Flood Rescue and the Language Card

Union Minister M K Alagiri came to the aid of 18 Tamilian tourists from Pallipalayam who were stuck in the floods in Andhra Pradesh, says this article in ToI.

I suppose contacting the minister was an act of desperation by the unfortunate tourists who, I'm sure, would want to shake off the entire episode as a bad dream. Imagine being caught in the middle of one of the worst flood in South India in recent times!

But, as you might have guessed, the flood situation is not the topic of this post. Then what is?

If some Indians are in a soup in a foreign land (for example, have lost their passports etc); then it is the duty of our embassy there, and of our Government here; to ensure the safety of those Indians.

If some Indians are being harassed or mistreated in a foreign land, then it is the responsibility of the embassy and the Government, to demand the safety of the Indians from the government of that foreign country.

Going one step further, if a person from State A within India is in State B; and is being harassed there on the basis of his origin – Yes – then maybe the state governments need to step in.

But, playing the language card when there is a natural calamity? M K Alagiri may have done the right thing by expediting the rescue of those eighteen Tamilian tourists; but what about the lakhs of others (especially people from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka) who have been the victims of nature's fury during the past few days? Another way of asking this question: Should I show my humane side only when the person in trouble is my lingual sibling? If the Union minister had the resources at his disposal to be able to rescue people trapped in the floods, why use this power only to rescue people of his own state? You belong to a country, remember? It's named India. There are 28 states in this country in addition to your own. And we aren't even talking about Union Territories yet!!!

And oh, replace “language” or “state” in the rant above with any of the following; and my question still holds:

  • Religion

  • Caste

  • Creed

  • Nationality

  • .... and the list goes on and on ..

Looking forward to a country where our nationality and our Indian-ness is our primary identity (err .. am I hoping for too much?)

6 comments to Flood Rescue and the Language Card

  • That's a great question you pose, my friend. Sadly, even at a micro-stage, in organizations, schools, colleges, buses, railway stations, we play the same card over and over.

    I think before we can tackle it at a larger level, we need to look deep within ourselves and see how often we play the language card amongst ourselves in small forums.

    What say?

  • We the people have a habbit of expecting too much from our politicians.They are the ones who have used every opportunity in the book to divide us amongst caste,religion and language basis.

  • Yes, I too do hope so, and may be we are hoping so much, but that's fine. In my opinion, Being optimistic, and being aware of what the current situation is, being practically involved, our HOPE make sense.

  • N I would go a step further and say..why does it even have to matter that the person is an Indian. Why should the nationality matter? Is it not enough that the person is a human or for that matter , a living thing(even animals should be saved in a flood, no) ?? [I’m sure I’m hoping for toooo much!] Looking forward to a world where humanity is our primary identity!

  • As you may remember great Vadic saying.. "Sun shines on all"

    But not all su(o)n (the raising sun of Dm*) shines on all buddy.

    and mone more.. we must have big TOlerance to (still) tolerate TOI

  • @Sumit: You are absolutely right. This should be tacked at the micro level first.

    @BK Chowla: Maybe if we first eliminate this kind of petty thinking at the micro level as Sumit points out; then politicians will be forced to eliminate it too!

    @Deepak: Yes pal - being hopeful is the first step to bringing about a change!

    @Pavi: Definitely. International humanity is indeed the need of the hour. I believe strongly in humanity across borders (i.e, I am a HUMAN before I am a [insert-your-nationality-here]). Its just that in this particular case, nationality made more sense!

    @Harish: "we must have big TOlerance to (still) tolerate TOI" Ha!

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