Dear jogger who bumped into British PM, thank fairies you ain’t an Indian

Like that character in ‘Haider’ who refused to enter his own house without being frisked, people here get nervous if traffic is not halted by VVIP movement

shantanu

Shantanu Datta | October 29, 2014



A small (by Indian standard) news caught my attention yesterday while surfing Google News. David Cameron 'shoved' in Leeds: I was just a jogger, says Dean Farley, as police launch security review, said the report on the website of the Independent, London.

If there are active thought bubbles in my head, as cartoon characters (in print) possess them in abundance, they must have gone on a hyperactive overdrive in the next few seconds: it took me a fraction to even recognise Cameron (footballer? Leeds player? oh wait, some actor? oopsie daisy! it’s the British PM; my bad, Mr Cameron); followed by sympathy for the poor victim (the jogger, not the PM); still followed by irritation that swiftly turned to anger imagining the high-handedness of the authorities; not true, as it turned out, and thus further followed by rage at how the jogger would have been treated by the security and intel agencies in India.

In India, let us be clear, very clear, that man – jogger, mugger or blogger – would not have made it even close to where the PM – or any ‘VVVVIP’ for that matter – was, let alone bump into him. And perchance that had happened, he would have been ‘interrogated’ so thoroughly by all sorts of officers that he would have given up for life jogging, mugging, blogging or whatever he was doing at THAT moment.

In any metropolitan city these days traffic diversions for VIP movement is so routine that people have stopped complaining. They don’t whine; instead, they hit out – at each other. There’s a nice word for it, too: road rage. We, of course, take no umbrage at the trigger for the obstacle race. Delhiites, more than anyone else in this country, have become immune. In fact, like that character in the film Haider who refused to enter his own house without being frisked, people here get nervous if the traffic movement is smooth.

So, do we respect our VIPs more than the British respect theirs? I don’t know. What I do know is Dean Ferley, the jogger who brushed into the British PM, would not post this on his Facebook wall, according to the Independent report, if he was an Indian: "So I'm all over the news as 'the protester that attacked David Cameron in Leeds'. Yeah if you call brushing into someone while running then getting assaulted by half a dozen coppers in suits attacking."

He would not be in a position to write, let alone smirk.

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