(PTI Photo) (PTI8_19_2018_000165B)
(PTI Photo) (PTI8_19_2018_000165B)

We fail to see how our national pride will be hurt if we accept the offer of a generous financial assistance from the UAE Government for the Kerala flood relief and rehabilitation effort. Apprehension that certain irresponsible elements in the Opposition and the media would criticise it need not hold back the NDA Government from accepting Rs 700 crores on offer from the UAE. In an inter-connected world, when various multilateral bodies and non-profits render assistance for relief and rehabilitation measures even to the developed countries, accepting the UAE offer should not be problematic. Remember that the UAE and Kerala have a special relationship, with the maximum number of Indians working in the Gulf hailing from the flood-ravaged State.

Added reason we should have no hesitation in accepting the UAE help is that the CPI (M) chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, is all for it. NRIs based in the Gulf have come forward to help, but it is their goodwill the rulers of UAE seek to earn by rendering financial help to the flood-hit Kerala. So extensive is the damage that it will need vast amounts of money to restore infrastructure of broken telecommunications, roads, public buildings, etc. Damage to private property is no less severe. Anyone looking askance at the UAE offer ought to remember that financial assistance rendered in such natural catastrophes by multilateral agencies, including the UN, too, comes from pooling funds received from various member-nations. Quibbling over the credentials of the aid-giver is pointless. Besides, since when the Modi Government has become defensive about its nationalistic credentials? Even the USA had openly accepted financial aid following the devastating Hurricane Katrina which had left nearly 2,000 people dead and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and other properties.

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