It was really moving to go through Ami's despatch and the last
observations. However, there is another side, even in this hour of
crisis. The caste and class differences erupt even in such a tragedy. The
high-class families in Ahmedabad, it is learnt, want the new clothes as
they won't use the second hand ones. (Perfect enough. Such clothes are
reserved for lower classes and castes). They sleep in their Toyotas,
Santros and Cielos but not with the thousands in the relief camps. Even
the earthquake is not a leveller in this 'developed' society.
The last observation - everything man-made collapsed, but the tees are
still there. They are there to be destroyed by the Man. We have to learn
lessons from Latur experience and try to fairly distribute the aid.
I think that the Union government and the state governments would do many
things surreptiously - like winding up many welfare schemes and projects
(like employment guarantee scheme in Maharashtra) taking undue advantage
of the 'financial burden ' due to the earthquake. The initial and
substantial burden will eased off by the national-international aid and
gratns, supoort from all over India. Earthquake might be misused by the
government for its liberalisation-privatisation agenda. This may seem a
distant possibility, but we have to be vigilant on this count.
Sanjay Sangvai (email@example.com)