Author & poet stands up for comedian
Delhi-based poet, author and academic Sujata “went viral” on Saturday, a day after she tweeted a photograph of herself with a placard decrying IndiGo over the ban on stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra, who had heckled Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami in a plane.
“Travelling to Ranchi with IndiGo,” she wrote in the caption, with a winking smiley.
The picture showed her with a placard pinned to her stole that read: “I stand with Kunal Kamra. Dear IndiGo, listen to your captain. Read his e-mail.”
The picture was taken moments before she boarded the flight to Ranchi to take part in the Jharkhand Literary Meet, she said.
In the placard, she was referring to IndiGo pilot Rohit Mateti who had stood up for Kamra and written an email to the airline’s management about his disappointment with the decision to ban the comedian.
Mateti was flying the plane in which Kamra had confronted Goswami.
“I was scheduled to board an IndiGo flight to Ranchi to attend the Jharkhand Lit Meet on Friday evening and consciously decided to write this placard and attached it to my stole with safety pins,” Sujata, who does not use a surname, told The Telegraph on Saturday.
“The flight was delayed for nearly an hour at the Delhi airport due to some technical issues and the placard was there with me throughout the journey. Though nobody objected to me wearing the placard, but I could spot people staring at me,” said Sujata, whose Twitter handle has been flooded with praise for showing the courage to take a stand.
She said the airline had acted in haste.
Sujata also told The Telegraph that she had visited Shaheen Bagh on December 31 to express solidarity with the protesters against the new citizenship matrix.
She left Ranchi for Delhi on Saturday evening, again on an IndiGo flight, but decided against flaunting the placard this time.
“The tweet has gone viral and so many people have appreciated it. I only wanted to make a statement and I think I succeeded. I decided not to wear the placard on my return journey to Delhi because I do not want unnecessary controversy,” Sujata said.
Four airlines have banned Kamra from flying with them for confronting Goswami onboard an IndiGo plane last month.
While SpiceJet, Air India and GoAir have banned Kamra “till further notice”, IndiGo has suspended Kamra from flying with it for six months.
Many people have pointed out that the ban is abitrary and did not follow due process.