Adv. Masood Peshimam for wordforpeace.com
There is an Urdu couplet:
DIL KO TODA KARO SALIQE SE BEWAFAI KE BE ADAB HUA KARTE HAIN
The above couplet can well be translated that even the heart breaking should be in a decent way. Even the faithlessness is to be equally embedded with the style, manner and the culture. Perhaps the Prime Minister of India may not be aware of it. Otherwise he would not have waded into a huge controversy with an odious comparison of Poll bound Kerala with Somalia.
He said it in an election campaign in which his predecessors rarely went in the statesduring election. Pandit Nehru did not involve himself in the election campaign of the states. Other Indian stalwarts like Moulana Abul Kalam Azad did not visit his constituency in the election. However PM Modi has to deeply and actively involve himself in the electoral politics as his party BJP is hankering for power by hook or crook.
It is not astonishing to note that BJP is only obsessed with the electoral politics irrespective of any consideration for fairness and equity. It cannot be denied that the political parties of all hues and colours are nude in the same bath but the BJP has gone a few steps ahead in exploiting the social situation to enhance its electoral fortunes. Given this the comparison of Kerala with Somalia looks to be the part of this game plan.
The obnoxious comparison was made in an election rally in the state capital Thirhvanthapuram. Modi had said that infant mortality rate among the tribes men in the state was worse than that in the Sub- Saharan African country.
The Prime Minister seemed to have made the controversial comment on the basis of an image carried by the media in which a couple of boys belonging to a scheduled tribe were shown eating out of a waste dump in Kannur district.
It is observed that there are people seen eating out of the waste dump in many parts of the country. The city of Kalyan in Maharashtra equally provides such traumatic scenario. It explains as to what harsh economic scenario the poor and needy are exposed to irrespective of any considerations. The political culture in the country is only interested in the shameless vote bank politics. No politician worth the name is seen to improve the plight of the deprived lot. The politician inciting the sentiments of the people in the name of caste and creed are never seen helping the beleaguered and unfortunate lot.
No less traumatic is the fact that blind people in Mumbai trains keep begging. More tragically, sometimes these blind persons keep asking for alms in empty trains. In this situation, the chances of accident can not be ruled out. The scenario is intensely catastrophic. Surprisingly there is no public outcry against this depressing scenario. Even the Human Right activists seem to be in slumber. It is our duty to see that such deprived human beings dont go to more depth of the worsening condition.
While drawing comparison with Somalia, Modi forgot to note that even the African countries are trying to rise in the development. The pirates are there in that African country but they dont cover the mainstream social life.
Notwithstanding Modis outrageous comments the fact remains that the quality of life in Kerala is much better than other states in India. Kerala has made tremendous strides in the field of education. Its literacy rate is astonishingly very high. No less significant it is to note that a large chunk of Keratitis are in the Gulf mainly nurses which enables our country to earn the vast foreign exchange.
Another significant aspect of that Malyalee state is the prevalence of remarkable communal harmony. The Hindus, Muslims and Christians in Kerala are orthodox but they are not fanatics. The malyalee state has shown the distinction between the orthodoxy and the fanaticism.
In this context it is not out of relevance to quote the eminent journalist Veer Sanghvi who said that there are two types of Hindus as the Hindus who follow their religion and there are Modi Bhakt Hindus who are first anti Muslim and than the follower of Hinduism.
In the teeth of the raging controversy of comparing Kerala with Somalia the external Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj reminded the state C.M. Mr. Chandy that her government evacuated thousand of Indians from Kerala from Iraq, Libya and Yemen. The Indian governments efforts in evacuating Indians from the regions in the Gulf have drawn a lot of appreciation but that does not justify to lower the image of that southern state.
Defending Modi the Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the BJP would not allow Kerala to be made a Somalia. Mr. Naidu should be kind enough to note that his governments double standard of Justice based on religion with serious questions about the integrity of the investigation process has already tarnished the image of the country.
Now with the muddied water, P.M Modi is expected to introspect and reflect on the affairs of his own government instead of comparing Kerala with Somalia. The Indian government must take corrective steps to prevent further damage to the national interest.