Racism against Indians is not visible anymore but it exists; fortunately, we have people like Shashi Tharoor who do not shy from speaking against it.
The Emirates Flight 521, flying from Thiruvananthapuram, crash landed but all the passengers were safe. However, one firefighter died in trying to ensure the safety of the passengers. Shashi Tharoor took to Facebook to underline that Emirates aircrafts that fly on these routes are of inferior quality. Here is what Shahi Tharoor wrote:
“I have taken flights on this route many times myself and have been concerned about the age and condition of the aircraft Emirates seems to use on this sector. These are visibly inferior to the aircraft on Emirates’ European sectors, for example. A world-class airline with a reputation to preserve cannot afford to compromise on quality. I am relieved all passengers and crew are safe but even one death, as in the tragic case of the UAE firefighter, is one too many. I call on Emirates to investigate not only the specific circumstances of this crash-landing but also to review their policy on the type, age and quality of aircraft used on the Dubai-Kerala sector.”
There is much one can read between the lines and the gentleman politician Shashi Tharoor has said enough to point to a pattern in this problem.
What is tragic is the death of the firefighter and while Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, paid glowing tributes to the dead firefighter Jassim Essa Al-Baloushi, 26, it would be better that he takes the words of Shashi Tharoor in mind and remember that Jassim could have been alive.
نعزي أسرة وأصدقاء شهيد الوطن الإطفائي جاسم عيسى البلوشي .. نسأل الله أن يلهم أهله وذويه الصبر والسلوان pic.twitter.com/mftWwhCDHD
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) August 3, 2016
What is interesting is that Emirates has not publicly replied to Shashi Tharoor which would have been wise because the politician of his stature pointing fingers is not something that one should stay mum on. Kerala-Dubai route is lucrative and Shashi Tharoor comes from this very state, so his words would undoubtedly make people wary of the aeroplanes that fly them. Listening to Shashi Tharoor would do much good to it. Indian government must also wake up to what Shashi Tharoor shared and ensure that the aeroplanes are not inferior to those that fly on European routes.
Meanwhile, the behaviour of passengers on board the flight also needs to be assessed, they were busy in ‘evacuating’ their bags rather than listening to the crew asking them to move out to safety. Perhaps, they did not realize the danger they were in, but when on a flight do as the crew says. Click here to see the video.
Considering that Dubai can be a tough place for outsiders, perhaps the passengers were worried about the safety of their documents and passports which could be in the bags but it is wise to trust the crew.
Meanwhile, Mohit Dantre, RJ based in Dubai, who exposed racist rants against the Indians made by a flight attendant has had his Facebook post removed by Facebook for the violation of ‘policy.’
The post by the flight attendant showed him abusing the Indians aboard as the ‘Fu***** Rats’ and others also joined in using racist terminology for Indians.
Mohit, just like Shashi Tharoor, had shared his views clearly in the following words:
“I don’t think he realizes that a situation is called a panic situation because people panic! There is no set behavior pattern that is taught in case your plane explodes into a fireball, is it? And you know why? Because people don’t live to tell the tale! Could people have reacted better? I don’t know! Would people from another country react any different or better? I certainly don’t think so! How does one react to a situation where you see your life is about to end in the next few seconds. And got to love how he has colored his racist rant into a status update full of ‘shock,anger and fear’.
But this is what he says that shows that racism against Indians/South Asians is a recurring problem and that it needs to be addressed:
“This isn’t the first time I have heard such generalized degrading comments about Indians/South Asians by airline crew in the UAE and this definitely won’t be the last time. I hope this post eventually makes it to the bosses at Etihad to give them a glimpse into what some of their staff is making the company look like – Racist and insensitive. And that too towards one of their most money making sectors.”
The worse? The fact that Mohit publicly showed the extent of racism against Indians earned him a rebuttal from the said flight attendant who messaged and asked why he was creating “such a drama” on his post, and then again he dropped the racism undertone as he clarified that “rats is a term I use for anyone who behaves like an idiot”.
In short, there is racism against Indians not just in the sky but also on the ground.
Shashi Tharoor and Mohit must be applauded for bringing to facts to light and must be heard by one and all.
Screenshot credit: Mohit Dantre