Kerala floods & foreign aid
There is widespread debate about the Non Acceptance of Foreign Aid by Indian government meant for Kerala for their relief and construction work after the devastation the Kerala floods caused.
Food and essential materials packets are getting ready for Kerala floods victim
Central government has refused the dollar 10 million relief aid from Uniter Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Kerala which is reeling under the devastation it is facing after the floods struck.
This is not the first time India declining financial aid from foreign nations.In the past during Earthquake in kashmir 2005, Uttrakhand flood of 2013 and floods in kashmir in 2014 India declined aid and relief from countries like USA, Japan and Russia.
In the past India accepted foreign aid and relief by foreign nations till 2004.
After devastating Tsunami in 2004, Indian government took decision of not accepting foreign aid from any nations. But this policy was restricted to foreign governments only and does not extend to individuals and charity organisations.
People of Indian Origin , NRIs or International foundations could send money to the Prime Minister’s or Chief Minister’s relief fund.
why such policy during kerala floods
- India wanted to improve its image economically in the world arena like that of other developed nations as an aid donor.
- Government feels that it might have capacity to rebuild and handle a disaster by its own and should stop looking for outside countries for their internal problems which in the long run will enhance India’s image on world platform.
- Accepting some and refusing some cant be a good policy diplomatically for a nation as we cant accept aid from everyone. So government took this decision in the ongoing crisis of floods in Kerala.
ARGUMENTS FAVORING this policy
- It goes against a nation’s self esteem of taking aid from other Nations.
- India should promote its image on the world arena as aid giver and not aid taker.
- India should show the world that it can handle and has the strengths of handling natural calamities of any proportion and should not depend on foreign aid for it rebuilding. Plus it can also help neighbor nations in the aftermath of these calamities and disasters like it did during 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
- These steps of self rebuilding and aid giving in the times of disasters will enhance India’s image on world platform which will help its case seeking a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- It will also help its progress towards getting a superpower status by 2020.
- Spies who might come with the foreign aid package can be a big problem, can interfere in internal affairs and steal valuable information which can create problems and threat to national security.
- Also, foreign nationals with no knowledge of local culture and language can be a problem too in the disaster zone where protecting them is also a challenge for local authority.
- Once a nation accepts donations the foreign nations might influence decisions in recipient nations in their internal decision making.
- Technologically world is getting so advanced that foreign nationals do not need to visit India for knowing as what is happening and to influence decision making.
- Social giant Facebook and search engine Google know more about India than even an Indian knows about India, and with that vast resource of data they have it is enough for them to manipulate the national plans and priorities.
- Past should be ignored and had to move forward.
- It’s not a sign of weakness if we take an aid or relief in the time of need and disaster of great proportion like that of Kerala floods.
- At this point of time, rebuilding Kerala is more important and for that its no wrong in accepting donations aid or relief from all sources.
- Pride should not be a hindrance in taking genuine offers of help from some countries with whom we have good relations.
- A democratic country should respond in a way that benefits the public at large who are at the receiving end of such calamity.
- If we can offer help then it’s no shame in taking one when the people affected are in dire need of something quick so that their life comes back on track sooner.
- Turning away foreign assistance is no sign of strength.
- It might hamper its relations with United Arab Emirates (UAE) after India turned down help.
- Humanitarian aid in situations of calamities should be kept away from International politics.
- We are part of the same Globe, if one nation helps another in the time of need will only enhance Global brotherhood.
What Kerala is saying
Kerala government has cited the National Disaster Management Plan of 2016 to accept voluntary foreign aid.
A section on International Co-operation in the plan published in 2016 says that if a country voluntarily offers assistance, then union government may accept the offer.
Peoples from Kerala have contributed immensely in the nation building of
United Arab Emirates (UAE). Also UAE has proposed the financial relief on its own and we haven’t demanded it.
Center’s adamant refusal of not accepting foreign aid for meant for Kerala Floods victim is causing resentment among the people who are in need of every help they can get.
What should be done
A goodwill gesture in solidarity with the Kerala floods victims by these foreign nations should not be ignored citing fear of internal interference.
Lakhs of people are living in various relief camps and some quick measures with proper planning is the need of the hour.
Also offer of donations can be scrutinized to check whether or not they are compromising national security.
Above all rebuilding of Kerala and flood’s victim should be given priority and no haphazard decision be made which slows down the process of rehabilitation of lakhs of people who wants to go back to their home soon.
News Source: Insightsonindia