Sunday, November 08, 2015

He had forgotten to bring an 'important' item!

'Sir, We are already late. We must take off right away,' hurried the airplane captain.

'Wait yaar!' admonished the usual 2% politician and minister. He was seriously in trouble. He had realized that he had forgotten to bring a very very important thing before his maiden foreign trip. He immediately packed off some of his supporters and asked them to go and get it.Till that 'stuff' was found in Delhi markets in the middle of the night and brought back on board, the plane on which he was to travel could not take off. All were left in a huff and puff.

What was that important stuff that the minister had forgotten to bring along with him?

Medicines??? Important diplomatic documents?? Good try.  No. That's not the right answer.

GUTKA  (Tobacco, Areca nut, Lime etc. mixture. Chewed widely in India).

And the minister was?

Drum roll.................

Sharad Yadav, then the civil aviation minister.

This incident happened in 1999. Sharad Yadav was the civil aviation minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee' cabinet. Then IC-814 airplane hijacking happened. After stopping in Amritsar, Lahore etc. the plane finally landed at Dubai. Some passengers, mainly seniors, women and children, were freed.

The freed passengers would have returned on their own, with or without government help. But, such situations are tailor-made for politicians to get mileage. Who was better positioned than the then civil aviation minister Sharad Yadav to get such mileage? He relentlessly pestered Vajpayee and got his approval to go on the special plane which was being sent to Dubai to bring home the freed passengers. Vajpayee was dealing with one of the worst crisis of his entire political career and he had to get rid of this pestering creature. So, he said, 'aap jaake leke aao! You go and get our people,' and focused on the negotiations to free the remaining hostages.

Time was of essence. Freed passengers wanted to get back home immediately. Understandable. But, the delay from government of India.

First, Sharad Yadav did not have a passport at all. Go figure! He did not even realize, till he was about board the plane, that one was needed before he could go to Dubai or anywhere. What to do? The whole government machinery was tasked with preparing a passport for this man on war footing. Excellent use of taxpayers' money! People ran like crazy. Multiple sorties were made between Delhi and Bihar to get the necessary documents and somehow a passport was made for the minister. Still it took close to 24 hours and that was the first delay. Freed passengers were being roasted in Dubai heat. As such UAE did not want to get involved at all. Only reason they even allowed the plane to land was USA put pressure after India asked USA intervene when diplomatic exchange between India and UAE did not yield results favorable to India.

After all this 'tamasha', when Sharad Yadav ji had boarded the plane and plane was ready to take off, he remembered that he had run out of his favorite GUTKA. One can do without food or drinks but GUTKA? No chance. So, the plane was stopped, some of his men took off to Delhi markets, found his brand of Gutka in the middle of the night and brought it on board. Only then the plane could take off. And the people who had gone through the nightmare of hijacking were waiting and waiting in Dubai without much help from anyone. This delay had added to their nightmare.

Sharad Yadav's buffoonery did not end here. When he landed at Duabi, papers were not in order. Dubai authorities were not ready to hand over passengers or the dead body of one killed passenger. Despite being a cabinet minister, he could not do anything and was treated like any other commoner, rightfully so. What difference it makes if you don't have commonsense to come prepared? Once again Vajpayee, US government had to weigh in on UAE government to make some concessions and let the passengers and this minister take off.

What a joke! What an inept politician! GUTKA GUTKA.....

Now that the Grand alliance has won the election in Bihar and the same Sharad Yadav, as the president of JD(U), is in full media focus. In full form. Getting a lot of exposure and mileage. Saw his picture appear so many times on my news feed, news etc. That's when I remembered this epic GUTKA episode.

Bihar has not hit the rock bottom yet. Only then there will be any change.

Source: IC-814 Hijacked! by Anil K. Jaggia and Saurabh Shukla

Copied from my Facebook status.


sunaath said...

Very depressing. Will India ever become a nation of sensitive citizens?
This man has showed his `wisdom' in parliament also when he said something derogatory about women. (My memory is not good enough.) Thanks for a fast post.

Mahesh Hegade said...

Well said, Sunaath sir.