. Thapar should refrain from doing this as it sounds stale.