“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” was one of the commandment as spelt out by Squealer in the Animal Farm. Through this Dystopian novel, George Orwell, succintly highlighted the unequal world that we exist in.
Every Indian is subjected to the ‘more equal’ maxim numerous times in the day, from the place that he/she has to live in, to how commuting is done, to what amenities are available. There are basically three classes of people in India, the Upper Class, the Power Class and finally the Other Class. It is only the first two classes that have rights, the Others are burdened with duties. In every action, at every sphere, this class difference is discernible; at times it might be overt and at time, covert.
During one of my travels, I came across one instance of such inequality. At the Kolkata Airport, the CISF had put up a board before the security check, listing out the names of dignitaries that were exempted from frisking and could directly board an aircraft, not needing any security check.
Post 9/11, air travel have become quite pain for commoners like me, have to reach the airport at least an hour early, carry no liquids, no cans, nothing, remove laptops and place them on the tray, etc. But these 22 people or rather 22 class of people need not submit to such incongruities, they are the creme-de-la-creme of India.
On seeing the list, I had jotted down the names and am listing them out here. Find out for yourself, who the 22 ‘more equal’ Indians are.
P.S. Number 22 was quite an interesting addition.
Posting the notice verbatim:
List of VVIP/VIPS exempt from pre-embarking security checks at all civilian airports.
2. Vice President
3. Prime Minister
4. Former President
5. Speaker of Lok Sabha
6. Chief justice of India
7. Judges of Supreme Court
8. Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
9. Union ministers of Cabinet Rank
10. Dy. Chairman of Rajya Sabha and Dy. Speaker of Lok Sabha
11. Governor of States
12. Chief Ministers of States
13. Chief Justices of High courts
14. Lt. Governor of Union Territories
15. Chief Minister of Union Territories
16. Ambassadors of Foreign Countries/Charge D’affairs and High Commissioner and their spouses
17. Cabinet Secretary
18. Visiting Foreign dignitaries of the same states as at SL No 1 to 3,5,6,9 & 11 above.
19. Chief of Army/Navy/Air force
20. H. Holiness Dali Lama
21. SPG protectors
22. Shri Robart Vadra while travelling with SPG Protectors
It is reiterated that except the categories specified above all other categories of passengers travelling by air through the civilian airports in the country are to be subjected to pre-embarkation security checks without making any exception in any particular case.