BA FLIGHT: Indian family allegedly discriminated against, made to leave plane due to crying child

New Delhi – VIJAY SHAH via ALIX CULBERTSON and Sky News

The UK national air carrier British Airways (BA) has been accused of racism after a family hailing from India was evicted from a flight after a child in their group would not stop crying, reported Sky News.

The child’s father claims he was subjected to ‘humiliation and racist behaviour’ and Indians are demanding a boycott of the airline, according to the report.

 

The father, AP Pathak, a civil servant, was travelling with his family from London City Airport to Berlin on the 23rd July, 2018, was placing his three-year-old son in a special child seat when the infant began to cry. Pathak’s wife began consoling the child. It was at that point that Pathak alleged a cabin crew member approached them and threatened to throw the child out of one of the plane’s windows while directly scolding the little boy.

The crew member then returned a second time where he also said the family would be ‘offloaded’ if the child refused to stop crying. The response of the unnamed crew member was said to have left the Pathaks ‘petrified’, Sky News reported.

The plane was then returned to the terminal, where security officers boarded it. The Pathaks were approached and were forced to give up their boarding passes. Another family, also Indian, were also relieved of their passes. Both families were then marched off the aircraft.

In a complaint letter about the flight written to India’s aviation minister, Suresh Prabhu, the father also claimed that the same crew member also made racial comments about ‘bloody’ Indians.

Representatives of BA have claimed the Pathaks were repeatedly asked to sit their son down and fasten his seatbelt for safety reasons, otherwise the plane would not have been able to take off.

The controversy has made headlines in the media in India, where many have urged Indians to stay away from BA. Some critics on social media described the treatment of the two families as ‘shameful’. A small number though said that BA was right in their decision to remove the Pathaks, with one saying “I don’t feel bad about this at all, we Indians don’t respect or value our Indian resources, be it trains or airplanes, this is good learning for us”. Another, identified as Khushi tweeted: “Indian parents start howling too when kids start howling – three-year-olds outside India are taught how to behave socially.”

SOURCES:

Shere Singh/Facebook.

“Indian family thrown off British Airways flight over ‘crying child’ ” – Alix Culbertson, Sky News/Sky UK (9 August 2018) https://news.sky.com/story/indian-family-thrown-off-british-airways-flight-over-crying-child-11466706

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Condor Airplane on Grey Concrete Airport · Free Stock Photo” – Pixabay via Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/condor-airplane-on-grey-concrete-airport-163792/

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ICBI CONFERENCES: 19th Annual SuperReturn International in Berlin

The financial conference and events company ICBI, a division of multinational organisation Informa plc., will be launching its much awaited SuperReturn International event on the 22th to 25th February 2016, according to the official website hosted by ICBI.

The 19th Annual SuperReturn International, to be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Berlin, will bring together more than 1,500 senior-level delegates from the private equity world, representing over 350 powerful LP firms and 650+ private equity and venture capital managers. The event will also feature a line-up of more than 250 industry heavyweight speakers well versed in the fields of investment and capital growth, including many industry leaders and global investors.

(c) ICBI

The SuperReturn International event, part of the highly-respected SuperReturn and SuperInvestor series of financial events and summits managed by Informa, was first organised in 1998, and since then has gone from strength to strength, helping share valuable knowledge and investment strategies in the private equity field as it has grown from being a small ‘cottage industry‘ to a mainstream one in charge of billions of dollars of investments. Over the years, the SuperReturn International events, which are held yearly, have built up an enviable and formidable reputation as the world’s leading private equity and venture capital event, bringing top private equity performers, global leaders and industry trailblazers together every year to discuss the most pressing issues concerning their market. The event also offers valuable opportunities for networking and discussion among private equity leaders and executives. In 2014 alone, SuperReturn attracted over 1,500 delegates from all over the world. 

The event is also famed for its high levels of current and topical debates in global private equity, without any editing, giving an unaltered and no-holds-barred experience of issues and hot topics on a multi-million dollar industry. It will also host two smaller events during the conference, the German Private Equity Summit and the Private Debt & Mezzanine Finance Summit alongside the set speakers and presentations, aimed at delegates looking to specialise in those aspects of investment.

SuperReturn is particularly aimed at a worldwide audience, including European and North American pension plans and family offices, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds, global insurance companies, funds of funds investment houses, asset and wealth managers, DFIs and those involved with endowments and foundations. The event comes officially endorsed by private equity and venture capital associations from Poland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, India and Canada.

Among the top delegates and speakers expected to attend SuperReturn include heavyweights such as long-time event veteran David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group; Joe Baratta (The Blackstone Group); Kathleen Bacon (Harbourvest Partners); Mike Powell (USS) and professors from the universities of Oxford and Lausanne. One previous delegate, Kevin Albert, a partner at Pantheon, a leading international private equity fund-of-funds manager, commented that SuperReturn International was “the New York of conferences. It’s the biggest, it’s the best and it’s the one you want to make it at”. The event is also one of the most up-to-date in the field technologically, with delegates able to download brochures and attendee lists via the ICBI event website for SuperReturn, as well as read the event’s official blog, follow the Twitter account, view special programming on SuperReturn TV and organise meetings with other delegates and senior executives via the revolutionary new SuperReturn App and online networking platform.

While the SuperReturn International event has a global focus, there are also specialist events covering private equity leaders and investors in Asia, the United States, Africa, China, the Middle East and for companies in emerging markets.

2016’s SuperReturn International will be held at the InterContinental Hotel conference suite at Budapester Straße 2, 10787 Berlin, Germany on the 22-25 February. For more information visit http://www.icbi-superreturn.com/

DISCLAIMER: The writer is employed with Informa, of which ICBI is a subsidiary.

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SOURCES:
“Informa Accounts” – Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/informa-accounts
SuperReturn, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SuperReturn
“SuperReturn International – private equity conference – Event home” – 19th Annual SuperReturn International, ICBI/Informa plc. http://www.icbi-superreturn.com/?xtssot=0
“Event History – SuperReturn International” – 19th Annual SuperReturn International, ICBI/Informa plc. http://www.icbi-superreturn.com/page/about-us
“Why SuperReturn Is The Must-Attend Global Private Equity Conference” – 19th Annual SuperReturn International, ICBI/Informa plc. http://www.icbi-superreturn.com/page/highlights
“Accommodation” – 19th Annual SuperReturn International, ICBI/Informa plc. http://www.icbi-superreturn.com/page/accommodation
IMAGE CREDIT:
“SuperReturn International – private equity conference – Event home” – 19th Annual SuperReturn International, ICBI/Informa plc. http://www.icbi-superreturn.com/?xtssot=0

BERLIN WALL: 8,000 balloons mark 25th anniversary of wall’s collapse, German reunification

Twenty-five years ago, the heavily fortified Berlin Wall that divided east and west Berlin and the capitalist world from the communist one, was breached and the two Germanys were reunited. Now a quarter of a century later, an art project named “Lichtgrenze” – the border of light – will mark this historical milestone with eight thousand glowing balloons across an eight mile (fifteen kilometre) stretch of the once heavily guarded and fortified border that separated Berlin for thirty years. The white glowing orbs will remain in place until this Sunday, when they will be set free from their tethers and allowed to rise into the sky. The balloons’ release will mark the pivotal moment on the 9th of November, 1989, when a garbled speech at a news conference by a senior east Berlin communist official – the Politburo spokesman Günter Schabowski -, began the chain of events that pulled down one of the most potent and controversial symbols of the Cold War. The opening wide of the East German border heralded the removal of one-party governments across eastern Europe. Poland soon elected its first non-communist prime minister and Hungary’s new government tore down its own border fences. Once the announcement was given, hundreds of east Berliners surged across the newly liberated border. Guards, who once had instructions to shoot on sight any escapees, were said to have been powerless to stop the crowds and let them through without any obstacle. One of the émigrés was current German chancellor Angela Merkel, who at that time was employed as a physicist.

Lichtgrenze balloons on mounts running the length of an autobahn alongside a section of the Berlin Wall. (c) imgur

Even today when I walk through the Brandenburg Gate, there’s a residual feeling that this wasn’t possible for many years of my life, and that I had to wait 35 years to have this feeling of freedom,” Merkel said last week, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “That changed my life.

West and East Germany were formally reunified for the first time since the end of the Second World War on the 3rd October 1990, just under a year after the breaching of the Wall.

The route of the glowing balloons of the Lichtgrenze will snake past well known landmarks across the old divide, including Checkpoint Charlie (the border crossing between the wartime Soviet and British-American zones), the Brandenburg Gate (one of Berlin’s most recognised landmarks) and the German parliamentary building, the Reichstag. Many of the lit balloons, which resemble old-fashioned street lighting, will be affixed to the top of the wall’s remnants as well as local bridges adjoining the old border. The 25th anniversary will see celebrations across Germany as it marks not only the collapse of communism but also the beginning of its rise to becoming a European powerhouse and a prominent leader within the EU.

An aerial photo of the Lichtgrenze installation across the former border that split Berlin (c) imgur
A line of glowing white balloons lined up outside the famous Berliner landmark, the Brandenburg gate (c) imgur

 

The balloons will be released to the soothing sounds of the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Ode to Joy – a symbol of peace after the reunion of Europe 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The light installation was organised and designed by brothers Marc and Christopher Bauder. In an interview with the British Daily Mail newspaper, Marc said: “We wanted to counter this ominous, heavy structure with something light.

‘Remembrance belongs to the people.

Much of the Berlin Wall still stands, albeit in broken portions, as a reminder of how far the city has come since its divided days. The wall was originally built as a defensive measure but was also intended to prevent east Berliners from fleeing to the West. Turrets with armed guards and attack dogs watched over the ‘no man’s land’ that split the city, gunning down anyone that dared to escape. A total of 138 people were killed along the Berlin wall from 1961 until 1989 as they tried to flee, some just months before peaceful protests opened the border. German reunification in 1989 saw jubilant crowds tear down parts of the war and stream through openings and border crossings. Much of the remaining structure is now adorned with graffiti celebrating both the city’s vibrant arts scene and hopes for peace.

The mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, inaugurated the Lichtgrenze light installation and its 8,000 ‘Luftballons’ on the evening of 7th November 2014 (yesterday) in a solemn address to the public near the German parliament, the Reichstag. Hundreds of the city’s residents clustered together in the sharp German cold to watch a film on the history of the Wall. For many, it was an emotional, yet stoic, time of remembrance of a city once-divided by wartime machinations and political alliances.

BERLIN LICHTGRENZE

Mauerfall 2014 – „Lichtgrenze“ zum 25.Jubiläum in Berlin

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter/Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
newslocker_uknews, Twitter/Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/newslock_uknews
“Wall of light: 8,000 glowing balloons recreate the route of the Berlin Wall, 25 years after it fell” – Ollie Gillman, Mail Online – News/Associated Newspapers Ltd (8 November 2014) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2826196/Germany-marks-25-years-fall-Berlin-Wall-illuminating-former-border-East-West-8-000-glowing-balloons.html
“Germany marks 25 years since Berlin Wall’s fall” – Geir Moulson, Associated Press/San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC/MLIM (8 November 2014) http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/nov/08/germany-marks-25-years-since-berlin-walls-fall/
IMAGE CREDITS:
“Lichtgrenze. 8,000 illuminated balloons to recreate the Berlin Wall.” – DaHitcha, Reddit Pics/reddit inc.(7 November 2014) http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/2lkwec/lichtgrenze_8000_illuminated_balloons_to_recreate/
“Lichtgrenze” – Imgur/Imgur, Inc. http://imgur.com/a/TEBCG