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Pulling our legspace

‘Cattle class’ is what people who fly economy class would rather call it. But not everybody will know that.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2009 01:27 IST

Do those strange people who usually travel business class — but may not be travelling in this category for a while now — really think that the people who fly economy are angry by a wisecracking Minister of State with trendy sideburns calling economy class ‘cattle class’? The poor dearies must be so sweet — and silly — to think that us cattle-classers would mind.

Heck, that’s what all those people travelling economy class call economy class: cattle class. To think that those travelling within the relatively crammed confines of an economy class ticket (and the ‘cramminess’ of the confines does depend on the airline one is flying) have no idea of the relative luxury of flying business class is to be downright patronising.

Shashi Tharoor responded to a question on his Twitter page that read, “Tell us minister, next time you travel to Kerala, will it be cattle class?” Perhaps, being a career diplomat Mr Tharoor should have answered, “Absolutely, I will out of solidarity with all our holy cows” instead of repeating the questioner’s term, ‘cattle class’. But one thing is certain. Mr Tharoor’s colleagues, if not his superiors, don’t know a witticism even if they were squeezed between one witticism sitting in the aisle seat and another in the window seat.

Dalits shot down Mahatma Gandhi’s term ‘Harijan’ as they considered it too patronising — as if they needed to be taken special care of. They preferred the term ‘Dalit’, or ‘oppressed’, for themselves. So dear sweeties, don’t fret about calling economy class ‘cattle class’. That’s what we call it ourselves.