Thursday, 22 November 2007

Frisking the Three Service Chiefs

It seems anybody who has heard of the Civil Aviation Ministry’s decision to frisk the three Service Chiefs (and not a certain gentleman, who was lucky enough to marry the daughter of an assassinated PM) is livid.Most people rightly feel that those who have been entrusted with the security of the entire country can certainly be trusted with the security of a civilian aircraft on which they’re travelling. I think the Civil Aviation Ministry will soon have to extend the no-frisk rule to the three Service Chiefs.

Kolkata has been in an uproar--not just because of Nandigram, but also because of the Bangladeshi author, Taslima Nasreen, whose only fault appears to be her feminism and her refusal to kowtow to those who appear to control religious institutions. However, a lot of the violence appears to be opportunistic--the rioters have just used Nasreen and Nandigram as an excuse to go on the rampage. Something very similar happened in Hyderabad a few months ago, when Nasreen went to attend a conference there. And in that case, two sitting MLAs (who should have known better and kept in mind the dignity of their office, such as it is) were also involved. This does not absolve the West Bengal state government, which is doing its best to close relief camps, despite the fact that camp residents are afraid to go back home. I’m glad I’m not the only one comparing the violence in Nandigram and Gujarat--I seem to be in rather exalted company!

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I work as a freelance editor and writer in New Delhi. 


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