KERALA FLOOD : LET US SET THE PERSPECTIVE RIGHT
A lot is questioned on Kerala flood and ensuing relief need, promises, allotment and so on. This note is basically an attempt to look into various issues on certain perspective, based on a varied logical realization.
To equate Kerala flood and the need for appropriate relief and rehabilitation measures, at par with all other states, will be incorrect. There are number of reasons:
- Keralites are basically very hard working and generally a Giver and not Receiver. There are many occasions when they themselves raise money for their own community needs and do not wish to seek outside support. (I have long term experience working in development and funding agencies, including overseas ones. At any given time there are a large number of applications we handle mailed by all states across our country for relief, rehabilitation and development support. We hardly find personal or organisational requisition from Kerala. )
Since independence how many times you may recall Kerala asked for relief help, for any natural calamity, or, for any other cause for that matter ?
My submission is that if Kerala is expressing its need for fund, it is not as a “help” or “bail out”. It is Just. It is rather an opportunity for participation – opportunity for all of us, and, it is basically a matter of rights for them.
- Assessing the loss of properties. This again needs to be seen in proper perspective. Keralites are hard working and spend judiciously on their hard earned money on certain assets. Loss in the Housing is an important aspect which needs to be assessed very much differently. ( I have taken direct part in relief and rehabilitation operations in all major disasters in the country in Andhra, Orissa, Bihar, uptill Tsunami in Tamilnadu and Andamans. Also I had the privilege to visit and stay in many Kerala homes across the state.) Kerala houses are mostly architect designed and aesthetically built and an average Keralite would spend her/his hard earned money primarily on housing, and, that too in most befitting manner, even if that means spending a bit more money. Same goes for the furniture and other house-hold items which complete a home – like fridge, tv, furniture and so on. Hence rebuilding need is quite different, certainly requiring much higher financial involvement, than understood as a regular relief operation.
Dignity is important for all. Hence before we judge what is the justified means and to what extent support should be given to Kerala , let us prepare ourselves not to equate all states at par. The following illustration will perhaps provide clarity about my submission :
A boy was making preparation for his marriage. He worked very hard, earned handsome money, and, was buying all things on his own. The dad asked what is it that he can do for the son’s marriage. The son replied “dad I can manage on my own, do not worry”. Now that reply made the father really worried and he said “ Arrey Baap honey ke naatey, mera bhi kuch karney kaa haq banta hai. Oh to karney de” (Listen I am your dad, and as your dad I too have some right to do something for you. Allow me to do that !)
Well, you got the point !