The Bold Voice of J&K

Can’t politicians show mercy even during catastrophes?

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DOST KHAN
JAMMU: For the past two days there is no word from Kashmir. The anxious people across the country are perturbed over snapped communication links with the Valley, which has deprived them of much needed information on the people braving flood fury. Though the jawans of multiple forces and agencies are working in tandem round the clock in most difficult situations yet public safety remains a major concern for all. Fingers remain crossed over the safety of thousands of people trapped in worst hit localities of Shivpora, Indira Nagar, Sonawar, Rajbagh, Mehjoor Nagar and other localities. Visuals are horrible. One really does not know what actually has happened as the people were taken unawares when Jhelum embankments breached, filling up low lying areas within minutes. Mere sight of just roof tops of single storey or double storied houses are chilling. These speak of the disaster; we may know only when water recedes. As of now, the Army is getting SOS from hapless people or their kin from safer places. This vital communication link has also turned feeble or silent due to technical snags. Hearts go to the inmates-old, young, women and children-who are craving for help, which is taking its own time in reaching out, notwithstanding the fact that 23,000 people have been moved to safer places by Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Navy, Disaster Management Group, para military forces and the police. One can appreciate the challenge the multiple agencies are facing in the inundated paradise.
This is a time when entire Indian nation needs to rise to the occasion and lend helping hand to compatriots in distress. The marooned people want their safety; need food, medical assistance, medicines, clothing and tents to take refuge in. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has led the nation in contributing towards relief of the flood sufferers after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the catastrophe as a national calamity. Both, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister have initiated the process of funding the State to take care of flood victims.
While Jammu is returning to normal, Kashmir shows no signs of improvement. Therefore, all attention and focus needs to be shifted towards the Valley.
In a grim situation like the one, prevailing in the marooned Valley, one gets overwhelmed to watch young jawans and officers of the multiple forces reaching out to the people, carrying old and infirm on their backs, pulling boats and providing whatever is possible in the given situation. Inspiring are the words of Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who has asserted the commitment of his troops by saying, “The Indian Army will not move back to the barracks till the last man is brought to safety.” Bravado! Despite being hit themselves in the Badami Bagh Cantonment, the armed forces have been tasked to go out and carry out the operations.
The civil administration is finding itself helpless in the capital city with limited resources at its command to meet the situation. They can’t be blamed, as the successive governments have failed to anticipate such a situation and take appropriate measures in advance to meet the eventualities. As a consequence, everything from boats to medicines, food to drinking water and other logistics are being brought in from faraway places like Pune, Ghaziabad, Chandigarh and Delhi. This is a time consuming exercise, which the Valley cannot afford at this juncture. However, this is not also the time to get entangled in blame game, which some politicians in the Valley have already started. Peoples Democratic Party President took head on, both the Centre and the State Governments for not doing enough to save the situation. While being little bit soft on the Centre, she castigated the ruling coalition, especially National Conference, for ‘failing’ to meet the challenge. Similar accusations kept flowing from other opposition leaders prior to snapping of communication links that halted the ‘handouts’ of self seeking politicians for the time being and thankfully so.

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