It is, sadly - but not surprisingly - true!!
If you go to Google News and search "floods India", of the more than 5,000 links, only 4-5 are from Indian media. The figure is only indicative of the focus... even search on the websites of Indian MSM, the figures are telling...
Apparently, the media - and people - around the world are more aware and concerned about the Indian flood situation - which according to UN has affected close to 35-40mn people, has damaged or destroyed 1.28mn homes across 260mn hectares in more than 200 flood-affected districts, and is one of the worst flood disaster in recent history. UP, Bihar, Assam and Orissa are the worst impacted accounting for almost 24mn affected people (including 3mn children).
An article in New York Times reports:
- "The monsoon rains in India are a democratic force. When the skies open, the water pours on the homes of rich and poor alike. But after the deluge, the poor always suffer most.
....But for survivors, the real endurance test is just beginning. With crops destroyed and fields bloated with water, there will be no agricultural work for millions of landless laborers here for months, leaving them to rely on the sporadic support of aid agencies and government relief organizations.
...there are gradations within this poverty, and subclasses of richer and poorer.
The flood waters began receding in mid-August, replaced by a stinking, stagnant sludge, but villages remained cut off, and many of those houses that have re-emerged are uninhabitable. Hundreds of thousands of people are sheltered beneath bed sheets along raised highways, just inches away from the traffic, which grinds past, splattering them with mud. Life cannot yet begin again for most.... those with the least to lose had lost the most...."
...the article goes on to say:
- "At a national level, the plight of these flood victims arouses little compassion. In early August, when the United Nations declared the floods the worst in living memory, the miserable condition of the 31 million people affected in India was covered internationally but was neither front-page news in New Delhi newspapers nor featured on national news channels. Instead, bulletins were dominated by the sentencing of a Bollywood star to jail.
Such apathy is not unusual. Newspapers in India often neglect the suffering of the rural poor, more preoccupied with the triumphs of the emerging India than with the familiar stories of extreme hardship experienced by hundreds of millions of Indians living on the land."
In Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 15th August Independence Day speech, this was the only mention about "floods":
- "I urge states to look upon water as a national asset and work to resolve inter-state disputes over water sharing with an attitude of give and take. It is only through a cooperative approach that lasting solutions can be found to recurring problems, like floods and drought. We should work together to prevent the destruction caused by the ravages of nature, like floods."
Needless to say that all the images in this post are not from India media!