Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association (IFCOMA), the apex body working for the Indian Footwear Industry, has come out in support of off-duty constable Ahad Jan who threw a shoe at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during the flag-hoisting ceremony on Independence Day.
IFCOMA, which said the act showed that Jan’s soul/sole was in the right place, condemned authorities for arresting Jan.
“One should not judge a man based on his shoes (possibly the ones he throws at politicians),” IFCOMA President Shu Laze said in a statement.
The authorities should have taken a more lenient view, especially given the fact that the shoe was flung during Independence Day celebrations, Laze said.
“What good is freedom if one does not have the freedom to fling footwear,” he said.
Omar himself has brushed aside the incident nonchalantly.
“I think there is a positive way of looking at it. For long I have been trying to walk a mile in the shoes of the Kashmiri people so as to understand their plight. This shoe thrown at me is actually the shoe of opportunity,” He said.
His father Farooq Abdullah has taken a similar view of the action.
“Omar has joined the elite club of world leaders targeted with shoes,” he said. “Moreover, I approve of the incident as shoes are also renewable resources,” the Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy said.
IFCOMA’s Laze said the incident goes to show the many uses that the humble shoe can be put to.
“Shoes have been part of mankind’s history since 8000 BC to 7000 BC. The fact that even after 10,000 years people are still finding new and innovative uses for them is just fantastic,” he said.
The incident comes on the heels (pun intended) of shoes being thrown at Home Minister P Chidambaram and more famously at the US President George Bush.
Laze however seemed to rue the fact that the shoe throwers did not possess greater marksmanship, as evidenced by the fact that like all the previous shoe protests, the footwear flung at Omar too missed the ‘target.’
“It just shows that shoes of inferior make were used. We are now designing shoes with special ballistic design for more accurate throwing,” he said.
Market chatter has it that top shoe makers Reebok and Adidas are closely studying the situation to see if there is any possibility of branding and advertisement in future shoe throwing incidents.
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The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám"The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it." -- The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám