In a recent development, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in Delhi High Court, on Thursday, seeking direction from the Central government to change the call sign on Indian planes – ‘VT’ – which stands for ‘Victorian Territory and Viceroy Territory’.

The plea filed in the High Court stated that even after 75 years of Independence, the ‘sign of slavery’ – VT – still exists. 

The petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is also a practising advocate and BJP leader, stated that Britain set the prefix ‘VT’ for India before the partition in 1929. 

The plea by Upadhyay stated, “The British set the code for all the colonies starting with V. However, countries like China, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka changed their codes later. While in India, the prefix has remained on the aircraft even after 93 years, which offends the right to dignity of citizens.”


‘VT’ not a symbol of pride but a matter of shame: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay

The plea to remove the ‘sign of slavery’ further stated that the use of the VT symbol denotes India still being Victorian Territory and Viceroy Territory, which is untrue but the government refuses to get it changed or even make an effort even after 75 years of independence. 

Upadhyay further said that ‘VT’ is not a symbol of pride but a matter of shame “if we are still using it when our nation is free”. In the plea, he stated that most of the countries which went through colonial servitude have gotten rid of their colonial signs and have also launched nationalist code. 

BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay further stated in the petition that even our Prime Minister travels to other nations to meet world leaders in Air India One B747-437, with a call sign VT-EVB.


“Is the Prime Minister a leader of a free democratic country or of a Viceroy Territory? Pakistan had their call sign changed to AP after bifurcation. Similarly, Bahamas changed the sign from ‘VP-B’ to ‘C6’, Nepal changed to ‘9N’, Sri Lanka from ‘VP-C’ to ‘4R’ and Zimbabwe from ‘VP-W’ to ‘Z’,” the plea stated.