Air India Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai-India: Prayers and condolences to those affected during the tragic plane accident

Many lives have been taken away, and many injured due to the unfortunate accident of the Air India express flight in Kerala's Kozhikode airport. (“Who were the pilots, passengers who died in Air India Express crash?”, Gulf News, August 10). It was tragic and disturbing. Officials said the runway is on a hilltop with gorges on either side, which increases chances of casualties if the plane overshoots the runway. The accident is similar to the Mangalore air tragedy when an Air India Express flight from Dubai crashed while landing at Mangalore International Airport on May 22, 2010, that killed 158 lives. Most of the passengers must have been eagerly waiting to go to their home since many of them lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I pray for the victims, and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

From Mr K Ragavan

Bengaluru, India

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Air India flight crash: Unparalleled humanitarian effort

They did not loot the passengers' luggage (“Air India Express Kozhikode plane crash: 56 passengers discharged from hospital”, Gulf News, August 10). They did not steal from the pockets of the injured passengers. They did not think of the high petrol costs, or the difficult times that families are going through due to COVID-19. They did not think of social distancing or refuse to touch those who were not wearing masks. They did not fear COVID-19 after being very cautious all these months. Standing in long queues in front of hospital blood banks, the men and women volunteers, waiting to give their blood for the injured passengers did not even realise that it was past midnight and children were alone at home. They did not bother about the leather seat covers of their cars getting stained with blood and mud when they took injured passengers in their cars. They did not know the name, religion or nationality of those passengers who they rushed to hospital at high speed in their vehicles, risking their own lives. They did not bother about the torrential rain that was pounding through the night when they rushed with vehicles to the airport when they heard of the aircraft crash. They did not wait for police or ambulances to come and pick up the injured. It was the locals who rushed in and took most of the injured passengers to different nearby hospitals. Separated small children not understanding what had happened, were kept safe. Whatsapp messages with pictures of the child and the caretaker were sent to all known numbers and groups with the contact number of the person who had the child, till the parents reached them.

The civilians of Kozhikode and Malappuram had such kindness, and presence of mind to respond to the situation. If not for them, the casualty would have been much higher—a very big salute to them for their gesture.

From Mr Faizal Babu


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Ibrahim Al Qadi: Father of Modern Indian Theatre

Ibrahim Al Qadi, who passed away was the doyen of Indian arts and drama (“Obituary: Ibrahim Al Qadi, playwright with Saudi roots, changed history of Indian theatre”, Gulf News, August 05). Pinter, curator and archivist, he was a multi-talented person of the era. He possessed not only true knowledge of all aspects of art, but he was a legendary teacher, who had mentored and inspired a generation of Bollywood and theatre artists who went on to make a name for themselves like Naseeruddin Shah, Om Shivpuri, Om Puri, Rohini Hathgandhi, Jaydev, Suhas Joshi, Pankaj Kapoor and Surekha Sikari.

He possessed all aspects of art, and also produced some of the most notable Indian plays as produced "Tughlaq". He had the privilege of being the longest-serving director of the prestigious director of the National School of Drama (NSD). He was born in India, to a wealthy Gulf trader based in India. Ibrahim Al Qadi was bestowed with several prestigious awards for his lifetime achievements country's third highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan in 2010, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1962 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for a lifetime for his contribution to the theatre.

He was a true architect of modern Indian theatre and a maestro. His death marks the end of an era.

From Mr Ramesh G Jethwani

Bangalore, India

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