Not too much should be read into the latest change of couture in the Indian Air Force (IAF). Which doesn’t mean that nothing can be read into our airmen’s ‘changed colours’. We are told that the IAF had long planned for their pilots to switch from the traditional blue ‘boiler room overalls’ to a more ‘international’ green outfit. Now anti-imperialists may be smelling a subclause in the 123 agreement that mentions something about IAF pilots being required to look like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. But the truth is that no such hegemonic colour exists.
Whether the transition passes with flying colours is something too early to say. But the niggling matter of the IAF’s platinum jubilee book — Into the Blue Yonder — last year sounds ominously close to the US Air Force’s official song, Into the Wild Blue Yonder. Well, the sky can only be blue. But still, the echo can raise a few altimeters.
The reason why we are slightly worried is that with a common ‘international’ dress code for pilots, won’t it be confusing when POWs are hauled in? But then, we’ll vote for the green uniform. Remember former President APJ Abdul Kalam in a blue boiler suit inside an MiG? Glad you remembered.