May 7, 2011

Safety Announcements that are no more safe

On a chilly winter morning I had to leave for Delhi from Srinagar. I had booked a flight for my destination so I moved to the Srinagar airport three hours ere my flight. After too much red-tapism in security checking at the terminal I made it to the boarding landmark. 

 Once I boarded the plane, announcements in English and Hindi were aired by the cab assistants regarding the various safety pre-requisites prior to take off. At first it sounded fine but soon I got astounded at their presentation. It was a flight from Srinagar with most of the passengers as Kashmiris so I was expecting announcements in Urdu or Kashmiri besides English and Hindi but when I looked at the faces of my co-travellers, I found almost everyone dumbfounded on listening to the English chit chat by the air hostess. Almost Every passenger was staring at the pompous facial expressions of the lady-wardens with their mouth wide open trying to get something out of their blabbing.

Well I appreciate their grandeur fluency in speaking English and so called “shudh(pure) Hindi”.10 out of 10 for that. But in this way if the crowd is not getting the message to be conveyed then the main objective behind announcements about the passengers’ safety is washed out. If God-forbid any emergency occurred in the plane then what can one expect from the naive passengers to do for their safety when they were not properly informed about the same. It`s very obvious that all the passengers that travel in a plane are not equally educated or at least arrive from different communes understanding different languages and as such when one announces some important message in a language whose probability of being rightly interpreted is very less then chaos results.

The bottom-line is broadcast announcements in a language that`s easily understood and whose probability of being clearly inferred is maximum as per the passengers` background.

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