Thursday 23 May 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Different Dimensions

Disasters & Exploiters


Consider; a man projected as the next Prime Minister goes in the disaster area and selectively rescues only Gujaratis. Does he not know, that in matters of rescue, all that matters, is humanity and there are no racial or regional identifications?

India dominated world hockey for about three and a half decades either side of independence. Today, we struggle, even to qualify for major tournaments. Teams we used to rout in our glory days, are now doing the same thing to us.

Some years ago, a group of people mostly Indians in Britain, were discussing the reasons for the decline. After hearing the various opinions, an Englishman part of the group, disagreeing with them said “not at all. It is easy to see the reason, behind India’s Hockey decline”. “What is that?”, interjected another member of the group. “Oh” said the Englishman “You see, when the Indians are awarded a corner, they convert it into a kiosk”! He was alluding to the tendency of immigrant Indians to set up kiosks in every conceivable corner of England. Ironically, two centuries earlier Napoleon Bonaparte had called Britain a nation of shopkeepers. But then Napoleon had not heard of the Banias.

Right now, all attention is focussed on the catastrophe caused by unsettling weather conditions in Uttarakhand. News reports coming from survivors are disturbing. Those who are in need of urgent food and care are being exploited, by cynical local people. A bowl of rice, is sold at Rs.600/-, a chapatti, at Rs.180/- and a litre of water, at Rs.100/- which in the words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge would be a case of “water, water everywhere .......... nor a drop to drink”. We have not lost our shopkeeper mentality, even in the worst of human disasters. The situation seems to say “Give the Indians a disaster and they will convert it into a kiosk”!

Compassion, mercy and charity (although not always adhered to) is the basis of every religion. I had learnt in school that the Shankaracharya had travelled all over the country in the ninth century to revive Hinduism and he set up mutts at Dwarka, Puri, Sringeri (I have been there) and Badrinath. The latter along with Kedarnath, is the epicentre of the present disaster. The area is holy and it is mostly the pilgrims and local residents, who are victims. I am left wondering, how in such a place, there could be such complete lack of piety, compassion, charity and mercy, the bulwarks of all religion. Is this all, that we see for the Shankaracharya’s efforts, all those long years ago?

There has been no report of any of the “nationalist and patriotic” organisation, in the rescue efforts at least in the early days. Where exactly are the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal or the Ram Sene? I suppose this disaster called for their efforts. I would not be surprised, if all these organisations make an appearance now, claiming post facto heroism. We have been witnesses to such dubious heroism by our “freedom fighters”, many of whom were collaborators with the Portuguese but became “freedom fighters” after the Portuguese were dislodged. In the bargain it is the genuine freedom fighters, who have languished and the frauds prospered. Perhaps, the Hindutuva brigade would have been fully active, if somehow the disaster was linked to the “Jihadis”!

We have witnessed on TV, the untiring efforts of our armed forces in rescuing the victims, under great peril to their own lives. Seeing the self sacrifices being made by these brave-hearts, we are assured, that our defences are in safe hands. Several of the defence personnel have died, in the rescue missions but they have continued, undaunted. That is, what patriotism, courage and valour is all about.

And now, enter Narendra Modi. He rescues fifteen thousand Gujaratis, in forty eight hours! A world record perhaps! And by this dubious claim the man tipped to be the next Prime Minister has demeaned and undone the herculean efforts of our armed forces, under overwhelming odds. There is only one message from Narendra Modi, and that is; before he came on the scene, the armed forces were simply inefficient and incompetent and therefore the fifteen thousand Gujaratis had remained trapped ! Is there any other interpretation possible?

I was not unhappy when Narendra Modi was anointed the prospective PM by the BJP, here in Goa. The man appeared to be focussed and we certainly do not need another five years, of remote control by the Mambo Italiano. But then, within no time Narendra Modi has shown that Godhra was no aberration. In fact, the Godhra Albatross now hangs heavily around his neck. Consider; a man projected as the next Prime Minister goes in the disaster area and selectively rescues only Gujaratis. Does he not know, that in matters of rescue, all that matters, is humanity and there are no racial or regional identifications? In Godhra it was massacre the Muslims and protect the Hindus. In Uttrakhand, it is save the Gujaratis, ignore the rest. Narendra Modi certainly cannot give up, his well known parochialism and sectarianism. How does he expect the entire country, to consider him as their own, when he has been so blatantly discriminatory in a crisis situation? Narendra Modi perhaps plans to be the Chief Minister of India. And not the Prime Minister!

And the establishment, it seems will never learn. Our own Ashwin Shetye is stranded in the disaster area. After great difficulty, his message to his parents was symptomaniac of all that is wrong with our country. According to him, the rescuers came there and read out names of people to be rescued. There was no consideration whatsoever to the critically sick and needing urgent treatment, as the situation dictated. As always the mighty and the powerful pre-decided the priority. And so, Ashwin’s parents then had to contact the Chief Minister to “use his influence” to rescue their son. So much for disaster, management and rescue.

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

islamic militants were the first group to volunteer when earthquake rocked pakistan occupied kashmir. all the militant groups be it jehadi terrorist or RSS do such kind of stunts. besides public sympathy show they are intersted in syphoning off the relief money. if they are humanitarian where does their humanity disappear when they plant bombs or organise riots, rapes and murders? and dont talk about their simplicity and non corrupt nature. In Goa we have a born and brought up RSS man as a minister, Laxmikant Parsekar. he is a school teacher and has about 200 sq mts of agricultural land. this land gives him income of 13 crore a year. can RSS explain what types of money plants he grows on his agricultural land to give this kind of cash crop?

shiv |

RSS volunteers were first to reach the site which was accepted and appreciated by Army... This article is written by my intelligent friend Radharao withour proper study.... I would suggest Radharao sir to grow up and access the situation with open mind.... readers are intelligent enough to know the realty.

Yogesh |

Mr. Gracias - you should get facts right possibly by visiting the affected places. RSS volunteers were some of the early hands that moved in. They usually do if you may have known from Latur, Bhuj, Orissa cyclones. You may look at them with jaundiced view. Main news channels blank this out.

Soondas story in Times speaks poorly how much the media that you are so dependent upon, does not check the story authenticity.

Media presents for which they have their payments either personal or by adverts, Rajya Sabha seats, other freebies on advisory positions.

If one reads and believed what you write one can get a totally unresearched and biased viewpoint. And, those who believe in your stories would be ill informed.

I may be promptly labled by your likes as Modi/RSS sympathiser. That does not change the facts though.

Savita De Mello |

Radharao should know the facts before wasting time in writing. Read Madhu Kishwar's blog in ET to know the truth of the rescue efforts. RSS people were the first to reach the disaster site and Modi was the first leader to reach there. You may oppose these guys on ideological or character grounds. But be open to praise whenever they are doing something good.

Facts |

Mr. Radharao very well knows that Modi rescue story was a deliberate and concocted story by the so called leading English national daily, without giving any basis. Modi or for that matter any sensible person will never claim to have rescued so many people within such a short time in such circumstances. Modi never claimed to have rescued anybody. He has only arranged to transport to people who were rescued by the armed forces, who have done a commendable job.

Modi is perhaps doing the right thing by completely neglecting his sworn detractors who have no other agenda but to defame him by hook or crook. Mr. Radharao also seems to be from the same coterie.

Sandeep Naik |

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Radharao Gracias

Radharao F.Gracias is a senior Trial Court lawyer and ex President of the South Goa Advocates Association. He is also former independent MLA of Goa. He has been an activist on issues related to Goa for more than three decades.


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