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Aug 29, 2010

Long Live our Merciful Maaliks!! Thank you for the MRPs!!

I can't tell you how relieved I feel that now our "Maaliks " have finally decided to let us have machine readable passports (MRPs). The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had made it mandatory for all countries to introduce MRPs by April 1, 2010 owing to valid security concerns of many countries.And guess what? It had notified all the member countries of its decision 10 years ago. But our "Maaliks" thought who the heck is ICAO to order us around and infringe on our sovereignty and besides ICAO forgot to allocate some economic incentives for our "Maaliks".

So, as it was bound to happen, we missed the deadline of April 1 and ICAO sent another notification. "Maaliks" decided to play it along and asked for the extension of deadline up to 1st August. And missed it again and asked once again for an extension. Luckily, ICAO didn't lose its temper and extended the deadline once again up to 1st December 2010. As everyone knows "Sujata Maalikni" and "Madhav Kumar Maalik" were the main proponents of this fun game with ICAO. Sujata Maalikni had devised an ingenious way of making some money for her by letting India print all the passports. However, other Maaliks and public failed to show any appreciation for her ingenuity and didn't let her get her way. Maalikni was so upset with our insensitivity that she tried her best to hamper this process of ceding to ICAO. And Madhav Maalik tried his best to support her.

In the meanwhile, we were facing many hardships while traveling out of the country. For some period none of us were granted any passports (even the old ones) as they became unusable and many of us had to forgo our job opportunities in foreign countries , after that when Maaliks decided to let us have older model passports, the queues of people applying for it got longer than the queues for "Sim Card" or even longer than "KFC queues" for that matter and some lucky ones who already had passports , like Dr. Ramesh Khatry were facing public embarrassments in foreigner's lands. I later understood why the man at the Hong Kong airport gave me an irritated look when I showed him my passport with handwritten details.

But now we no more need to worry as our Maaliks have become merciful and finally decided to let us have the passports. Some French company is printing them for us , they say. I wonder what measure of incentive did our Maaliks devised finally so that to think it's okay for us to have MRPs. A pen-friend of mine  from abroad says that "we should be free to live and work anywhere in the world without restriction.It's our right. No government should be allowed to infringe on this right" but I don't believe him. If our Maaliks say we should travel then we should travel. If our Maaliks say working abroad and earning better money and better living standard is bad, then it's bad!! And all I know and care now is that our Maaliks are so merciful. They are going to let us have Machine Readable Passports!! 

Long Live our merciful Maaliks!! Long Live!!