Nepal needs a helping hand, not pointing fingers

It is disappointing and shameful, but perhaps predictable, that politicians have started foot-in-the-mouth statements about the huge tragedy which is still unfolding the Nepal earthquake. Even as you read this, numbers of dead continue to rise, aid is trickling in, and it remains a difficult time for families who search for missing loved ones; some may never have the opportunity of closure.

Even as grisly details continue to pour in and the catastrophe is beyond anything one can imagine, the BJP Minister Sakshi Maharaj stirred a controversy by blaming Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, for the earthquake in Nepal. While speaking to media, he allegedly said the tragedy happened since Rahul Gandhi had visited Kathmandu. He explained that Rahul Gandhi eats beef, and goes to the holy shrine (Kedarnath) without purifying himself. The earthquake was bound to happen.

It is shocking that this minister seeks to trivialise a tragedy and make political capital of it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has earned so much praise for the quick response of India to the tragedy needs to speak out against such inanity, in a powerful statement. The PM, usually so eloquent at other times, needs to slam this statement, even though by a Minister of his own party.

To link the earthquake to beef eating defies comprehension and proves just how low politicians can stoop to get themselves in the headlines, score some points and generally stir a hornet’s nest. It is a heinous remark, made even more insensitive coming at a time like this.

If Sakshi Maharaj is so concerned about Nepal, let him put his energies into a fruitful and productive relief drive for the affected people. Let him use his political clout to mobilise aid efforts. Ordinary people are stirred enough to do this, so why not the minister?

And if he cannot, he needs to stop the trash he is spewing and keep silent. When you have nothing of any value to say but extreme idiocy, then silence is well and truly golden.

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