The beauty of Indian politics doesn’t lie in its political accomplishment, rather it lies in its pretense. For political parties an issue is considered to be worthy of attention based on its capacity to pull irrational voters , and not on issues of development and reform. Here is a beautiful example of the charming political class without any touch of sensitivity, trying to extract maximum mileage out of the Uttarakhand disaster. The disaster has turned out to be a platform from where all major political parties, mainly BJP and Congress are trying to wow their future voters by making pompous statements and gestures. In a time when the people of Uttarakhand and the pilgrims need help, top politicians are making mockery of the term disaster, by portraying themselves as super heroes and making stately display of ceremonious help packages.
NaMo the new RAMBO
So, we have found a new Rambo – this time in political theatre. Narendra Modi is said to have supposedly evacuated 15000 Gujarati pilgrims (Rambo effect), who were caught in the midst of the disaster in Uttarakhand. Experts asserted that it is practically next to impossible to move such large numbers in such a short span of time. Modi’s spinmeister somehow made public an extravagant description of his rescue mission and portrayed him as the larger than life Rambo. Many newspapers and social sites started posting columns praising Narendra Modi’s heavenly achievement, making him to be the next Superman of India.
Unfortunately,the Übermensch image did not last long as opposition and experts pricked the BJP’s balloon of superficial claims . The BJP party as well as Narendra Modi had to take back their statements and even denied making any such claim. Ultimately, the PR agency was faulted for all this public drama.
Beyond the question of super heroic rescue or no rescue at all, the way Modi and its government initially tried to make political capital out of this disaster in quite disheartening. A leader who is possibly a prime Ministerial candidate is busy showing himself as super hero, for cheap political publicity and backed by a callous PR agency. This shows the political bankruptcy of our leaders.
The drama doesn’t stop with this; our beloved congress focusing on anti Modi propaganda, instead of trying to accelerate the rescue and relief mission. Day after day, their spokesmen are coming up with new statements against Narendra Modi and his rescue missions.
For Sonia Gandhi pomp more important than Relief
Finally, our central government waited too long to send its rescue mission to Uttarakhand – possibly waited for the Prince Hamlet of Amethi (Rahul Gandhi) to come back from his foreign tour. The Prince Hamlet himself took a week to arrive (holidaying while Uttarakhand was suffering??) – he neither came up with any initial condolence nor sent his official commiserations. The mission for relief was flagged off in a ceremonial fashion, as if commemorating a special occasion. A picture of Sonia Gandhi flagging off loads of assistance trucks in a gathering occupied by top congress leader shows unsympathetic indifference to suffering in Uttarakhand by our top political class.
Critics have pointed out to this lackadaisical response from the centre, as some have claimed that assistance trucks were ready long before the ceremony. The absence of Rahul Gandhi had forced the government to delay the mission possibly risking lives in a place like Uttarakhand where rescue was urgently needed.
Now the relief trucks are struck half way in Dehradun and some other areas due to fuel shortage and further clearances. While grieving people in Uttarakhand await aid and assistance, the truck owners have warned of selling the relief goods in order to move out of this blockade – government is yet to respond ??
In Rajasthan too these two national parties are locking horns over the rescue mission. BJP’s Vasundhara Raje called the government’s assistance efforts for the victims insufficient. Her tirade provoked a counterblast from chief minister Ashok Gehlot who questioned her allegiance to the flood affected people.
The political battle to show maximum sympathy to victims is carried out by other minor parties as well to match their national parties’ ethos (why should they be left behind ??). In a disgraceful incident, TDP leaders almost came to blows when their Congress counterpart claimed credit for the rescue of pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh . An inglorious drama on TV channel showed how politicians from two parties literally turned physical at the airport.
The state of our political system has turned out propaganda during this time of disaster. This shows moral bankruptcy among our politicians, which has now become a matter of media bashing both at national and international levels. The Uttarakhand cataclysm was a tragedy of national misfortune and loss, increased in magnitude by greedy real estate developers and politicians, who wrecked havoc on the eco-system of the area. Now the same class of politicians are playing dirty games over the lives of people caught unawares in Uttarakhand.
In a time, when a large number of people have lost their confidence in the democratic process and its ability to redress their problems, such political stunts for cheap political mileage over a national disaster further reduces our faith in politicians. The future of our country lies in the hand of these politicians, who are our national leaders. Shamefully the current apathy in general shown by the political class paints a miserable future – where insensitivity will be backed by pompousness over mere political gains.
Image Source : IANS