Woman Forced To Change Her Seat On IndiGo Flight As She Understood Only Telugu, Sparks Debate

A recent incident on a domestic flight from Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) to Hyderabad (Telangana) highlighted the importance of having either the safety instructions in the local language of the state the flight is flying in or recruiting a crew that knows the local language.

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The debate was sparked when Twitter user Devasmita Chakraverty highlighted how a woman onboard an IndiGo flight who knew only Telugu and not Hindi or English was forced to change her seat. Giving ‘security issue’ as the reason, the attendant changed her seat.

Chakraverty was unhappy with the way the Hindi language was imposed on the woman.

“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.”

Suggesting safety instructions should be available in all languages, she tagged Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel, Jyotiraditya Scindia in another tweet and wrote:

“I am looking up to you to resolve this at a systemic level. As policy, s& used as per need, not just in English/Hindi. It’s a matter of safety, dignity, & treating everyone equally. Hope you’ll do the right thing.”

Telangana Minister for IT and Industries K T Rama Rao saw her tweet and was quick to take the IndiGo management to task.

Twitter was divided with people standing for and against her opinions. Some thought the crew member did so to ensure the passenger sitting at the emergency exit should be able to communicate with other passengers in case of an unforeseen situation.

What do you think of this situation? Was it a language imposition issue or a safety concern?

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