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Leaders in a democracy (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper II)

An 83-second video clip captured Ravindra Gaekwad, a Shiv Sena MP, who assaulted Air India personnel on Flight at Delhi’s Indra Gandhi International Airport after an argument over seating arrangements.

What had happened?
R. Sukumar, a 60-year-old contractual employee who asked the legislator to de-board the flight so that it could be cleaned. Sukumar was beaten by Gaekwad and nearly thrown off the plane.

Gaekwad was among 11 Shiv Sena MPs who force-fed a chapati to a fasting Muslim catering supervisor at the new Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi in July, 2014, over their disappointment with the catering.

Action against the MP
There have been immediate consequences to the MP’s actions — he has been prevented from flying with Air India and members of the Federation of Indian Airlines as an “exemplary action” to “protect employee morale and public safety”.

That a fear of being secretly recorded is required for public servants to realise that they are, in fact, of the people and not above them, speaks of declining standards of conduct in public life.



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