Skip to main content

Why can't you grant amount equivalent to Sardar Statue for Kerala flood rehab? Medha Patkar asks Modi

Medha Patkar addressing a gathering Kerala
Counterview Desk
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Kerala floods following her visit to the affected areas, top social activist Medha Patkar has wondered as to why is there shirking of responsibility on the part of his government and hesitation to declare it as a national disaster.

Text of the letter:

Who doesn't know about the heavy rainfall as well as formidable flooding in Kerala, resulted out of water released from number of dams? It is a natural calamity faced by this small yet bountiful state following Tsunami and Ockhi type of cyclone.
On seeking information from all our colleagues in the field we have confirmed that till date water have not receded from all areas and at places where people who are struck, there is dearth of transportation such as helicopters and others for rescuing the people and for ensuring that the materials reach the dam affected families and communities.
Whatever we had experienced during Kosi floods of Bihar is likely to be repeated in Kerala as well. However Kerala is a small state and country is large enough to take care. It should be a priority, therefore to bring together vehicles and all kinds of transportation at national level for the state of Kerala.
The sensitivity and empathy needed for this huge task should be aroused, while the same seems to be lacking as witnessed not only by people of Kerala but across the country. It was also noticed and realized from our meetings and dialogue with the Ockhi cyclone-affected fish workers that Minister for Defence Nirmala Sitharaman had not taken prompt and proper steps for bringing military and lift t and save their life.
Will the same insensitivity be shown this time too in the case of Kerala? Will the members of your cabinet including water resource minister, finance minister, defence minister will take this issue with utmost urgency? You, Mr Prime Minister, know when a small state like Kerala faces such a big calamity; will you require any proof to understand the gravity of the situation? Vinash ka Darshan in the exhibit of development?
The citizens of this country fail to understand as to why is there shirking the responsibility on the part of your government and hesitation to declare it as a national disaster. After having been compelled to release water from 35 dams not only the property destroyed in the flood but the livelihood, natural resources, the main source, will have to be regenerated without wasting time. The state government has requested all Rs 8000 crore when the losses are huge and much higher.
Why give them just a relief fund of about Rs 500 crore? After all when in Kerala an extravagant infrastructure projects including the dams on the rivers are pushed and the nature has caused a formidable impact as the reversal, the budget for some upcoming large projects is certainly going to be saved. Your government therefore certainly has the capacity to fulfill the requisition of the state government. But is there a will, May we ask?
You, Mr Prime Minister, sir, is to be tested on both the issues of national disaster and the funds to be granted by the central government. If you cannot even grant or gift the amount equivalent to the huge amount being spent on Sardar Patel statue, then the common people will certainly watch and weigh. Sardar Patel also will mourn in his coffins, no doubt.
Please do think and respond.

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.

Union Budget: 24 crore people live in the dark, Sitharaman talks of prepaid smart meters

Counterview Desk
The Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), a Delhi-based advocacy group, commenting on the Union budget 2020-21, has has called it a case of missing wood for the trees, pointing out, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "missed an opportunity to fix the economy, which is reeling under an unprecedented slowdown, with all indices pointing towards a recession."