A Telugu woman, who was seated in the emergency exit row on a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo flight, was allegedly forced to change her seat as she “could not understand English and Hindi". As the matter was shared by another passenger on social media that sparked a debate, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao on Sunday requested the airline to start respecting local languages and suggested recruiting more staff members who can speak the local languages like Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada.
Taking to Twitter, the minister said, “Dear @IndiGo6E Management, I request you to start respecting local languages & passengers who may not be well conversant in English or Hindi. In regional routes, recruit more staff who can speak the local language like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada etc. This will be a win-win solution."
Dear @IndiGo6E Management, I request you to start respecting local languages & passengers who may not be well conversant in English or HindiIn regional routes, recruit more staff who can speak the local language like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada etc. This will be a win-win solution https://t.co/GbJGi5nl0W
— KTR (@KTRTRS) September 18, 2022
The incident caught the minister’s attention when Devasmita Chakraverty, assistant professor at IIM Ahmedabad, reported the matter on Twitter.
“Indigo 6E 7297. Vijayawada (AP) to Hyderabad (Telangana), Sept 16-2022. The woman in green originally sitting in 2A (XL seat, exit row) was forced to seat 3C because she understood only Telugu, not English/Hindi. The attendant said it’s a security issue," Chakraverty tweeted.
“Flight from AP to Telangana has no instructions in Telugu, attendant said it’s a safety issue that she doesn’t understand English/Hindi. If unhappy, we (not she) should complain. No dignity, non-Hindi treated as second class citizens in their own state #hindiimposition,” she said in another tweet.
The professor further said technology can solve this problem, but not when the intent is lacking. “#Emirates from Dubai to Kolkata plays instructions in #English and #Bangla. Shame that @IndiGo6E and other Indian airlines won’t do it. #stophindiimposition Technology can solve this problem, but not when the intent is lacking,” she tweeted.