“Ground Us Please, These Heights Are Scary”, Cries the Opposition

"Ground Us Please, These Heights Are Scary", Cries the Opposition
photo courtesy: thehindu.com

Ground Us Please, These Heights Are Scary

It is rare that Politicians wish to be grounded. Much rarer  too, visibly stating  or making obvious their discomfort about rarefied layers. Politicians are mostly given to flying further. Even if it entails flattening friends and followers. It is therefore a very interesting development when opposition parties close ranks to raise a huge and cry. Questining the delay in getting one of them back on ground. And in unison, voice concerns about the scare, one of their Leaders sadly experienced.

Carrier not carrying the Miss well

The development that we are referring to, is Mamata Banerjee’s aircraft having to hover over Kolkata airport. And Derek O’Brien quizzing the Treasury Benches in Parliament, alleging foul play. He suspects a conspiracy to eliminate Mamata (motherliness in Hindi)  Banerjee, his party leader. But one thought that ‘mamata‘ was anyway eliminated. Straight talkers in West Bengal will vouch for it. The Chief Minister of West Bengal is no doubt a cherished leader among her followers and whom many others also respect. If not for anything else, at least for the fact that she wrested Kolkata (once India’s premier city) and West Bengal away from the clutches of the Leftist CPM. Whether or not she has subsequently done things right, not much is left of Communism in one of its last bastions. The opposition unitedly wished to know why the flight from Patna (kind of) ‘mis-carried’ the mother of Amar Bangla.

The government has promised an inquiry. But the episode seems replete with opportunism and contrived importance. Derek and the powers in Kolkata seem to have somewhere forgotten that the particular flight had 170 other occupants. The airline in question, Indigo, has also clarified that their pilot’s message to Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Kolkotta airport was different. There is obviously a difference between stating that the car/craft has 15 minutes cushion before it starts running on reserve  fuel and someone understanding that only 15 minutes of reserve fuel is left.

Tail of the Tiger, Royal Bengal or otherwise

Let us assume the parties are genuinely scared of these heights and are not trying to gain cheap mileage. They must now be thanking their stars that the tail of the Demonetization Tiger is with Modi. Whether the animal is a Royal Bengal Tiger or not, it requires more than ‘mamata‘ to handle it. One cannot think of any National level leader of the Opposition who would have had the moral high ground (and the clout within the party) to have been able to catch this Tiger’s Tail and keep holding it, regardless of the brickbats.

There may be several gaps in the Demonetization implementation. Each of us can think of a few. But one cannot fault the intention behind or the message it has driven across the country. Obviously these learnings will help smoothen the measures to counter other aspects of ill-gotten wealth like gold, property etc. Cool Chilli stood in line today for about 45 minutes and then sat for another 30 minutes inside the bank. But heard not a whimper against demonetization. This was in a lower middle middle class market area. segment.  But enough of this digression.

Coming back to the mid-air ‘mis-carriage’, the ATC personnel in Kolkatta may still have understood correctly. But considering  the Mamata-giri (‘might is right’ vandalism) which manages Bengal, the ATC might still have decided to press into service the fire and ambulance vehicles to receive Banerjee’s Biman (aircraft). Else these hapless guys could have found themselves in need of the same. Such is the motherly writ that the hoodlums enforce in West Bengal. No mamata (motherliness) there. Satarkabaarta!

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