Friday, June 21, 2013

UTTARAKHAND TRAGEDY - ARMY IS THE ONLY SAVIOUR

UTTARAKHAND TRAGEDY
ARMY IS THE ONLY SAVIOUR
Soldier is the Real Hero
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

As the nation grapples with the Uttarakhand tragedy, the enormity of the calamity and magnitude of the devastation unfolds as rescue operations continue.

I heard a survivor say this on a TV News Channel:

“I am alive because of the Army ITBP and Air Force. The Army is the only saviour and the Soldier is the real hero.”

These words aptly sum up the sterling performance and exemplary role being played by the defence forces, the Army, Air Force and ITBP, and the yeoman’s service being rendered by the military in carrying out rescue and relief work in this catastrophic tragedy.

While expressing gratitude and praise for the Defence Forces for rescuing their lives from danger, many survivors seemed to be very upset angry disgusted and outraged with the civilian administration for their callousness in abandoning the citizens in this time of grave and urgent need.

On numerous TV Debates, most panellists are unanimous that the main reason for the sheer magnitude of this tragedy is the negligence, lackadaisical attitude and corruption of the civil administration and politicians, who seem to have disappeared from the scene in these times of catastrophe.

The politicians should have been at the forefront of the rescue operations, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the army.

After all, these politicians are the elected representatives of the citizens who are now in distress.

Instead of offering succour to the victims, politicians seemed to busy playing blame-games in New Delhi and engaging in vitriolic debates on TV blaming each other for this colossal tragedy.

People are shocked by this insensitivity shown by politicians but they do not seem to care.

It is indeed a sad state of affairs.

Looking at TV reports, it seems that Politicians and Civilian Administration have abandoned the hapless citizens to their fate.

It appears that politicians and civil servants have abdicated their sense of duties, flinched from their accountability and handed over the entire responsibility of rescue and relief to the Army.

One can only see Army Air Force and ITBP in action and their officers briefing the media.

During a TV discussion, a senior retired civil servant said that it was the responsibility of the District Magistrate (DM) to ensure prevention and mitigation of such disasters in his district since the District Magistrate (aka District Collector) is the Crisis Administrator responsible for Disaster Management during calamities.

He said that the DM should be in the forefront coordinating rescue and relief operations in his district during such catastrophic adversities.

However, if one goes by what is shown on TV, civil servants of the Uttarakhand Administration are nowhere to be seen and it looks like they have abdicated responsibility to the army.

So now it is the brave uniformed personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP who will risk their lives and toil round-the-clock in great hardship to rescue human lives and provide succour to the victims of this terrible disaster.

As a survivor said: “The Army is the only saviour and the Soldier is the real hero”.

Gradually, as things return to normal, the army will return to its barracks.

The army will fade away from memory, the soldier will be forgotten, and, once again, the politicians and civil servants will rule the roost.



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