Days after the Kamra ban, Air India, IndiGo face the heat
Galatta | 04:52 PM
Chennai: IndiGo seems to be going through tough times after having forwent an inquiry to ban Kunal Kamra who made a video on flight, where he is seen giving a piece of his mind to Arnab Goswami, the majority owner of Republic TV. Now, more and more flyers of IndgiGo are turning up with placards showing dissent.
The whole issue began on January 28 after stand up comedian Kunal Kamra posted a video filmed on board the IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Lucknow, in which Republic TV owner Arnab Goswami was a fellow-passenger. Kunal films Arnab studiously ignoring his passionate diatribe in which he mentions Rohit Vemula among other things. For minutes, Arnab refuses to look up as Kunal goes on to ask if he was a nationalist, a journalist or a coward.
Within hours of this flight landing, IndiGo had put Kunal Kamra on the no-fly list for 6 months, citing his behaviour. Minister Hardeep Singh Puri appealed to all other airlines to follow suit. Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir immediately complied, though it was said that the laws did not warrant a fly ban unless the one facing the ban had displayed violent behaviour. The pilot of the flight in question also came forward as he was not consulted before the action was taken. A person may be banned from flying only after an inquiry with the staff, and only when the pilot makes a complaint against the flyer. Soon after this, a group of lawyers helped Kamra send a legal notice to IndiGo. There were incidents of passengers leaving notes or posters of dissent, in both IndiGo and Air India flights.
On Thursday, videos of two girls with "we support Kamra" posters on an IndiGo flight, with the hashtag #YouDivideWeMultiply, appeared on the social media. This came even as Air India confused another man named Kunal Kamra with the stand up comedian and cancelled his ticket. According to Times of India, a US-based insurance professional, named Kunal Kamra, had come for a high school reuion and had a booking with Air India's Jaipur-Mumbai flight. According to Air India's spokesperson, the NRI traveller's name was automatically rejected for issuance of a boarding card as the name had been flagged down. After a manual verification, the man was allowed to board.