Should Kunal Kamra have been banned from flying? If so, why should rules be different for him and TV channels?
While flying on an aircraft, one expects some peace. Away from the pressures of daily life, on domestic flights at least, we are disconnected from the 24×7 world we live in. While you may jostle for the armrest with the person sitting next to you, on the whole, you expect your fellow passenger to respect your private space, just like we respect the personal space of others. Flying, therefore, has a level of civility that has gone missing 35,000 feet below on the ground. So, did comedian Kunal Kamra cross the line when he heckled television anchor Arnab Goswami on a flight recently? Yes. While Kamra himself released the video and claimed to have apologised to the crew for his actions, no matter how he justified them, they were completely and totally unacceptable. That said, the speed with which he was banned from flying was incredibly rapid and left no scope for redressal. There is a process to ban someone from flying that includes setting up an internal committee, waiting for its report, allowing a passenger to contest in an appellate body of the Civil Aviation Ministry and a court. Airlines just cannot follow a diktat from the Civil Aviation Minister. What seems to have irritated people on social media is how the rules were applied to Kamra when they have not been used against Goswami’s own news channel. His team members have historically boarded aircraft to harry passengers. There needs to be one rule for all. The Government needs to put its foot down and ban harassment of passengers onboard. Television cameras should not be allowed on aircraft and any channel or passenger who is found to be flouting the rules ought to be banned from flying.
The other reason for this is that flying is also an inherently dangerous mode of travel with terrorists finding civil aviation a juicy target. Had Kamra pulled his stunt in the US, he would have not only been on the “no-fly” list but also possibly inside Guantanamo Bay. While he is trying his darndest to become a martyr, the fact is that he knows exactly what he was doing. He should understand that he would have to pay a price. The Government, too, needs to know that it would be lionising him with its vengeance as he cries victimhood.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)