Monday, August 17, 2009

Blue Blues are Not Just Blue

Another Indian celebrity visits the US.. Another airport detention..another media circus. Somehow some people never tire fuming about how their favourite celebrity was once again humiliated and some others never tire idolizing the impartial and 'extreme'ly committed spirit of the men in blue.

I am definitely no great fan of SRk but I deinitely tend to look at this incident as another one of those unexplainable unjustifiable acts by the TSA. Let me first narrate a perosnal experience with the border patrol guards in the USA. I and a bunch of friends happened to be travelling near the Mexican border without any photo identity or documents to prove that we were legal immigrants in the country. As luck would have it, we were stopped and questioned by the border patrol and were detained for about two hours until they could completely verify our identities and our stories. I had no complaints against the border patrol then. I knew they were only doing their job.

I would not be complaining against them now if they had just pulled SRK out of line to verify his identity and let him go. The tricky part to gloss over is the fact that he was detained for two hours inspite of having all his documents in order, with ample proofs of his identity and his purpose of visit and without any apparent provocation. I am at a loss to understand why common people fail to have self respect enough to see that this was not an incident of common protocol.
Here is a frequent visitor of the US, claiming to be famous in his country. Is the claim so difficult to check that the Indian consulate needs to intervene to secure his release???

In my opinion, this was clearly not an incident of purely obssessive security measures. The official in question could have had any number of motives. He could have been one of those naive americans set out to teach the world who is boss...or he coild have an aversion to the growing Asian population in his country..or he could have just have left home after an argument with his wife.

In the end it just boils down to flouting of power which is a common probem worldwide. Only, the classes of affected people are different in different places. Although SRk would never have been detained or questioned in India, how many Indians feel as strongly about the numerous poeple among the low income groups in India being harassed by the Indian police for no valid reasons. Much like most other problems in today's world, we never try to resolve problems at grass-root levels and talk about meaningless isolated incidents. Why do such incidents occur? What is the pattern among all such isolated incidents? Even if we identify the problem, is there a solution?


Vacha said...

There may be more than one sides to this story: for eg, SRK having behaved in a bad way - throwing tantrums - which may never come out?

Things like this get noticed when it happens to famous people. Given that border control always has a human element in it, its unpredictable - Recently, A canadian woman visiting her mother in Kenya was refused entry to Canada, and Canada was encouraging Kenya to prosecute for possessing fake papers, since her photo did not resemble her!

After two weeks in detention, a DNA test linked her to her son in Canada - and she was allowed to enter..

Vacha said...