Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Politics, Tamasha and People's money

The recent protests in the parliament over Dr Abdul Kalam's security check issue have once again proved and showcased the inefficient usage of tax-payers money. Why does our media sensationalize such a news to this extent when Dr Kalam himself cooperated so well to the mandatory security checks? The incident came to light only after three months. Today I could see this report on the first page of almost all national newspapers. On certain media I could also see our extremely concerned people questioning If this would have ever happened to George Bush. First of all, why should we be bothered at all? Even if it does happen, what's wrong in that? I don't think there is anything derogatory at all in it.

During the Zero Hour a prominent MP from the opposition said - “It is an issue which puts the whole nation to shame". What was so shameful in that, Hon'ble MP? I don't think the so called victim Dr Kalam would have considered this shameful :-) From what I have read and heard about Dr Kalam, I am quite sure, he would have cooperated and finished it off in a couple of minutes without any hesitation. But our great parliamentarians have already wasted lakhs of public money on this at the parliament. In fact the airline thanked Dr Kalam for flying with them and for the support rendered during the security checks.

The protesting MP also said that whenever foreign dignitaries visited India, a vehicle was sent on to the tarmac to receive them, while Indian dignitaries are frisked. Wow! What a comparison :-D So the next time George Bush flies Air India, let's frisk him and do a complete security check :-)

I don't know the exact figures for this year, but I know huge amount of money is spent to run every session of the houses of our parliament. A lot of money is spent to enable the MP's to attend the parliament sessions. [1]

I am not saying all our parliamentarians are like this. In his recent tweet, one of my favorite MP said that when the commotion began over some issue at the parliament he made an early exit do something productive. I was surprised when I saw a few MP's work at odd times of the day, patiently answering people's concerns and communicating the action taken. They very efficiently use Twitter as a medium to talk to the people, keeping the conversation crisp and to-the-point. That was very much against the perception I had. When I wrote about this to him, he replied back saying "We politicians are used to this routine- working till late and waking up very early in the morning"

Coming back to the present issue, the Continental Airlines flight was flying to the United States in which case the US department of Homeland Security has every right to frame rules and order the airline to follow them. The security check that is carried out at the aerobridge just before entering the aircraft is done by the airline and not by the CISF personnel. When you and me can be checked at the aerobridge, why not Dr Kalam or Robert Vadra. The US Dept. of Homeland Security might not recognize Dr Kalam as a VVIP or Mr Vadra as a VIP's husband. Even if it does, it might not exclude them from security checks. I was surprised to read that other than His Holiness Dalai Lama, the one and only "individual" name in the list of persons/positions to be excluded from security checks at airports in India is Robert Vadra.

Dr Kalam being told to remove his shoes during a mandatory check and the media and politicians protesting this - Does it at all affect the common man in any way?

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