Sunday, November 26, 2017

B.C. South Asians buzzing over harassment complaints on flights to India

Indian media outlets, callers to Punjabi-language talk shows, social media commentators and airline passengers are reporting some older men are swearing and behaving boorishly toward flight attendants on the 13-hour flight to Delhi.

The males’ behaviour is described as “lewd,” “brusque,” “horseplay” and “discourteous” by the Punjabi-language news outlet, Fateh Media, which is based in the Punjab region of India, the ancestral home of Canada’s almost 500,000 Sikhs, more than half of whom live in B.C.

Fateh Media’s report uses the Punjabi word that means “inappropriate touching” or “intentionally touching with a sexual overtone” to describe the men’s behaviour towards flight attendants. The word is often used to describe “grabbing” and “groping.”

Some passengers on the Air Canada flight have talked about the males’ rowdy inflight behaviour on the popular radio talk show of Surrey’s Harjinder Thind, who broadcasts at Red FM 93.1.

“It’s the longest flight to India. So some people are drinking too much beer and getting unruly, bothering the hostesses,” Thind said in an interview.
“The flight attendants are saying they dread going on the flights,” Thind said, adding that some Surrey-based Air Canada attendants are declining offers to go public about it on his show, fearing for their jobs.
26/11/17 Douglas Todd/Vancouver Sun