Today evening, I was listening to channels airing the news about Dr.Kalam being frisked at the airport. Though there is nothing earth shattering about the incident, it did receive a lot of media attention. But this happens with many Indians on a regular basis .
Similar incidents were reported with a lot of people like former Union minister George Fernandes(who was even strip searched in US airport),Film stars like Kamal Hassan and Mammotty at various airports in US. Lets not even talk about the misfortunate ordinary people who happen to have a muslim names in their passport and need to fly to US. Probably this issue was a bit different because it happened in India and the victim was former President himself.
Why is it happening again and again ? the answer is simple. Because we accept it graciously. In a sense we enjoy getting humiliated. Especially when its by US authorities or entities. Most of the people who had to face such issues in the past like Fernandes and Mammmotty were eager to hide it from media gaze rather than protest against it. Even in this case specifically, after getting humiliated like this, Mr.Kalam did not cancel the trip or utter a word against the violation of protocol or the sheer arrogance shown by the Airline staff. What is even more horrifying is, public came to know about this after three months of the incident only. So its very natural that incidents like this continue all the time.
Regardless of all our hubris, we accept ourselves as inferior to the Americans or someone who is "perceivably" superior to us in any form. Historically our society has been a cast and class ridden one and we were mostly comfortable with the idea of others being "more equal than others" in the classic Orwellian terms. Exactly because of this mindset, we were "receptive" to the British colonial rule also.
But what if it was not done by an American airline ? What if it was by some Airline from Pakistan ? or Sri Lanka ? what would have been the response ?
Definitely things would have been different. Quid pro quo actions would have come out promptly. Strong words and deeds would have come from every element of Indian society(Like how Manmohan was eager to confront Zardari right in front of the media in Russia )
So where is the border for our patriotism ? our integrity ?
Our patriotism, nationality , integrity and everything else vanishes after the border of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal(Yes, same Nepal with whom we protested arrogantly because after swearing in, the Previous prime minister of Nepal visited China before visiting India).
Funniest part of the story is that all this happened when Mrs.Hillary was visiting India and were finalizing the deal which will effectively open the door for their mass murderers (a.k.a weapon manufacturers) like Boeing and Lock Heed Martin orders worth billions of dollars and permission for the US authorities to inspect the installations for verifying the use of the same. Hopefully, learning lessons from this, during such inspections our defence minister would be agreeing meekly for a strip search to enter the premises and avoid a lot of noises like this.
And I just thought of the base line which Lock Heed Marten use in their advertisements,
..............We never forget who we're working for ......
Yes, You don't but We Do. And that IS our problem.