Mar 01, 2024
Mar 01, 2024
When the forest is aflame the lion and the lamb make common cause to escape. Is the recent deluge of rain a message from nature that India’s politicians should heed? There is criticism that the disaster is man made and could have been avoided. Perhaps it is so.
Thousands of stranded passengers are protesting bitterly. But do not blame just the Congress government for it. Any other party in power would have performed no differently. Do not blame just politicians. No politician in the prevailing political culture could have performed differently. Do not blame just the political culture. It cannot be different given the political system. Any dispassionate critic would accept this truth.
|The deluge of rain was visible. There are even greater threats of disaster that are invisible.
The death toll eventually may run into thousands as the fate of all missing is discovered. There are certainly innumerable lapses of governance that are man made and avoidable. Why, even right now people are dying in Mumbai because one building after another constructed in violation of laws is collapsing. That tragedy has nothing to do with rain. But is this the time to indulge in a blame game? Is this the time for politicians to score debating points and for media commentators to sermonize and pontificate?
Consider instead the heroic and dogged rescue operations in impossible conditions being undertaken by members of our armed services. Their efforts reveal what Indians are capable of. The deluge exposed our failed performance and refusal to follow the dictum that prevention is better than cure. The rescue operation indicates how well we are capable of acquitting ourselves when challenged. The gap between India’s potential and performance could not be more glaring. Therefore critics would be well advised to practice temporary restraint. Victims need to be helped. All sections of politicians and people must offer help. It is a time to unite.
It is also a time to think.
The deluge of rain was visible. There are even greater threats of disaster that are invisible.
Should we not unite to face these future threats that our crumbling system and collapsed governance are not fit to address?
We need basic reform to confront the looming crises that inevitably will hit us. Should not our politicians seriously consider forming a national government for a limited period that might unite all sections of opinion to introduce the systemic reforms that will help India to survive and thrive? Should not political leaders of the government and the opposition confer to consider this possibility?
The world moves forward while India retreats.
There is need for a bold approach. Critics might scoff at the above suggestion. This writer urges them to withhold judgment till the end of this year. Then recall what has been written and reconsider its merit.
More by : Dr. Rajinder Puri
|Mr. Puri, Your suggestion - "We need basic reform to confront the looming crises that inevitably will hit us. Should not our politicians seriously consider forming a national..etc etc"
My Answer, No concrete reform can come about in if there is 'no accountability' in the system !
Re: "the right man as the CM"...brings to mind a comment a friend of mine made some time back, when asked where all the dreaded dacoit gangs of the Chambal had disappeared ? "They are all in Politics now!"
This comment sums up the frustration of the common man and points to his helplessness.
|This reader requests to elaborate the sentence further - "This writer urges them to withhold judgment till the end of this year."
America is also retreating, we are not alone :)
I think a different political party or a different CM must have made a difference in the relief work.
Till saturday, the Uttarakhand govt maintained a count of 500+ dead, which was changed to 1000 earlier on Sunday and by Sunday evening the count was changed to 5000+ !!!
This is while there were hardly fresh tolls during a clear wheather on saturday & sunday. So, the govt could not count well at first place, is it so difficult or was it trying to downplay the incident ?
This morning I saw on "HeadLines Today" channel showing footage of visit of Mr. Bahuguna to one of the tragic places, the video captured voice and action of people complaining to the CM about the shortcomings of the disaster management and relief work, instead of ordering his secretaries and staff to take note of the shortcomings and deliver results the CM almost threatened the complainer !!
Do we believe that every CM, irrespective of the political party he belongs to, functions this way ?
Initially 20 helicopters were put on relief work, which were increased to 45 later - why not all 45 put on duty from the first day ? Ins't this mistake of the politicians?
Surely, a right man as CM would have made a difference.
And I would like to bring to notice another observation - from the day 1 the opposition party BJP cried about inadequate efforts in relief work and disaster management, THE VOICE OF THE OPPOSITION WAS SHUNNED BY MEDIA (takng example of coverage by one of the biggest english newchannel in India), MAKING MOCKERY OF THE DEMOCRACY SYSTEM.
Instead of reporting the opposition's concerns, the channel choose to suppress the complaints made by BJP and instead opted to raise its own voice with its own points that hit both the BJP and Congress equally (saying that the negligence of environment concerns and allowing unabbeted contruction and mining lead to the disaster).
While the point is true, this analysis should come later, first the relief work must be fiocused on which otherwise will take more tolls. Are we seeing an era where opposition is getting taken over by media ?? Well, the opposition is acountable to the citizens and the media is accountable to the businessmen funding it !