It's high time we got rid of colonial legacy

Its high time we got rid of colonial legacy

On 15th August 1947, the country got freedom from the British rule.

On 15th August 1947, the country got freedom from the British rule. To date, India has overcome different hurdles and Indians earned global recognition in various fields.

The 2019 elections have given India a strong and stable government. The government claims it will bring in inclusiveness and will work for all-round development of the country.

It has also taken a tough stand against terrorism and has refused to reopen talks with Pakistan unless it puts an end to cross border terrorism.

But then there is another issue which certainly needs to be pondered over by the government. The issue was also raised by BJP MLA Tarun Yadav in Rajya Sabha recently.

It certainly needs a serious thought by the Union government. Everyone who uses flight as their mode of travel would have noticed that the aircrafts have an alpha numeric code called Call Sign' to identify themselves while traversing the aviation routes across the globe.

The Call Signs are assigned as per the international laws governed by the United Nations. Accordingly, the two international organisations - The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are the two authorities which assign the Call Signs.

But did anyone ever give a thought as to what the alpha numeric code written in bold letter VT mean? It means Viceroy's Territory. We got rid of slavery, but we continue to use the Call Sign of the British Era.

Even the Air India One B747-437 in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels across the globe also retains the Call Sign VT-EVB

The Call Sign of India Airplanes was assigned in 1929 to denote it as a British territory with 'VT'.

Not that the successive government had not made any attempt to change it. But it seems there has been no serious effort to get it changed. Former Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel in the past said that since China and Italy had already taken the alphabets 'B' and "I" respectively, the country cannot get either Bharat for 'B' or 'I' for India.

When India decided to retain VT, Pakistan adopted the initials 'AP' from the newly allocated call signs APA-ASZ. Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, use 4R, 9N and A5 respectively. But we are still ducking under some excuse or the other.

Similarly, small countries like the Bahamas (VP-B to C^), Nepal (9N), Sri Lanka (VP-C to 4R) and Zimbabwe (VP-W to VP-Y to Z) have got allotted different call signs.

Argentina is using 'LV' and 'LQ', Bulgaria-LZ, Lithuania- LY, Norway- LN, Haiti-HH, Honduras- HR, Korea - HL and Panama - HP. What's more, some countries have been using a single alphabet as part of their Call Signs.

For example, Canada is using C, China-B and Taiwan-B, France-F, Germany – G and South Korea- P, United Kingdom - G, United States of America - N and Zimbabwe - Z. Not enough, some countries like Guernsey and Italy use only numerical 2 and 1.

The UPA government's weak efforts did not get us any result. Now that India has a strong government, it is time it listened to the internal demands and take effective measures to see that we too get our own Call Sign.

If proper efforts are made, certainly a way out could be found. Undoubtedly, it is time we got rid of the colonial legacy.

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