Travel Agents protest with sweets and smile
Taking a cue from a popular 2006 Bollywood film, where the hero follows the path of non-violence to protest against injustice, hundreds of travel agents in India sent sweets to airline offices on Monday to protest against a cut in their commission.
Come October, and most airlines in India will stop paying commissions to travel agents, citing rising operational costs.
This will effectively seal the fate of hundreds of agents who will have to close shop for good.
In India, travel agents get a five percent commission on basic fare from airlines and most of them do not charge passengers any extra money.
On Monday, about 1000 agents of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) dispatched boxes of sweets and flowers to offices of various airlines across the country.
An airline official admitted he was initially clueless to receive so many sweets for taking such a tough decision.
“We decided to follow the path of Mahatma Gandhi, as depicted in a Hindi film and tell the airlines that this is how we will protest everyday,” Anil Punjabi, chairman of TAFI says.
The film Punjabi is taking about is “Lage Raho Munnabhai” or “Carry on Munnabhai” which stars popular actor Sanjay Dutt. He follows Gandhian values and the path of non-violence as preached by Mahatma Gandhi to protest when some aged people are thrown out of an old-age home.
The film won rave reviews and won four national awards, and people began emulating the Gandhian way briefly.
Now that it is back, I wonder whether this could be the new way of resolving corporate wars and disputes ?