For three days – June 15-17 – the media slept over the Uttarakhand disaster. At best, a couple of channels reported a flood and nothing more. It wasn’t until June 18 that they got down to realising the seriousness of the disaster and their total neglect of the state. They were still busy with the political bout of BJP-JDU break up. A few days later Rahul Kanwal made a token appearance in Uttarakhand. On June 24 Barkha Dutt was reportedly rushing to the state. Her travel partner Nitin Gokhale was already tweeting difficulties they were facing during travel (how unfortunate!). Arnab Goswami was busy trying to get his motley crew to agree that it was a man-made disaster. And Rajdeep Sardesai? Well, as usual Rajdeep was carping and crying about Narendra Modi. One can understand Manish Tiwari being upset with Modi doing some relief work or helping the victims in UK but why would a media moron be so upset? Think about that.
In the meantime the Congress at the Centre suddenly realised Modi was running away with all the laurels for doing a “Rambo act” as ManishT called it. After 10 days they decided maybe the GOI should send some relief trucks with food, blankets and stuff to Uttarakhand. Remember, the disaster started unfolding on June 15, so the Congress waited a whole 10 days to do something. This after Sonia and Manmohan Singh had a luxury aerial tour of the state a week ago. Ah well, the only Emergency the Congress seems to know or like is the kind they would like to impose on the country, the IndiraG types. What else can explain the wait for 10 days to even send relief trucks? One reason being circulated was that the little Baby Gandhi was abroad so they wanted to wait for him. And then SoniaG “flags off” the trucks. Someone rightly asked “What the hell was that? Some mountaineering expedition”? The stupidity of the ceremony seems to be lost on both the Congress and the media.
Flagging apart, the trucks were decked with the Congress party flags. What for? The trucks weren’t a gift from the party. They were surely stuff provided with GOI funds or your money. I guess it’s the old Congress tradition of look what your “mai baap” gave you. They just forgot to label the trucks the “The Rajiv Gandhi Relief Convoy” I suppose. Amidst all this, the only problem Rajdeep Sardesai has with an article that lauded Modi’s efforts in helping Gujarati pilgrims stranded in Uttarakhand a ride back home. For starters, the article appeared in Times Of India which screamed Modi helped 15000 people. Rajdeep’s growing contempt for the Times Group stems from his rivalry with Arnab Goswami’s Times Now so he calls it a “plant”. Aha! Rajdeep should know all about “plants” after all many “alleged” news items and reports on CNN-IBN can also be safely called plants. The disgusting exchange between two Modi-haters can be seen in this tweet below:
Now, the fact of the matter is that Modi sent 4 IAS cadre officers to UK a few days after the disaster and its scale became evident. It is also widely known that a good population of those stranded and in need of relief were Gujarati tourists. It is therefore understandable and even demanded of the Gujarat CM that he act swiftly to help the Gujaratis stranded there. This is something the CMs of each state should have done. If Indians were to be stranded from a stampede in Mecca who would we expect the GOI to save first? Whether Modi helped 15000 or 1500 is even immaterial. The fact that he got down to the place and organised the transportation for stranded Gujaratis is what every other state should have done. The sheer incompetence, negligence and ineptness of the UK CM Vijay Bahuguna demanded that others take action.
The guy in the tweet who asks why Modi saved Gujaratis has a serious problem. There is nothing to suggest he saved only Gujaratis but that’s what the media reported. There were people from other states in the buses that Modi organised. In a relief effort you do better when you’re clear who your target group is. Never mind! But if Modi had saved others the same moron would have then tweeted that Modi ignored Gujaratis and gave priority to others and is therefore selfishly eyeing a national role even in a disaster. Did he save 15000? Who put that number out? Modi never made any claims of any number but it’s the CM of UK and the media who made such a guesstimate. Authentic reports state 6000 returned home consequent to the organised action by Modi as narrated in this DeshGujarat report.
Rediff too carries a detailed report on the relief work undertaken by Modi. The 15000 figure conjured up by TOI neither came from Modi nor from any Gujarat govt official. It hardly matters whether the number was 15000 or not. What does matter is that people were not only saved but the exercise also eased the burden on the inept Uttarakhand govt and also reduced the burden on the Army. The Congress did nothing. And what did Rajdeep do? Nothing either! All that Rajdeep Sardesai managed was to promote collection of funds for UK through his favourite charity Uday Foundation. Not just CNN-IBN, even NDTV was promoting this foundation which had no base or operation in UK. It is a fact that Indian govts never act fast in emergencies. The well-organised act of Modi clearly needs recognition not derision by the likes of Rajdeep who act as brokers for Charities. For all his tall talk Rajdeep couldn’t get past his studio during the relief work.