Hours after stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra’s video persuading senior journalist Arnab Goswami to respond to his questions went viral, three of the leading national carriers gave a shock of sorts to Kunal. Alleging Kunal for heckling Arnab Goswami aboard a Mumbai-Lucknow plane of the private airline, IndiGo, Air India and Jet Airlines announced that they are suspending comedian Kunal Kamra from travelling on any of its flights for the next six months. Taking to the official social media handles, Indigo Airlines confirmed the same and urged the passengers to refrain from indulging in personal slander whilst onboard.
@MoCA_GoI @HardeepSPuri In light of the recent incident on board 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow, we wish to inform that we are suspending Mr. Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for a period of six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour. 1/2
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) January 28, 2020
Though the airline refused to reveal if there was any complaint registered against Kunal, the fact that the airline not referring to the regulatory rule it followed for the six-month ban sparked criticism from the netizens. Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri also condemned Kunal’s behaviour stating it as “unacceptable & endangers the safety of air travellers.” In a shocking move, he also stated that the ministry will advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned.
The 1.51-minute video shows Goswami, the editor of news channel Republic TV, in sunglasses sitting inside the aircraft, his ears plugged with earphones. Kunal while he tried to get Arnab to respond in a way reminiscent of a Republic TV debate. Not only did the famous moderator allegedly called Kunal a mentally unstable person but refused to respond to the questions darted by the latter. Known to be one of the staunch right-wing BJP supporters, Arnab in the video was seen turning a deaf ear to Kunal’s questions over Rohit Vemula’s issue. Calling Arnab a coward, Kunal was seen constantly persuading Arnab to reply. However, the Chief of Republic TV chose to remain silent with his earphones plugged in which not only irked Kunal but the netizens who came across the video.