E.R. RAMACHANDRAN asks some simple questions on the controversy surrounding the arrest and subsequent release of 12 Indians for the hoo-ha on the flight from Amsterdam:
1. Is is because we are Asians, look different and always look ‘suspect’ in the eyes of westerners? Is apartheid back again?
2. Is it because, the Airline staff felt a set of Indians / Muslims travelling together means ‘trouble’ for them and should be deemed ‘guilty’ until proved otherwise?
3. Is it because ‘funny looking’, (they are not whites) passengers did not adhere to the rules of sitting with the seat belt strapped, when the flight took off and were seen passing their mobile phones?
4. Is the matter ‘over’ because the government of Netherlands say we ‘regret’ the action.
5. What about the humiliation suffered by the handcuffed 12 or shall we say’ India’ which is put in a cell of 4’X 4′ and interrogated for 72 hours?
6.Where was the ‘Intelligence’ of the Dutch Govt / Airlines which can sniff better than the dogs? Why didn’t they find out beforehand and how did they goof?
7. Should India only ‘protest’ and accept that these things are bound to happen ,and nothing big, when it has happened to its former ‘Defence’ Minister George Fernandes , who incidentally did not even protest and suffered silently?
8. How should India make sure that it or its citizenry treated with respect by other supposedly developed countries?