Air India passenger plane, air india pilot
Air India pilot hits out at aviation minister for "lagging in commitment" comment. Pictured: An Air India passenger plane takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad January 30, 2013.Reuters file

A senior Air India pilot, Subhashish Majumdar, spoke out against aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju for saying that AI employees lack commitment. The pilot flies the long-range Boeing 777. 

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Raju had said that there was something "lagging" in the commitment shown by Air India employees compared to private airlines pilots. 

Majumdar responded with a letter titled 'Lagging In Inspiration, Not Commitment', according to the Times of India, in which he said, "As a committed AI employee, an honest taxpayer and a patriotic citizen, I am constrained to point out that both the recent winter sessions of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were a complete washout due to frequent disruptions by your colleagues in Parliament. Ninety-two hours of work were lost in LS alone and hardly any business was transacted. In fact, it was observed that the rules on slogan shouting, displaying posters and obstructing proceedings were blatantly flouted. 

In the light of above, employees of AI are also equally pained to observe that our politicians are 'still lagging well behind in their commitment' to the nation as compared to most of their counterparts elsewhere in the world!"

He also noted that if AI employees behaved the way the parliamentarians did in the Winter session, which was a near washout, they would be instantly reprimanded or sacked. 

"Therefore, as citizens of India and employees of the national carrier, we hope that our politicians would find it in the fitness of things to introspect and lead by example, so that the commitment shown by AI employees is commensurate with the inspiration offered to them," he wrote.

The aviation minister made the comments three days ago, while speaking about improved financial performance in the third quarter. He said there is scope for improvement in the performances of the pilots. 

"Airline is in the service industry. We must take the minister's comments as a nudge to become more passenger-friendly. Unfortunately, the political class in general, and not Raju individually, have very low credibility. So, when the minister questioned our commitment, it hurt many of us, as we just saw the commitment shown by the political class," said another senior pilot.

Air India responded to Majumdar's letter saying, "It's his personal view, the airline has nothing to comment."