Five days after the helicopter that he was using went missing, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu was found dead along with four others while their chopper crashed in inclement weather in the mountains. His sudden demise is reckoned as a colossal loss for not only the Congress rather for Arunachal and Indian politics too. Dorji Khandu was one of those rare politicians who had actually made social service as political aim. Born in a tribal family, Khandu reached the zenith in his political career by becoming a state head. His long and successful odyssey became possible only because of his commitment to social services. It is natural that leaders cutting across political spectrum termed it as a huge political vacuum, but only mourning his death is not enough rather there is a need to get to find the reason which caused his untimely demise. It will not be enough to raise questions merely asking why he travelled in a helicopter with one engine or despite bad weather why his chopper was allowed to fly.  Notably, similar questions were raised in 2009 too when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had met a similar accident. Former Union Minister Madhav Rao Scindia and Lok Sabha Speaker GMC Balayogi also died in the chopper crash. The death of Dorji Khandu drives home the point that no effort has been made to know the reasons for such incidents which claimed the lives of stalwarts.

It seems that the Indian administrative system has developed a tendency of not taking any lesson from the past mistakes. It appears we have not learnt that a minuscule mistake in air safety snowballs into a major incident. However, there is a high standard of air safety, but it is not taken seriously. Even the standing committee of Parliament found that despite bad weather or some technical snag, pilots are forced to fly. The committee’s revelation was shocking there are large number of helicopters and aircraft which are not in condition to fly in mountainous region.  The moot point is why the recommendations of the committee were ignored. It will be true tributes for Dorjee Khandu if there is a bid to spot the cause of crash and gauge the reason for repeated mistakes. It will be wise if the government takes a serious note of these points and ensures that such mishap is put to an end by implementing all the possible measures.