Of late a lot has been written in the newspapers about former President Abdul Kalam being frisked by the Continental Airlines and being asked to take off his shoes. Most of the people feel that this is wrong. But somehow I don’t see this as something offensive. Mr. Kalam is a known face for the people here in India. He is a prominent figure in our country and majority including me respects him for all his achievements. But to expect that everyone around the world should know him equally well is like facing away from the reality.
The spokesperson of Continental Airlines made it clear that Mr. Kalam was very cooperative during the entire process of checking. Then why are these people shouting their lungs out when Mr. Kalam is nowhere to be heard?
But what happened raises a very important question which is that “Should VIPs be exempt from security checks?”
I believe the answer to this question should be a stern no. Because the people who are currently generating the clamor pertaining to this issue will be the first one’s to blame the government if at all and ever any unfortunate incident happens involving a VIP. In case of a crisis when VIPs are provided with special provisions over masses to make sure that they escape unscathed people are livid. Then what is so derogatory about a VIP being frisked for security. If they have to be made to feel like a VIP, then there can be separate areas for frisking VIPs but not to frisk them at all gets a big no. If this is about paying respect to the dignitaries of the country then it can be done in many ways other than allowing them to take things as serious as security of the masses for granted. An ordinary person from among the masses could be a threat to the people then why not a VIP?
Moreover our Government believes in the policy of ‘Once a VIP, always a VIP.’ Even some of the former VIPs are exempt from the security checks, which is again not acceptable. The VIPs get several other special provisions and I have no issues with that, but compromises are not be made on things as fundamental as security of the citizens. Often the important (apparently) people can be heard saying that they belong to the masses but when it actually comes to reaching out to the people they are held back by the weight of their VIP tags.