Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Pragya Thakur's Airline Fracas Shows India's Netas Yet to Understand Days of Feudal Behaviour Are Long Over

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur has a penchant for courting controversies. She normally hits the headlines for consistently glorifying Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse but last week the saffron-clad lawmaker was in the news for a different reason.

Thakur delayed a flight when the airline staff did not allow the wheelchair-bound MP to sit in the seat she had pre-booked as rules do not permit wheelchair passengers in the emergency row seat. An adamant Thakur refused to budge and instead got into a war of words with the airline staff, insisting that she be shown the rule-book.
This is not the first time that the Bhopal MP, also an accused in the Malegoan blast case, has embarrassed her party but the BJP leadership can do little besides distancing itself from her statements and actions.

During the May Lok Sabha elections, Thakur created problems for the BJP when she described Godse as a “desh bhakt”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had then upbraided her, publicly declaring that he would never forgive her for insulting Gandhi.

Yet, she repeated the same in the Lok Sabha during a debate in the last Parliament session. She was forced to apologise when the opposition created a furore, pushing the BJP on the defensive.

However, the latest airline episode has catapulted the controversial MP to the big league of Indian politicians who demand special privileges at airports, on flights and toll plazas and throw tantrums if officials do not fall in line. “Don’t you know who I am” is a refrain repeated frequently by angry lawmakers in case they are meted out the same treatment as other tax-paying citizens. Written complaints, threats of suspension and even violence are often resorted to by these so-called “aggrieved” MPs and state legislators.

To be fair, this boorish behaviour and sense of self-entitlement is not confined to any single political party. There was a time when the BJP would accuse the Congress leaders of throwing their weight around, which was often put down to the “arrogance of power” and the belief that they were “born to rule.”. But now that all political parties have had a stint in power, their leaders have also joined this elite club and the BJP is no exception.
24/12/19 Anita Katyal/News18
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment