VIP culture

Published September 17, 2014
Screengrabs from the viral video
Screengrabs from the viral video

TAKEN as a principled stand, it must have felt good even if it wasn’t an earth-shattering victory. Taken as an indication of which way the wind is blowing, it has much deeper implications.

On Monday night, PIA flight PK370, supposed to take off at 7pm, was delayed after boarding.

Though the airline blamed technical issues, and later suspended two employees for “unnecessary delay”, passengers were given reason to believe that the aircraft was awaiting the arrival of some VIPs.

Also Read: Passengers expel Rehman Malik, PML-N MNA from flight over delay

This is just one part of the shameful VIP culture that exists in the country where public convenience is routinely sacrificed at the altar of the whims of the good and the great.

Over two hours later, the passengers’ anger had reached boiling point. When PPP politician Senator Rehman Malik, and PML-N MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, came on board, a hostile crowd refused to let them stay.

Video footage shot on mobile phones has since gone viral. It shows passengers in a temper.

There are cries of “shame shame”, but mainly there is a palpable sense of people goaded beyond their capacity. It is not about one instance alone, but — as one passenger puts it — a result of 68 years of “all this”.

Another calls to Mr Malik, “Come down to earth, sir.” What drives this resentment is obvious: over the decades, the privileged political and other classes have acquired a carapace of disdain towards the people in whose name they rule, hurting them not just through sins of omission but also of commission.

Also Read: PIA suspends staff over delay in take-off

Further, they are seen to operate with a preposterous sense of entitlement.

This, coupled with the lack of governance and people’s frustration, has created a situation that could turn ugly at any time. With calls for change in the capital these days, it is time the ruling classes looked inwards and started to improve their attitude.

It is their evident contempt for the citizenry that has created the constituency in which the desire for ‘something else’ is beginning to resonate.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2014

Opinion

Editorial

Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...
Security concerns
23 Jul, 2024

Security concerns

All stakeholders want what is best for the country and its people; their differing approaches shouldn’t be viewed with such suspicion all the time.
Frankfurt vandalism
23 Jul, 2024

Frankfurt vandalism

THE state needs to seek serious answers from the German authorities regarding the July 20 mob attack targeting...
Stressed cotton economy
23 Jul, 2024

Stressed cotton economy

DECREASING cotton production should be a worry for the government because of its socioeconomic implications. Early...