Insensitivity during a crisis deserves no pardon; Wish people’s representatives realise that!

BJP MLA’s comment dipped in insensitivity pains kin of Indian student who lost life in Ukraine

Operation Ganga, the mission to evacuate Indians in war-torn Ukraine is currently on. The mission has been successful enough to bring back a good number of Indians who have been left in the lurch after Russia initiated its invasion of Ukraine. Though the government has been trying to tell the people that the evacuation exercise has been fully successful, a bunch of students who returned think different.

Television media footage quoting students saying that the government efforts were not up to the mark, as they have been given the cold shoulder by the Indian embassy in Ukraine has come in for much flak. The students complain that they had to find their own way to laces beyond the Ukraine border so that the government would pick them up. This, according to them, cannot be termed evacuation.

Even as debates have been triggered following these revelations, the government maintains that the evacuation efforts are perfectly carried out. However, at least a group of students who have returned, after undergoing much suffering, do not think so.

Insensitivity in BJP MLA’s comment

As discussions are on that front, a BJP MLA in Karnataka has triggered a fresh controversy in relation to the evacuation process. As the nation is yet to come to terms with the death of Naveen Shekharappa, a student who was killed when he ventured out of a bunker in search of food, the BJP MLA has added much more pain to the grieving nation with insensible utterances.

Arvind Bellad, the BJP MLA who had got elected from the Hubballi-Dharwad constituency in Karnataka, is currently in the news for his insensitive comments. Even as the family is awaiting the arrival of the body of Naveen, the MLA has reportedly commented that “it is very challenging to bring back those who are alive, it has become even more difficult to bring back the dead because a dead body will consume more space on the flight. Instead, eight to 10 persons can be accommodated in place of a dead body, which would consume more space.” The comment came in the context of the uncertainty over the speedy arrival of Naveen’s body to his hometown, Haveri.

Though he said that the government is trying to bring back the mortal remains of Naveen, his words that a dead body takes more space and that eight to 10 persons can be accommodated in place of a dead body, has come in for criticism.

Time to stand by grieving family

People’s representatives, and that too from the ruling party, need to be more sensitive about issues such as these. A grieving family awaiting the arrival of the body of their son who was killed in a distant land, and in a war fought between two nations far off home, needs to be treated with more respect.

It remains to be seen whether the Karnataka government and the Centre would see Naveen Shekharappa’s family’s plight and do the needful soon. And in the meantime, the leaders need to stop party men from coming up with insensitive comments too. They need to realise what it actually means to lose a family member.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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