Of Khans and Kalams

Ok. This post is a deviation from my usual posts, which are mostly about my experiences. But this is my take on an issue that I strongly felt about, and so I guess is not a misfit in my blog.
During the course of last month or so, two incidences, otherwise trivial, made it to the headlines of our hyper-active Media.

In the first, our Ex-President, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was ‘frisked’ by the staff of a Continental Airlines flight which was on its way to the US of A. And this otherwise routine(and necessary) adherence to the airline’s protocol was enough to stir the collective conscience of patriotic, law abiding parliamentarians and Media!! Reasons cited—Dr. Kalam is an ex-president of our country and therefore figures in the list of VVIPs(which by the way also includes Robert Vadra-hubby of priyanka Gandhi!!WTF??!!). And therefore its against the protocol of this great country of ours to screen him!!

For god sake guys!! They weren’t screening him on a domestic flight! It was a flight meant for the US!! Why the heck should they follow your local protocols when it concerns their Homeland Security? So lets say if tomorrow a country like Somalia gives VVIP status to a terrorist on his way to bomb US, Shouldn’t they be allowed to be screened? NO, I’m not comparing Dr. Kalam to a terrorist, but the point remains the same. Local rules do not apply to International Practices!!A fine human being that he is, the man at the heart of the controversy did not mind by frisked. Then what the hell were we debating about.
The president of our country is called its first citizen. Then why should he/she be any grade above the normal citizen? Agree, some amount of exclusivity is necessary for the day-to-day functioning of the president , but atleast once they retire, shouldn’t they be treated at par?
In the second incident, the self proclaimed Badshah of Bollywood was detained for two hours or so at Newark airport, USA for questioning, which the ‘so-called-responsible’ media initially reported as due to his last name(and therefore a Racial Abuse). The wheels of Indo-American Diplomacy were moved to pacify a ‘very-hurt-khan’. Shah Rukh Khan did not hesitate to portray a sad picture of his ordeal in front of the ever hungry media, being every bit as emotional as any of his films. Indians were supposedly hurt by the insulting treatment given to its International Star.

No doubt, khan is a great performer, and we will not forget his performances(like in Chak De) for a long time to come. But leaving aside our NRI community, the only Khan known in Hollywood is Irrfan Khan! Used to the VIP treatment he usually gets, its understandable that he was shocked by the unfortunate happening. But was it worth the airtime it got on TV? It is now also proved that Khan was detained because the brother of the Khan’s show organizer in US happened to share his name with an International terror suspect !! I think it would do our country much good if the media had focused on this part of the story. Can we even imagine this level of military intelligence in India?! Its this kind of security that has kept US untouched after September 11, 2001. On the other hand, I’m sure, even if one of Osama’s Many sons had come to India, he would get a safe unquestioned passage in the country.
Also, celebrities are not gods. Many of them have been convicted for grave offences. And therefore they deserve every bit as tight a scrutiny as the ‘aam-aadmi’.
Some questions need to be answered. Why are we, as a country, so obsessed about being treated differently? Why are our politicians wasting precious days discussing trivial issues which now include TV soaps, Books or some man’s views on history? Why is our Media providing a platform for these insanities? Why are we creating mountains out of mole-hills?
The world’s eyes are set on our country right now. And the way we are behaving, making fuss about petty issues, the only thing we are doing under the spotlight is letting our pants down.
So guys n gals n everyone in between, grow up. Stop throwing tantrums and act responsibly. If we don’t stop responding to petty issues, our genuine cries will also get as much response as Rakhi Sawant’s tears. That’s all I have to say.

For a much better and more researched(and fun) article on the same issue,
log on to www.indiauncut.com
You will have to search a bit, but its worth it.
(This blog by the way makes for a great reading if you are bored).
Thanks for reading. Tadaa!!


  1. very patriotic. but here's the point.cities are closed for their 'CURRENT' president.And by the way, we do that for even our central ministers(remember the security in panjim when pranab mukherjee came here for two hours??or when abdul kalam had come in BITS?). no fuss was made when bill clinton came visiting. that way, even manmohan singh was given a presidential welcome in US.

    See, if our current president was insulted, it would be another matter altogether. But was it the airline staffs mistake that our ex-president was not made a well-known international face or that no government official was accompanying him?and his luggage was not frisked. he was just frisked at the gate where 'every' passenger is frisked.

    Regarding the case of bringing K9s to our national monuments, i think u r getting too senti. red fort is checked b4 every independance day.and so is White House. it's a common sense thing.

    so chill.

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  3. LOLZ!! the patriotic pessimist or the globalized optimist....its very hard to choose frm the two above views!!

    Personally I agree with Sagar, in that the media must be more responsible in the news it covers...after all, they can make or break a person's life or career (especially so in politics)

    Should the frisking event have taken place?? probably not...but mistakes do happen (c'mon those guys couldn't recognise Bob Dylan!! I mean who doesn't know Bob "The King" Dylan??)...but getting hyper bout it,lyk a certain hyperactive female politician(whose surname is a clever play on a certain "Jersey" name :P )who said we shud also treat Americans in the same way, is simply moronic!!


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