If the threat of a Member of Parliament threatening to move a “privilege motion” against the pilot for offloading him for turning up late is bad enough, the pilots’ reaction to one of their own being called a “glorified driver” is worse.
The pilots’ body has interpreted the MP’s “unparliamentary language” as an insult to their entire fraternity and is talking of a defamation suit.
Indira Gandhi called journalists “glorified stenographers”.
Doctors have been called “glorified drug dealers“.
IAS officers have been called “glorified babus“.
Servile governors have been called “glorified chaprasis“.
IT giants have been called “glorified sub-contractors“.
Venture capitalists have been called “glorified recruiters“.
Postdoc students have been called “glorified technicians“.
Homes for the aged have been called “glorified waiting rooms“.
Early birds have been called “glorified dinosaurs“.
Music has been called “glorified noise“.
So, what is the problem with a pilot being called a “glorified driver”?
If in the Republic of India, an MP—a “glorified domestic servant” according to one blogger—thinks he is royalty, are pilots a cut above the rest of us?
Even if it is the joystick they are holding, surely it’s the plane they are driving, even if it is fancily called navigation? At least during taxi-ing and on the tarmac, they are driving the big birds? What if autorickshaw drivers start calling themselves road pilots? (After all, vehicle is in the air most of the time.)
Do our pilots suffer from a class problem? Or do those with their noses in the air not know the English language?