Mumbai. An Air India flight had to make an emergency landing after a group of deeply religious persons started fighting minutes after the flight took off without any trouble.
“Each member of the group was claiming that the flight took off safely because he prayed to the god or the prophet of his own religion,” said the 56-year-old air hostess of the Chennai bound flight.
Passengers recall that everything was going fine, with the incoming flight landing at time, boarding announced on time, and finally a take-off without any delay. However things turned ugly when a passenger thanked “Bajrangbali” for the safe take-off.
“This guy was muttering Hanuman Chalisa as soon as the airplane started taxiing,” a passenger seated next to one of the “fighters” recalled the turn of events, “His voice became louder as the plane ran faster. He fastened himself to the seat with both the hands, and finally closed his eyes when the plane left ground.”
Once the airplane was in air and stable, the unidentified man claimed, “Bajrangbali ne bacha liya (Lord Hanuman saved me)!” However, this was soon disputed by the man seated in the back row, who claimed that the safe take off was a result of him reading some verses in the praise of Allah.
“Barso se travel kar rahe hain, ek baar bhi dua fail nahi hui (I’ve been traveling for years, and this dua has worked every time)!” the man on the back seat explained the secret of the safe take-off.
This led to a sparring between the two as the Hanuman devotee claimed that he too was a frequent flyer and Lord Hanuman knew a thing or two more about flying when compared to other gods.
Sources tell Faking News that the dispute might have ended then and there, but some people objected to the Hanuman devotee’s behavior, accusing him of being communal and anti-minority.
“Maybe both of them were just joking, but things took serious turn when a guy started preaching about secularism and how communalism was shredding the secular fabric of India,” alleged one of the passengers who keenly followed the religious fight.
The secular preaching was followed by even more stupid religious claims and counter claims between the sparring Hindu and Muslim passengers. Soon a Christian joining the debate and claiming that it was his God who was controlling everything, including the plane’s engine.
One person tried to cool down the tempers by joking about “Pilot Parmeshwar” and “Nitrogen Baba” being responsible for the safe take-off of the plane, but he was asked to shut up and mind his own business by the warriors.
Within minutes, the verbal bickering turned into physical scuffle as people started hitting each other to prove the superiority of their religion. A crew member was also injured in the scuffle.
“Last time I was injured when the pilot and the co-pilot had a fight, but this was worse,” the injured crew member explained why the flight had to make an emergency landing.
Later, all the warring religious persons were offloaded and handed over to the ground security while the flight took off again, this time without anyone praying for a safe take-off. The flight took off safely, sources confirm.
“Saala hum log ladte rah gaye, flight miss ho gayi, aur woh secular banda toh aaram se ud gaya sab maze le ke (we fought, missed the flight, while that secular dude is traveling without any problem after enjoying everything)!” one of the grounded fighters later realized.
(originally written for and published in English daily DNA)