oppn parties Gaikwad Must Not Go Unpunished

News Snippets

  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
  • Government thinking of providing higher insurance coverage on bank deposits
  • Mayank Agarwal scores a double century as India take firm grip on the first Test versus Bangladesh
  • Supreme Court warns Rahul Gandhi to be more careful in future but drops contempt proceedings in the "chor" case
  • In a flip-flop, Vodafone CEO says sorry to the government, sys no plan to exit India
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
oppn parties
Gaikwad Must Not Go Unpunished

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Members of the Indian parliament are a privileged breed. Apart from the power they wield, they enjoy many facilities and perks that have come under public glare recently. But one perk they definitely do not enjoy is to manhandle, abuse or browbeat government employees or employees of companies run by the government. They also have no immunity against being charged under criminal laws of the country.

The Ravindra Gaikwad-Air India episode shows that by letting Gaikwad get away by just tendering an apology in parliament and a belated and forcibly extracted apology to the Air India staffer he abused, this perk is also being added to the long list. It is amazing how parliamentarians closed ranks and allowed Gaikwad go unpunished. At other times, most of our so-called VIPs are very vocal in castigating each other. Then why was GaikwadÂ’s inhuman act not criticized strongly in parliament? Is it because a mere Air India staffer is of no value?

Gaikwad did several things which would have landed a common citizen in jail. Firstly, he argued with a staffer to extract a privilege that is not automatic if seats are not vacant. Then he threw a shoe at/slapped the person. Finally, he refused to get off the plane. The last two would have surely landed him in jail if he was not an MP.

Hence, it is regrettable that Gaikwad is not being punished. One does not say that there should be lifetime flying ban on him. That would not be a solution and would impede his work, as rightly pointed out by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan. But he should tender a public apology to the Air India staffer he abused, in person. Air India should file a legal case against him for not vacating the aircraft and let the law take its own course. The Shiv Sena must also apologize for defending his uncouth act and warn him. The Lok Sabha speaker and the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman must warn all MPs that any such act will not be condoned and would invite a compulsory suspension for 6 months. The chalta hai attitude must go, if not for anything else than to ground our high flying lawmakers and assure the common man that there is a line that MPs will not be allowed to cross.