The turning down of UAE’s offer of Rs 700 crore cannot be read as an apathy of the centre towards the Southern states. There are several precedents in the recent times. The floods in Uttarakhand and the Tsunami much earlier, where the same precedence was applied and followed as well. The year 2004 saw the then Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh established a policy that does not accept direct relief funds from the foreign governments towards natural disasters owing to the bilateral policy frameworks established by the nation. Although we all personally believe that the central aid should have been swifter and far greater in the volume; this polite turning down of UAE’s gesture is to be read differently. The controversies continue on such sensitive subjects is a very common sight. Now parties are pointing fingers at each other, saying better dam management could have averted the disaster. Kerala deluge controversies continue and the blame game have already started.
India as a growing economic power cannot accept financial aid strategically, as in the global domain it will lose its name for not being able to handle internal calamity, moreover, if it accepts financial aid, flood gates will open, it cannot accept from one country and reject another, which again effects its foreign affairs. But the opinion differs and people think of the other way round to meet the calamity in a better way.
This is a huge disaster. Kerala has suffered whopping losses to the tune of Rs 20,000 crores. And India don’t have any magic money tree. Let us take help from wherever we could. It is not begging. It is identifying our people’s turmoil. Many have lost their loved ones, homes and businesses. We were not expecting this disaster. At the same time, our plan and projects for the year should go ahead as well. Let us accept this UAE offer thankfully. UAE has recognised the Keralite workforce in the gulf regions. What they have taken is a diplomatic decision so that the workers and their families are helped. If our people are in trouble let us sort it out at any cost. Accepting help is dignity at the moment. See the disaster with your own eyes and hear the cries of the families – children, young and old. Imagine the medical help for the forthcoming months. It would take years to rebuild and another monsoon will come. So we have to do major infrastructure works as well. Let’s accept!
If it’s a humanitarian aid, it should be accepted forthwith. If UAE has attached any strings to it, Modi government should tell the nation about it, and the matter will end there. When there was an earthquake in Pakistan a few years ago, I remember the same Modi government had offered humanitarian assistance for it. That was a decent gesture. So if we can do it, why can’t UAE do it? But one thing is sure that we lack an understanding of the risks that disasters bring home. We have policies to reduce risks, but overtly and covertly, we are creating new risks of disasters that are compounding the existing layers of hazards of vulnerabilities. But the blame game and the allegations and counter allegations are baseless.
Kerala state now accuses the TN government of aggravating flood fury as the sudden release of water from Mullaiperiyar caused floods. Vested interests wants a divide between the people of TN and Kerala thus the conspiracy hatched. This man wants to put a spoke in the wheel of good rapport between the two sides. Modi missed his great opportunity to form a national water management authority to have a peaceful negotiated settlements between the states.
That dam which Kerala blames TN for floods must be managed by Kerala. Kerala didn’t take ownership. Alternatively, if Kerela chose to avoid ownership that state could have redrawn the map by restoring the old status-quo, meaning the downstream areas will go to TN, not doing either of the things was a grave error and blaming someone else for your error compounds the problem to a point that shows the height of Kerala’s sloppiness.
Please stop blaming the neighbour state, it was a mistake by the Kerala government as more than 80 dams opened during the rain and it was not because of Idukki dam or Mullaiperiyar dam. The blame game has started. The fraternal relationship between these two states is at peril. One thing is certain that Pinarayi Vijayan is trying to capitalise on the sympathy wave. God save his own country’s people.
Instead of a rational estimation, you harp upon your parochial and absurd pride in linguistic identity; your perspective is pathetic.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)