Liam Corcoran enjoyed the secured hospitality of Air Travel!

Air travel then!

Air-Hostesses

There was a time when air travel was a nostalgia. Air Hostesses were made to look like a celestial representative sent to earth by Aer or Aether (the God of Air). Their costumes were not like house maid but at worst looked like a women army official. They used to hail from educated upper class society. She would speak with smile act with courtesy and move with dignity. Air Hostesses had fewer duties and many other staff to assist in menial duties.

Security

It was more of a formality than anything. Policemen carrying heavy guns was a scare enough. X-ray was all that was needed. Frisking was a matter of apology for the policeman, which he would carry on his face while frisking us.  Fewer people and fewer questions. Face reading was all to do for security. Any one who looked out-of-place was subjected to more severe scan.

food

The snacks or the food, which was prepared had no consideration like economy. Consideration was packing and to serve it hot. It was invariably fresh and not only from a 5 star hotel but was actually 5 star i.e. with the recipe endorsed by reputed chef. The purpose of serving the food was to provide an on board experience for taste buds, often a culinary delight. A Journey on the clouds duly pampered by the on board hospitality.

Air travel now!

It is an unavoidable nightmare. Rising fuel cost, too much competition, greed and above all insecurity on account of threat or terrorism has made air travel, a physical and mental torture at worst and an undesirable drill at best. Continue reading

Advertisements

Failed Generation, Solar Films and VIP’s

Short analysis of Supreme Court’s unreasonable decision to ban the use of solar films on cars in India.

It is very rare for judges to reach out of their Ivory Tower and express about the ground realities of life. In one such rare occasion, recently Supreme Court judge G S Singhvi speaking at a seminar observed:

“It is sad to say that my generation has failed the nation. In a country where 700 million people live below the poverty line, we tend to talk about justice. We talk about our fundamental rights being trampled upon but what about those people who do not get two square meals a day, have no right to education, shelter, clothing and other basic amenities. The country is divided into rural and urban and the idea about equality and fraternity needs to be pondered about and the entire process of development had taken place at the cost of rural people  ……….. I feel guilty when I read about equality and fraternity and think about the labourers and farmers who have made our lives comfortable and easy. The ‘jan sevaks’ (Public Servants) are fast becoming our masters, the first citizens followed by the rich and the poor only as third class citizens.”  (Source: http://m.timesofindia.com/Young-lawyers-facing-multiple-challenges-Supreme-Court-judge/articleshow/13112646.cms)

Constitutionalism in India means that people’s sovereignty is supreme and unlimited and the constituents of the state have limited powers.” (Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-26/nagpur/31100894_1_culture-guest-lecture-justa-causa)

The problem is that we all know about the failures. But what will take it to put into practice? What about the class called VIP’s? Who are they and why they are VIP’s? Problem is that only thing we see in focus is MONEY and DOMINATION. All we have to do is to do our own work diligently, even if some time, the reciprocation is not fair. It is not easy but practice can make anyone perfect. I will misquote Gandhi: ‘When you do something, remember the face of the poorest of poor’.

As regards the second part, it is another story. While Constitutionalism means Rule of law and not Fiats issued at Will; another decision of Supreme Court nearly rubs it on wrong way. Following direction has been given by Supreme Court:

We have no hesitation in holding that use of black films or any other material upon safety glass, windscreen and side windows is impermissible. In terms of Rule 100(2), 70 per cent and 50 per cent VLT standard are relatable to the manufacture of the safety glasses for the windshields (front and rear) and the side windows respectively. Use of films or any other material upon the windscreen or the side windows is impermissible in law. It is the VLT of the safety glass without any additional material being pasted upon the safety glasses which must conform with manufacture specifications. ….. The competent officer of the traffic police or any other authorized person shall challan such vehicles for violating Rules 92 and 100 of the Rules with effect from the specified date and thereupon shall also remove the black films from the offending vehicles. (Full judgment is here.)

The supreme court of india. Taken about 170 m ...

The supreme court of India. Taken about 170 m from the main building outside the perimeter wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By one stroke of pen, an entire industry has been struck off. I wonder if they were a party to it. If not then it is violative of principles of natural justice. It beyond logical comprehension that if Manufacturer does not apply tinted glasses, I can not apply solar film to it? Off course it must meet statutory standard. Merely because law enforcement agency do not have technical equipment, all films are to be removed. By same logic why not every person be kept in lock and key at night as most crimes are committed at night. Curfew will be even better. Passes can be issued to VIP’s to wander at night, under Rules. Yes ban the liquor/Alcohol. A large number crime are committed under its influence. Licenses can be issued to VIP’s for that as well.

Judgment relies upon the practice of not using films in countries where the maximum temperature never exceeds 25 degrees. Here it touches 48 degrees centigrade every summer. In fact the word ‘weather’ does not even occurs in the judgment. The very basis of applying solar films is missing. Thus the judgment shall be hit by Wednesbury’s arbitrariness as it excludes an important and relevant fact from consideration while deciding an issue and therefore is not a reasonable judgment. Those interested in full judgment of Wednesbury’s case, can find it here. Some other arguments have been raised by another Gentleman here and therefore are not repeated.

Another legal issue is that this order has been passed under article 32 of Constitution and is purported to enforce article 21  of Constitution in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). Article 21 guarantees right to life to every citizen. If today a Habeas Corpus petition is filed in Supreme Court saying that life of a girl is in danger, Supreme Court will not entertain that petition and ask the party to go to respective High Court. Was solar film matter so important that Supreme Court could not have waited for the opinion of High Courts?

Now a days, if there is a stray cow sitting upon a pavement, people joke that it has a stay order from Supreme Court or High Court in a PIL on animal rights. So much for PIL fiats.

P.S.: As for me, I have tinted glasses in my car. I never needed solar film, but now I think I will have black curtains and would have a feel of a VIP. Is there any rule against curtains?

© Sandeep Bhalla

War Crimes

Recently India’s voted against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council and  voted for a US-backed resolution urging Sri Lanka to probe rights abuses in the war on the Tamil Tigers.

Sri Lanka expressed outrage after the resolution won majority support at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. The UNHRC adopted the resolution with 24 votes in favour, 15 against and eight abstentions. The Daily News said: “Only one vote majority for resolution; 24 say ‘yes’, 23 decline to support”. (Extracted from http://m.timesofindia.com/world/south:-asia/War-crimes-India-voting-for-UN-resolution-grabs-headlines-in-Lanka-dailies/articleshow/12378654.cms)

Wars have a nasty effect on population. Wars are fought by people/soldiers who are trained to be insensitive to human life. It is a paradox that after teaching insensitivity we expect them to  be sensitive to civilian population. More so in a war which is fought on racist lines. Every far fought on racist lines had highest casualties of civilians and the efforts of its hush up.  However it can not be denied that every country has skeletons in its cupboards as far as human rights are concerned. The secrets of abuse of human rights lies buried in its population, judges, lawyers and of course police who turn to look at other places when human rights are violated in the name of national interest in a war against terrorism. It is unfortunate that with all the superficial technology we could not find any alternative to actually co-exist peacefully. Shame shame to all of us.