Five-letter word ‘shame’ has lost meaning for so-called mainstream leaders in J&K
JAMMU: Kashmir’s two middle-aged former Chief Ministers are too fond of twitter. They take to it quite often to corner the Centre, the forces, the BJP and all that concerns the Indian nation. Hardly there must be a day when they don’t tweet. However, browsing twitter of the past few days won’t show a single post in appreciation of the army in saving the lives of the people, rescuing some from inundated or flashflood hit areas or helping many in seeking timely medical attention.
Two days back, the Army rescued 26 persons of several families trapped in flash floods in Chandak Bela area of the Poonch district while an ambulance carrying a 20-day-old baby with congenital heart disease got stuck at Ramban due to landslides, the alert jawans of the armed forces immediately rushed to the stop and brought the child to the other side safely amid shooting stones. They also arranged oxygen for the ambulance that was running short of the life saving facility. Around this point of time Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah were discussing Har Ghar Tiranga issue and had no time to acknowledge the services of the Army personnel
Shame is a five-alphabet word which has lost its meaning for politicians in Kashmir. The public memory is still afresh how the politicians including minister and senior bureaucrats had vanished into oblivion during September-October 2014 floods in the Valley and surfaced only when situation showed semblance of normalcy due to heroic relief and rescue operations by the Army, Till then, when parts of the Valley were completely marooned these politicians owing allegiance to the Congress, National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party and even the most vocal secessionists had not shown up to help their brethren, who faced the initial brunt of natural calamity.
The only visible Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had made a frank admission that the government was nowhere. He had become part of the army rescuers to run helter-skelter, as civil assistance was totally missing. Those who had dominated the scene were actually the valiant personnel of the Indian Air Force, Army and the National Disaster Management Response Force. The pampered politicians and bureaucrats had shown high degree of apathy towards the people. While many bureaucrats remained awfully busy in ensuring safety of their families, some were reportedly pushing for priority in getting their ‘friends’ evacuated from the marooned areas. When situation has returned back to normal, the PDP and the Congress leaders, who failed to rise the occasion, started crying hoarse over the central packages and fair distribution of relief material.
The then government had failed to such an extent that there was no arrangement of langer for the uprooted families or visiting people from across the country. This should not have been difficult as the majority of Kashmir localities had not been affected by the floods. Had there been any administrative mechanism in place, the manpower and other logistics could have been mobilized from Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Budgam districts. But the administration had drowned before the flash floods submerged posh Srinagar localities.
The huge material brought by Indian Air Force in its transport carriers and stocked at the Srinagar Airport remained undistributed due to non-availability of volunteers for several days. The Army personnel, along with some local volunteers, worked round the clock to ease the life of sufferers.
With the situation stabilizing, the politicians and separatists appeared on the scene for photo ops. Eyewitnesses watched with disgust and disbelief Yasin Malik ‘stealing the boat’ brought in by the armed forces to distribute the relief material with cameramen clicking shots.
The entire nation had them plunged in support of the Srinagar flood sufferers. Multiple agencies did wonderful job in reaching out to the marooned people Transport aircrafts of Indian Air Force had carried made continuous sorties with the relief material to the flood hit areas. Air Force helicopters relentlessly rescued the people trapped in flood water, which ironically included Syed Ali Geelani also, though his son denied it later shamelessly. In addition, 250 boats of the army, 150 of NDFC teams were pressed into rescue operations while 5,700 personnel of Border Roads Organisation worked day and night to restore National Highway for traffic.
Till date, no political party or any separatist organization has said a word about the help extended by the armed forces or the IAF. Therefore, expecting them to acknowledge the support now will be too much. Like vultures, they keep waiting for the opportunities to malign the Army.