Identified for its overgenerous and luxurious existence during the pre-historic days, India was associated with Maharajas and Nawabs that ruled the land with extravagance. The profligate structures and sumptuous glories that belonged to the ruling elite brought India the name “Golden Sparrow”. Times have changed, the mindset has not.
Azam Khan, a senior Samajwadi Party Minister from Uttar Pradesh was infuriated after he was frisked, (barely for 10 minutes) in addition to the regular check up at the Boston International Airport recently. The storm in a tea cup kicked up by him need not prove the point that a VIP status in India holds no value anywhere else, much less in USA. Our leaders with inflated egos still have long way to go before shedding the hangover of always being counted upon as important persons.
Azam Khan along with the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav was on a visit to Harvard University to deliver a lecture on how the state government effectively organized the Mahakumbh Mela.
Boston is still just recovering from the bombings and the police is deploying all measures to tighten up security measures. Khan has clearly blown the frisking out of proportion and thoughtlessly colored it with racial and religious profiling.
Azam Khan episode aside, it is also a truth that US authorities have behaved irresponsibly in cases such as in frisking, APJ Abdul Kalam, a former president of India.
Former defence minister George Fernandes faced the ignominy of being strip-searched twice. Indian diplomat to Washington, Meera Shankar has not been spared either.
While others have swallowed their pride to abide by the strict laws, Azam Khan recently created a ruckus at the Indira Gandhi International Airport by getting involved in a scuffle with security personal because they prevented Munawwar Salim a Samajwadi Party member and a Rajya Sabha MP from entering the VVIP lounge, which was against protocol.
Khans antics don’t end there. Recently a FIR was also lodged against him for not just reprimanding a coach attendant of Punjab Mail, who failed to arrange for a bed in the compartment reserved for the honorable minister, but took him to task by making him do 50 sit ups as punishment for the offence.
Azam Khan sure must have learnt the hard way a VIP status in Indian democracy loses any meaning before a security line check-up in America, where one is stripped of statuses in order to abide by the law.