It was on Tuesday that a video of a stewardess sleeping mid-flight was posted by a Gulf Malayali KM Basheer on Facebook. Basheer also happens to be the chairman of the Malabar Development Forum. As soon as the video surfaced on his timeline on Facebook, he drew severe criticism from all quarters for intruding into the privacy of a woman without her permission and posting the video on social media.
The video shows a stewardess sleeping at her seat in the course of a Sharjah- Kozhikode Air India (AI) flight on 27 March this year. According to his Facebook post, Basheer had filed a complaint -based on this video- with AI in March itself, mentioning that stewardesses are not supposed to sleep while on duty.
When he realized that the AI authorities had no intention on acting upon the same, he put out the âincriminatingâ video on Facebook in the first week of July along with the copy of the letter he had sent to the AI CMD whom he had tagged in the said post.
Speaking to The News Minute, Basheer says that maybe because the post was in English, it did not initially garner much attention. So on Tuesday, he reposted the same on Facebook, but this time in Malayalam. Not only did he get all the attention he was looking for, but much more than that, with a barrage of criticism following suit.
Meanwhile, the said stewardess who hails from Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram filed a complaint at the Nadakkavu police station in Kozhikode on 16 August against one Saleem for shooting the said video without her permission.
According to police sources, Saleem apparently was a difficult passenger on the same flight with whom she was involved in a verbal altercation. Police say, the lady may have mistakenly assumed him to be the one who put out the video.
The case was transferred to the Karipur police station as the airport fell within its jurisdiction. The resulting time-lag saw the police brief the local media only on Monday about such a case being filed.
Basheer however maintains that though he was aware of such a case being filed through his own sources, he decided to put out the video once again, only because it had failed to elicit the desired response from the authorities concerned.
He goes on to add that the police cannot charge him with anything, as he had photographed the lady in mid-air and not in the privacy of her bedroom. âStewardesses cannot just go off to sleep; they are supposed to be vigilant through the entire course of the flight,â he reiterates.
âMy intention to publicize the issue on social media was just to invite the attention of the airline management, as the safety of the travelling public had been compromised. An emergency situation could arise any time, without any prior warning. In the light of the recent hijacking incidents, the cabin-crew are supposed to keep a surveillance of the passengers on board, and should be always on the lookout for any abnormal behaviour on their part,â Basheer had written in his post.
Though the video was shared more than a hundred times online, almost all the comments it drew, targeted Basheer for insulting a woman in public, with quite a few terming it a mere publicity stunt.
Here are a few of the responses received in this regard:
âThey are also humans, not machines. Why did you peep into her cabin?â
âThis is sheer atrocity against a woman. She was filmed while she was resting in her cabin. Without even blurring the face, she was exposed on social media, thereby insulting her in public.â
âYou are a total failure, Basheer. Publicly insulting a woman does not reflect how smart you are, instead just goes to show your cheapness.â
Surprisingly a majority of these critical comments were made from âmaleâ Facebook profiles.