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High-on-power politicians are not new to India. Incidents of ‘VVIPs’ throwing their weight around have become so common that it doesn’t shake up the public anymore. However, the situation goes alarming, as it did on Thursday, when Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad thrashed an Air India employee with his slipper 25 times onboard a flight. It raises concerns that are there any lines that these VVIPs will not cross as a show of power?
The MP from Osmanabad, Maharashtra was on his way to Delhi from Pune and had a business class coupon from his office. According to reports, Air India officials informed him prior to takeoff that the flight AI 852 in which he flew was all economy and there were two other flights that had business class seat options. However, as parliament was in session he apparently took AI 852 flight. However, officials were quoted in reports that he didn’t alight when the plane reached Delhi at around 10:30 am for being angry at being made to fly economy class.
Even shamefully, he admitted to hitting the staffer on the plane, blatantly saying he wouldn’t tolerate any insult and that he isn’t a BJP MP but of Shiv Sena.
Firstly, the MP was flying on official business on public money. Business class is a luxury and a perk provided to him and not something that if taken away demeans him in any way. As an elected representative, behaving in this shameful manner for having to travel in economy only goes to show the low morals possessed by Gaikwad and probably many other VVIPs enjoying perks on taxpayers’ money.
Taking the liberty to hit a staffer shows clearly that Gaikwad and his ilk are not afraid to take the law in their hands. If the lawmaker would have any respect for the laws of the country and the Constitution and any understanding of those laws, he wouldn’t have dared lay a hand on the staffer. It is a pity that such MPs are the ones who are elected public representatives who make laws for the common public, the very public they think they can violate at any instance without the fear of any rebuke. The fact that Shiv Sena hasn’t condemned the act by Gaikwad also indicates where MPs like Gaikwad draw the confidence from to carry out such acts.