Friday, July 24, 2009

APJ Abdul Kalam and Protocols

Now a days the question of frisking APJ Kalam in IGI aiport, by Continental Airlines is fuming in India. The interesting thing is that it happened back in April 24, 2009; I don't know why this news didnt appear at that time and suddenly popped up.

"Kalam was reportedly forced to wait on the aerobridge even as the airlines security personnel debated whether to put him under the security scanner or not. Kalam was asked to surrender before the security officials for a complete body check and remove his footwear as well." timesofindia
Later(after months!!!) it become a political issue and our civil avaiation minister Mr Patel said that
"We will ask for correction action from the airline and in case they are proven wrong, we will ask them to tender and apology."
After that airline said that they send an offical appology to Dr Kalam. This happened after the aviation authorities sought an FIR against the airline. The interesting thing is that Dr Kalam went through the process without any fuss. To a question by reporters if he was hurt by the incident he replied that "I am smiling".

But the incident is not over with this, later Transportation security administration came up with the explanation that

"There are reports that the government of India has an official list of VIP’s and their spouses that are exempt from pre-board screening procedures. However, such a list does not mirror U.S. requirements for passengers that are exempted from pre-board screening when traveling aboard U.S. commercial aircraft. While traveling from an international location to the U.S. on an U.S. commercial aircraft, former Heads of State, and other VIPs, are screened according to the same screening procedures as for any other passenger. If requested, private screening can be provided."
They also added that,
"TSA regrets any inconvenience that Dr. Kalam may have experienced as a result of our standard security requirements. TSA works closely with our international counterparts and our stakeholder air carriers to ensure a safe and secure transportation network."
But this incident raised two questions. First question is, in Indian soil, a company is supposed to follow Indian rules and regulation or other countries rules? Its not a matter what is the US requirements, but if a company want to operate in India it should follow Indian rules no matter what it is.

There are many Indian companies operating in US, many Indian medical companies are fighting cases in US law courts against US pharmaceutical companies. They didn't said that we are working according to Indian rules and so these cases are not applicable to us. There they have to obey US rules, and it should be the case in India too.

The next question is why VIP and VVIP are exempted from normal procedures which a common Indian citizen have to undergo? Remember that if we exempt some from normal procedures, we will be forced to do the same with other countries too. If some other country says that this person is VVIP and he/she shouldn't undergo security checks according to protocols - we may not even have much knowledge about that guy. Then think about the security risk it creates.

These VIP, VVIP list should be scrapped, and government should not create useless rules if it cant enforce it. In the case of this case, instead of demanding apology apply the same rule to every Americans no matter who he/she is. But make it sure that whichever company operating in India should follow Indian rules and regulations.


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