I mean, is there no sense of decency and good conduct left in those white chaps? How could they frisk a VVIP/VIP exempted from pre-embarkation security checks as recorded in the BCAS Circular No. 6/2008. What kind of a world do we live in where airline staff doesn’t read BCAS Circulars issued by the Sarkar. And it wasn’t an ordinary frisking, mind you. Oh no, not all. They went all out, they did--they even, and I hang my head in shame as I write this, asked him to open his shoes. Open his shoes! The nerve of those chaps.
The airlines “defence” for this vile deed made the decadence of Western culture quite clear. They nonchalantly stated that this sort of VVIP list is incompatible with US norms—even former US heads of state, for example, would be frisked. That is why we must protect ourselves from the depravity that the West brings. Imagine if this sort of culture took root among Indians. What would happen if we did not respect Very Very Important People and did not read government circulars? Who would our cars stop for on the road for hours on end? Who would our bridges, roads and public toilets be named after? On whose security would we spend millions while we get by with little or no law and order?
But we seem to be holding on to our culture quite well, as this incident shows, thank god. Kalam getting his footwear opened was discussed in Parliament, the Sarkar threatened to file an FIR against the airline and even issued a statement where it referred to our former president and VVIP-for-life as “Shri Abdul Kalam Azad”, respectfully fusing the missile-man’s name with the name of independent India's first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
In the end, though, the bastards did have to apologise for their impropriety. But they did make a song and dance of it—the apology came three months after the sinful deed of getting a VVIP to open his shoes was done. Till Thursday, Kalam had said that he had received no apology. “I've not yet received it,” were his golden words, words which will be framed at airports throughout the country as a warning to those who would dare to mistake a VVIP for a normal human being. Of course, that the airline would buckle was a fait accompli—they were never a match for the VVIPs of India, no one is. They’ve apologised to the former president for any "misunderstanding and/or inconvenience related to the security screening on April 21”.
Ha! We showed them.