British Raj returns? Air India starts religious profiling of meals
By Mumtaz Alam, IndiaTomorrow.net,
New Delhi, 10 Nov 2014: Coming Friday evening, former chief justice of Delhi High Court Rajindar Sachar will be flying in a Delhi-Kolkata flight of Air India. On board the flight no. AI-764, Justice Sachar will be served ‘Muslim meal’ by the state-run airliner. Has he chosen for a Muslim meal? No. He had chosen non-vegetarian meal option when he booked the ‘Z’ class (business class) ticket online on 10th October. But when he got a printout of the ticket he was utterly surprised, rather very angry. The airline had counted his choice of non-vegetarian meal as ‘Moslem Meal’ and this was clearly displayed on his ticket under Meal Request section.
The eminent citizen of the country and author of famed Sachar Report is sad that civil aviation ministry has not apologized, nor bothered to explain even 20 days after he wrote to them. In an exclusive video interview with IndiaTomorrow.net, he sees a conspiracy to divide an already volatile society of plural India as did the British Raj do.
For Air India, non-veg food is Muslim meal
“I have been flying for years – in fact I travel almost every month. Earlier your choice of meal was not printed on your ticket or if sometimes it did it was written ‘non-veg’ because I am non-vegetarian. I booked a ticket a few weeks back. On the ticket it was written ‘Moslem Meal’ under Meal Request section. I was very angry to see that. What does it mean? Why did they describe non-veg as Muslim meal?” asks angry Sachar.
“This would happen before Independence when Britishers would do such things like Hindu meal and Muslim meal. I do remember that after Independence it continued for a short time until it was noticed. Then special orders were issued to stop such classification and it has since ceased. It is not in practice here or in international flights. Everywhere they say veg or non-veg.”
“When beef or pork are not served on flights then what is the meaning of religious classification of meal. Nothing can be dirtier than this,” says he adding sadly that despite his letter and reports in media, the government has not yet clarified. Justice Sachar, who is also leader of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), has warned to take the issue to the court if he did not get reply from the government.
“I wrote to the civil aviation minister but 15-20 days have passed I have got no answer. More interestingly, this has been published in media, yet government is not giving any explanation. If they didn’t respond, PUCL will take the issue to court,” he warned.
Author of the Sachar Report, said to be first official study on social and economic condition of Muslims in Independent India, sees saffron hand behind the government airline classifying non-veg as Muslim meal.
“They are deliberately spreading such things as Hindu and Muslims do not mingle and do not eat together etc. Talking about divisive and communal politics openly is against laws. Muslims are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Similarly, Hindus are also vegetarian and non-vegetarian.”
Scan copy of Air India ticket of Rajindar Sachar
“There are many Muslims who are vegetarian and many Hindus are non-vegetarian. So why are they terming non-veg meal as Muslim meal? This is unfair. This is deliberate, open mischievous propaganda of RSS which is being run by the government. The government may say they have nothing to do with it but when the minister didn’t respond to my letter and media reports on the issue, it means it is a familiar satanic tactic,” says Justice Sachar.