The following is a rebuttal to MJ Akbar's article, "Very private sector." I tried to publish it in Bharat but the English media blankly refused. Hence the delay in posting here. I strongly suggest that we should set up our own English media to publish the true stories and unmask these desh drohis. If possible, please try to reach this rebuttal to him atleast.
Yours in Dharma
NO MR.AKBAR, YOU ARE NOT FAIR AND SECULAR THIS TIME!!
In a recent article MJ Akbar, Editor in Chief. The Asian Age & Deccan Chronicle has accused the Indian private sector business houses to be communal for not having responded with financial help to the earthquake which occurred in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent.
Let us examine the credibility of his frivolous arguments and brazen accusation with intelligible facts and figures and not plainly injudicious remarks.
1. He wrote, Death has placed an immense print across the north of the Indian subcontinent, in the shadow of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. Have the divided emotions of our subcontinent been jolted into some realignment by the massive earthquake from Kashmir to the Frontier?
He goes on to acknowledge that India responded quite promptly and effectively like this, The government of Dr Manmohan Singh has been not only quick to respond to a neighbour, but very effective in rushing relief to quake-affected Jammu-and-Kashmiris.
The personal involvement of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the relief operations was visible. The Army responded with emergency speed, and its work in remote areas like Tangdar and Uri will be remembered by the people.
Pakistan's government puts the overall number of deaths in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and North West Frontier Province at about 40,000. In Indian-administered Kashmir, officials say 1,400 people were killed
Please note at first that Mr.Akbars article gives its readers the misleading idea that Jammu & Kashmir was devastated whereas actually the calamity hit adversely POK with Muzaffarabad as its epicenter and Northwest Frontier regions of Pakistan. It was not India but mainly POK and North West Frontier Province of Pakistan which bore the brunt of the quake. Moreover, he was honest to admit that the Indian Government played its role reasonably well in providing relief operations to the victims who belonged to Jammu & Kashmir. On the other hand, he significantly makes no comments on the utter failure of the Pakistani establishment to perform its duty equally as efficiently as India. No mention of the primarily ravaged areas has either been made by him for reasons best known only to him. Here one fails to understand his problem if as per him Jammu & Kashmir was looked after reasonably well by Indian authorities.
2. He fires another salvo by trying to compare this incident with the Gujarat quake of 2001, by writing, The debate in India swivelled around a sub-theme: why was corporate India so abstemious? It queued up to donate when an earthquake ravaged Gujarat; where are the photographs of cheques being handed to the PMs relief fund this time?
In order to clear the, by now, thick layer of dust and forgetfulness from Mr.Akbars memory regarding Gujarat, here are the painful facts once again:
Tuesday, 6 February, 2001, 17:29 GMT
Quake leaves million homeless
More than one million people are now homeless in the western Indian state of Gujarat after the massive earthquake, UN officials say.
As hopes of finding further survivors fade, aid agencies are scrambling to bring food, shelter and water to the 250,000 families now without a home.
A UNICEF official says an estimated 2.5 million children have lost their two safe havens - their homes and schools.
At least 30,000 people have died in the quake which took place two weeks ago in a region still battling the aftermath of a cyclone in 1998 followed by a drought.
A representative of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, Joe Barr, said conditions on the ground were still highly unstable.
About 55,000 people were injured by the quake, which registered 7.9 on the Richter scale.
Could anyone in his right mind ever draw a parallel between the two incidents? While the present quake in Jammu & Kashmir claimed the lives of less than 2000 people, more than 30,000 were killed, 55,000 injured and around one million were rendered homeless in Gujarat. It is not to belittle the value of the lives lost in Jammu & Kashmir since every human life is equally precious. The above figures have been quoted only to expose the fallacy of Mr.Akbars comparison between the two, nevertheless tragedies for India. So what did he try to compare Gujarat with? Please enlighten us.
Here again he does not mention POK and Pakistan, being the mainly areas hit this time. But the suppressed anger or frustration coupled with disappointment over the fact that funds from Indian private sector did not travel across the border seems to appear on the surface. One question needs to be asked here. How much did the Pakistani private sector businesses donate to help the Gujarat victims and to rebuild the devastated state, Mr. Akbar? Do you have the figure?
No Mr.Akbar, it is not fair to blame our own countrymen and doubt their generosity which has always been top grade.
3. The final assault is made by him in the following words: "It is time to bring the question out of the closet. Is corporate India communal?"
This time he lets the cat of his bag. By trying to brand corporate India as communal Mr.Akbar again ignores the ground realities conveniently and tries vainly to divert peoples attention from the bitter facts surrounding the quake which primarily destroyed Muzaffarabad and adjoining areas in POK.
Now Mr.Akbar I present below what is really communal for your knowledge.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he was upset by what he described as "indifference" in India to the earthquake.
It is really mind boggling to understand the above shameless accusation of this separatist against India when he mocked the same country as a land of non-believers worshippers of thousands of idols and cow.
Read below for the actual statement along with the source.
Meer Waiz Umar Farooq, Former Chairman of APHC, while talking to newsmen on May 15, 1999 in Srinagar. )
"Kashmir is Paradise on Earth and Paradise can not be owned by non-believers worshippers of thousands of idols and cow). It must be made free from them at every cost."
Doesnt the above revelation from this fundamentalist character sound communal to you? Could you please publish a condemnation, if not done already?
Lastly some questions for Mr.Akbar:
1. Could you please clarify where exactly did you want Corporate India to donate funds?
2. If you meant POK, then what makes you think Indian rupees should be spent to rehabilitate a place which was the hub of terrorist camps and their anti-Indian activities?
3. What is your take on the refusal of Pakistan to allow IAF helicopters with pilots and crews to fly and offer quake relief in the affected areas?
4. What do you say about the recent statement made by JKLF leader Shabir Chaudhury that Pakistan turned down international help in rubble-strewn areas because of fear of exposure" of militant camps there?
5. Did you admonish Corporate Pakistan in the same way for not having donated for Gujarat victims?
6. Did you ever visit the displaced Kashmiri Pundits to comfort them or ever raised money to rehabilitate them and their families?
7. What have you and your like minded secular friends in the media done to raise money yourselves for this quake?
8. How many private Corporate Houses belonging to the Islamic world have donated funds to POK & Pakistan? Did they also donate when Gujarat was ravaged?
9. What have you to say about the ban/restrictions on Christian missionaries to engage in medical relief and other related work in Pakistan this time? Would you have kept quiet if it was India, your own country banning these proselytizers trying to adopt the orphan children and destitute?
The list could go on but let us hear what you got to say about all the above refutations to your allegations that Corporate India is communal.