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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Fracas" at Trivandrum International Airport

This post will be told in pictures mostly. There was a scene at the Trivandrum International Airport on Saturday morning involving two, well-marinated gentlemen. One was a Malayalee, coming to town to attend a social event, and the other, his friend was a Palestinian. Before you start putting together stories about surreptitious terrorist plots by an evil Malayalee-Arab nexus, just relax. He was here as a tourist, accepting an invitation to be part of a function, and an opportunity to visit God's Own Country. Unfortunately, they consumed a little too much alcohol on the plane, and ended up creating a bit of a scene at the airport.

As you can see here, most of the action seems to have been picked up by the security cameras at the airport. Of course, the New Indian Express only chose to show you the pictures that they think matter. But, the two gents -- who I shall refer to as "the accused" from now on -- in the picture have been clearly identified by the caption "Madathil Reghu (in black jacket) trying to control Ahamed Mohammed from causing further unruly scenes at the airport." It's a little clearer in the following picture. I wanted to take a shot of the entire page because I wanted you to see how important this event seems to be to the paper. Mind you, the actual event transpired on Saturday, and here they are printing this stuff on Tuesday morning. There seems to be more than meets the eye here, eh?

The picture heading "Mr. Home Minister, Here's the proof you seek" is aimed at Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the Home and Tourism Minister of the State of Kerala. As the story goes, and as it is briefly mentioned in the article below, it seems that the "Hon'ble Minister" requested proof from the police regarding the details of this case because rumor has it that his son tried to interfere on behalf of the accused. Saying that these allegations were "baseless", Mr. Balakrishnan went on to add that they were false because his son was outside the country when the incident took place. Depending on how you look at it, it's a weak argument because there's no stopping people getting involved in this day and age. I mean, what with all the ways in which we can contact one another instantaneously. But again, there seems to be some plot underlying this incident for people to be making a big deal about it after a couple of days.

Here's the article regarding the incident, with a mugshot of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. According to the article, it seems that the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) who were involved in controlling the apparently "unruly" Mr. Mohammed, are taking up the case filed by the police in a big way. It seems that there are major differences between what was reported to the police, and the report they released when trying to defend their action of letting the two accused off the hook lightly. According to some reports, the CISF engaged in a session of fisticuffs with "the foreigner," as the paper calls him. No mention is made of what happened to the gentleman's shirt, but that was already gone a long, long time ago, eh? The next article, from The Hindu, gives a lot more details, and even provides us with the passport numbers of the accused. I suppose that's just in case we don't really know who they were talking about, eh?

After all is said and done, and after some sorely bruised egos and bodies, the aftermath seems quite simple. They're trying to make a huge issue out of this. They? The media. There's a definitely positive move to prove a point by making a big deal of this, or maybe even to derail the careers of those involved. Or, it could be to finally teach these "Dubai fellows" a lesson in etiquette and not forgetting the culture of the homeland just because you're filthy, stinking rich now. Whatever the case, it's a clumsy attempt by the media to make something out of nothing. I'm not saying people were not insulted and otherwise disrespected by the callously inebriated behaviour of the accused. I'm not even saying that they didn't create a scene. All I am saying is, that the manner in which this matter is being dealt with strikes me as suspicious. There seems to be some other motivation that has made things carry on for so long. I think, and this is my honest opinion, they're gunning for "the foreigner".

Last but not least, I suppose this should be a lesson to all those people who find themselves with the dubious distinction of having had some sort of falling out with the law, or the public, or even friends, all after consuming copious quantities of alcohol. Maybe, they're trying to turn this into some kind of lesson for the accused, and for anyone who has ever had a I'm-a-God-so-this-IS-my-country attitude when coming back home. Keeping an eye on this for more developments.

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