Right from the time when the enormity of the disastrous
Uttarakhand flash floods became clear, the national media has been on it, 24/7.
As the thousands trapped in the rough terrain of Uttarakhand post-floods were
from across many parts of the country, the regional media, too, had a major
chunk of their daily plans on it. And a human crisis deepening every day
brought the international media on the scene as well.
And it has torn deeply into the political doublespeak.
Okay, the folks have flown unrestrained, blurring every fine line of decency in
reporting a human disaster like this, but it is they only who didn’t give the
politicians chance to manipulate the reality to hide the scale of calamity. The
world now knows the scale of the disaster that, probably, has killed tens of
thousands though the government is still hovering around a figure of 1000.
The raw reporting on the crude behavior of the politicos
has forced the politicians to do more, though, even now, they are not looking
Reportedly, the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu
Naidu is visiting Uttarakhand tomorrow (after 8 days!) His magnanimity
has revealed its desire at a time when the delays in the relief and rescue
efforts due to the visits (silly, worthless aerial surveys) of the
political VVIPs like Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi and others have
been a matter of raging debate.
According to some reports, during initial days of the
calamity, when the government was still in a denial mode, almost 70 per cent of
the helicopters, supposed to be used for evacuation and relief efforts, were
being used to ferry the politicians.
Also, in order to stuff more in order to score over the
completion, they have dug more and more on how the scale of the disaster is man
made; on how the human greed, silly political considerations and unplanned
development (owing to the political reasons of vote-bank politics and political
corruption) contributed to make this disaster so massive; on how the government
was trying to hide the facts by sending reports from the areas of maximum
devastation like Kedarnath and its surrounding places; on how the relief
materials like food items and medicines were in short supply at many places
where larger number of people were trapped; and how the politicians went on
scoring rhetoric while people were dying.
Yes, the political apathy continues even if thousands are dead
and thousands are in imminent danger. The two biggest political parties,
Congress and Bhartiya Janta Party, are playing politics over the dead bodies to
score political mileage. The war of words is deafeningly ugly and certainly
avoidable. But the folks would not let us give the leeway to look the other
There may be a silver-lining in this but only if we could
read the message, something that we fail to read most often.
While the media carriers have their own interest in
desiring for more intense war of words, the public has the opportunity, once
more (like innumerable other times) to see the real character of the
Indian politicians, on how insensitive and disconnected from the masses they
have become to lead the Indians who vote them in the office.
Would they see it this time?