Tej Pratap Yadav, the eldest son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, remains on the news most of the time, however most of it for non-political reasons. This time he has become a subject of memes by claiming that before joining politics, he was a pilot who was selected for the Indian Air Force, and he used to fly the Cessna aircraft.
Addressing workers of his Chatra Janshakti Parishad on October 7, talked about his student life, Tej Pratap Yadav said that he has a background of pilot. He said that he had filled the form for Indian Air Force, and he was selected. After that, he joined the Bihar Flying Institute in Patna for a three-year flying course, out of which he had completed two years.
His comments can be heard in the original full video below posted by Chhatra Janshakti Parishad, from 15 minutes mark.
Tej Pratap Yadav said that he used to fly Cessna aircraft during his training at the Flying school. Then he claimed that he had an ID card with ‘captain’ prefixed to his name, and he was known as ‘Captain Tej Pratap’.
Tej Pratap had made similar claims last year too during an interview with Quint during the Bihar elections. ‘I used to be pilot before joining politics’, he had said during the interview, adding that he had joined the Bihar Flying Institute for a flying course, adding that after completing 2 years, he had to leave as he joined politics.
Both the videos are being circulated on social media, implying that he is lying as it is known that both sons of Lalu Pratap in politics didn’t progress much ahead in politics. However, he is not lying completely, although he had made some very tall claims.
Contrary to popular belief, Tej Pratap Yadav has actually completed 12th, which means he is eligible to join a flying course. It is his brother Tejashwi Yadav who is 9th pass. One can become a commercial pilot by joining any DGCA approved private commercial pilot training centre, including the Bihar Flying Institute. After completing the course, one has to go through physical and written tests to get a licence as a pilot.
Tej Pratap Yadav had actually joined the Bihar Flying Institute, and therefore he is not lying on that point. A profile on him The Quint had said that he had got himself enrolled in Patna’s Bihar Flying Institute for a course, which would enable him to get a commercial pilot license. It further said that he underwent the pre-solo stage of training during which a trainee flies an aircraft with an instructor on board. This means, Tej Pratap didn’t fly the Cessna plane alone, however he flew a Cessna 172 plane with an instructor on board.
The rest of his comments are vastly exaggerated. As he had dropped out of the course after two years, he can’t call himself a ‘former pilot’. He was not a pilot before joining politics as he was claiming. He had only half completed the first stage of becoming a pilot. Just like people who drop out of medical or engineering colleges can’t call themselves doctors or engineers, people who drop out of a flying school can’t call themselves pilot.
The other claim of Tej Pratap Yadav, that he had an ID card with ‘captain’ prefixed to his name is even more curious. In Commercial pilots, the captain prefix is used only for the senior pilot in an aircraft who is in overall charge of the aircraft. Flying students definitely can’t be called captain, they are called cadets. It is not sure whether Tej Pratap Yadav mistook cadet for captain, or he was given a special privilege.
The claim that he was selected for IAF is also questionable, because just filling the form is not enough to be selected. One needs to clear a highly competitive entrance exam to get admitted to the Air Force Academy. While one can take the NDA (National Defence Academy) exam after 12th, one can take the Combined Defence Services (CDS) after graduation. There is no evidence that Tej Pratap Yadav had cleared the NDA exam after his 12th, therefore there is huge doubt over his claimed that he was ‘selected for Indian Air Force’.
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