34-year-old Shankar Mishra was arrested by Delhi police, who became infamous for urinating on a co-passenger in New York to Delhi flight.
Initially, Air India crew did not take the matter too seriously as Mishra walked away when the flight landed. People started to wonder that who was this person who got drunk, urinated on co-passenger and still crew forced to resolve matter.
No one would’ve come to know of this incident in November last year, if it were not for this complaint letter to Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran. Even then, only 30-day flying ban was imposed, which took Kunal Kamra by surprise, who was banned for 6 months when he confronted Arnab Goswami on flight.
But, after much public outrage, things changed – police filed FIR, lookout circular issued and Mishra was fired from his company.
Questions were also being raised on the crew. As a result, airline has de-rostered 4 cabin crew members, 1 pilot, as they should have handled the situation more professionally. In an another news, a drunk man urinated on woman’s blanket on another flight from Paris to Delhi. The man deserved punishment but he also walked off after a written apology.
Many wonder how can one educated professional act like this! And, how come Air India crew let go of the matter so easily – is it a common occurrence? Is normalising peeing in open leading to these fiascos and the reason behind the casual attitude?
Open defecation and urination are both real problems, and that is why, govt. has tried to find solution by various schemes. It is true that many efforts were made to make country open defecation free – in fact, in October 2019, PM declared country open defecation free.
There’s no doubt that open defecation has stopped to a large extent, but WHO and UNICEF also claim in a report that 15% still defecate in open, and open urination is common, which is often portrayed in cinema.
For example – Our ‘perfectionist’ Amir Khan in the movie PK (2014) urinates on the wall, and in Rang de Basanti (2006) amidst the bushes, and in fact, in a bottle, inside the truck in the movie Mela (2000).
It is actually a nice idea for airlines – hand these bottles to passengers for quick relief if they can’t make it to toilet.
If Swachh Bharat Mission is to succeed, then Bollywood has to stop normalising peeing in open. It usually happens to anyone in the swimming pool, but what about control?
There is generally the attitude of open zip and letting go. There is a dialogue in the movie Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011), “Guys are brave as lions. Do lions pee in the toilet? No. The lions pee in the open air under the blue sky. Anywhere they want. Stop it if you can.” It’s not like Bollywood always normalized peeing in open – in 3 Idiots (2009) it gave you a shock! In fact, our Akshay (Canada) Kumar has explained to have control over drinks to have control over urination! (slow claps)
But, Shankar Mishra took no heed, and thought that his co-passenger was a commode. And, Mishra is not the first to pee on a person. In Udta Punjab (2016), Shahid Kapoor’s character peed on whole audience. But these are actors – politicians also do the same thing, for example, Maharashtra minister Ram Shinde made headlines for peeing on roadside.
What can one do when politics gave added pressure? In 2016, Rajasthan minister Kali Charan Saraf was pictured peeing in open; at that time Swachh Bharat Mission was in limelight, yet this act. In 2017, then union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh peed in open near NH-28. Security was tight even while he was peeing. (LOL)
When ministers don’t take Swachh Bharat Mission seriously, then how can public? This peeing anywhere anytime must stop. There are and should be limitations. In the film Lajja (2001), the dialogue by Madhuri Dixit was – Men urinate anywhere I tell you. It’s right though – I mean how many times have you seen actress peeing in open? If a woman pees in open it may be due to emergency and after pondering upon it over and over.
First, we have to change our thinking, otherwise anyone will be peeing on our dignity anywhere. As far as Air India crew is concerned, who knows, these kind of incidents may have happened before, but we expect better from Tata sons. If, this happens again, the crew should say what Paresh Rawal said in Aan: Men at work (2004), “This is police station not your father in law’s house – now who will clean it up?”
Imagine, if Shankar Mishra had to clean up, then he would think twice and he’d sober right away. Moreover, Air India’s remaining reputation could be saved. Our country is in race with superpowers, and Air India is a symbol of our nation, so we must change our thinking and old ways.
Clean your head and stop urinating in open. One foot in past, another in future and we take a leak on present! Next you board a flight, make sure to keep your pants on and limit your drinking.
(Images from different sources)
Mahabahu.com is an Online Magazine with collection of premium Assamese and English articles and posts with cultural base and modern thinking. You can send your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com ( For Assamese article, Unicode font is necessary)