By Sanjana Sanghi:
This one bold act by a CISF woman constable at the Patna airport is symbolic. It has instantaneously deflated the bloated egos of politicians and ministers in this country, who believe that their VIP status exists largely to subvert rules and regulations.
A brief look into what exactly happened
Ram Kripal Yadav, Union Minister of State for Rural Development and Drinking Water was stopped from entering the Patna airport by a CISF constable. Yadav, along with his mini entourage, was to receive Bandaru Dattatreya, a ministerial colleague. Yadav chose to take the exit gate to enter the airport, as against the regular entry gate that was barely a few meters away. Yadav’s bubble that his ministerial position and surrounding paraphernalia was sufficient to circumvent any airport rules was popped when a dedicated CISF female constable stood firmly against such rule breakage. She decided to contact her higher authorities via the walkie to describe the happenings, and seek advice as to what to do.
On being questioned by the media, the CISF officer said, “If I would have let him go, I’d have been suspended.”
But let’s give the credit where it’s due. While Yadav did, very blatantly try and use his power to expedite the process of receiving his colleague, he did, however, make a rather mature public statement. “I was in a hurry, and made a mistake trying to enter from the exit gate. I did not argue with the officer, or say anything to her.”
A deeper look into the video footage suggests a certain sense of disbelief that over took Yadav on being stopped from entering, he didn’t however, create a scene and then went through the designated entry gate. Furthermore, he applauded the female official’s commitment to her duty and said, “When the lady official asked me to take another gate, I obeyed.”
This incident is a part of a larger picture
It makes us realize that amidst wide-scale corruption and inefficiency, there is a sizable number of dedicated, loyal and relentlessly hardworking administrative staff which truly constitutes the backbone of an otherwise tumultuous nation wherein breaches and violations are plenty. It makes us recognize their sheer diligence, well defined work ethic and single minded focus, possible only with adequate training and provisions of all the essential job comforts. It makes us all want to stop for a moment and salute them, for keeping us safe and sound, insulated from all the threats to security.
On the other hand, it reminds us of the acute arrogance of the political elite, and a disregard to regular rules to fasten their already simplified access. While this may be a small example of the several instances of political arrogance that have occurred in India’s history, it still is significant. Of several instances that suggest such conceit, the political outrage against Mamata Banerjee’s sheer ignorance or arrogance, that followed Sudipta Gupta’s death in West Bengal, led to an almost unstoppable mass protest by student groups and others. She cited Gupta’s death as a “small, petty accident” and that many of her “own Trinamool workers had died in the past”. The same Mamata Banerjee celebrated AAP’s win in Delhi as symbolic for “BJP’s arrogance and political vendetta being defeated”. Political arrogance in our country is not just one aspect of a larger web; amalgamated with hypocrisy, it is a full blown epidemic that rules the actions and decisions of every party in power, while they promise just the opposite in their electoral agendas and manifestos.
Therefore incidents such as these reignite our faith in a strong administrative system, as a source of positive hope for every Indian citizen to normalize and subdue an erupting volcano of power excesses and breach of rules.