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Acting tough

Acting tough

Less than a week after Shiv Sena Member of Parliament Ravindra Gaikwad allegedly assaulted an Air India employee for not providing him with a business class seat on a Pune-Delhi flight, the Centre on Monday said the state-owned airliner cannot discriminate between different classes, and that there can be no compromise on safety. In India, the rules and regulations on how to deal with disruptive behaviour are clear under the Aircraft Rules of 1937, but tougher to enforce, especially when errant legislators hide behind their positions of power. Besides taking legal recourse, the Federation of Indian Airlines has decided to put him on a "no-fly list", setting a good precedent and in line with best practices across many countries. This should deter other politicians from indulging in unruly and disruptive behaviour, irrespective of whether their parties are in power. Nonetheless, the incident involving Gaikwad isn't the first time that a politician has stepped out of line.

Nearly two years ago, a female cabin member of Jet Airways complained to authorities that during a Patna-Delhi flight that Bihar legislator Pappu Yadav had allegedly misbehaved. YSR Congress MP Mithun Reddy and others also allegeded assaulting an Air India station manager at Tirupati airport. Political representatives must not behave as if they are a law unto themselves. This culture of entitlement among those in positions of power is what instigates such acts.

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