Diary of a reporter: Did Congress come forward to help migrant labourers?

Image Source : PTI

Diary of a reporter: Did Congress come forward to help migrant labourers?

I like Rahul Gandhi, he is not of a complex character and has not acquired the political qualities required to rule the country. But I keep thinking, what will be the psychology of a soft-hearted boy if, at school, the security guards bring a piece of news saying your father has been brutally assassinated by the terrorists. His younger sister Priyanka (although many think of her as Rahul’s elder sister), looking at her, it seems she is much more aware of the political etymology. I had gone to cover Priyanka Gandhi’s marriage at 10 Janpath, where Amitabh Bachhan was welcoming everyone at the main entrance. From that day, like most of the Indian men, even I had an extreme dislike for Robert Vadra. But today, Priyanka’s access and egress into politics are mainly dependent on this Robert Vadra factor. 

Whatever it is, I want to discuss the present coronavirus situation and Priyanka’s political maturity. This mentality isn’t negative, but positive. 

Priyanka had initially announced that the Congress will arrange 1,000 buses for the migrating labours to return from Rajasthan and Delhi to Uttar Pradesh’s interior villages. Many days passed and now through Twitter, Priyanka complained that the Uttar Pradesh government is not allowing the buses to ferry the migratory labours.

I would request Yogi Adityanath ji – the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, to not politicise the buses especially during a time when the nation is fighting a battle against coronavirus. 

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said the government has received no application form from the Congress. 

During the corona period, there are many systematic issues, rules and regulations when it comes to transporting labours in buses and trains from one state to another. This is true that there are bureaucratic red tape bindings. 

Following Yogi Adityanath’s statement, Priyanka Gandhi called up some Congress leaders and asked for details on 1,000 buses in written format. 

Priyanka, now with truthfulness, informed Yogi Adityanath that, she would provide the written documents on the same day, along with every detail of the 1,000 buses and that she will provide the name of the driver and detailed documentation of the license within 24 hours. 

By evening, Yogi Adityanath received the list of 1,000 buses, which he later sent to the Transport Department. 

But from there, a report came in, which stated that amongst these 1,000 buses, only 200 are buses, while the rest are two-wheelers and many rented non-government ambulances. Yogi then again informed Priyanka that there are errors in the list. 

Soon after, Priyanka called up few Congress leaders, who complained that Yogi Adityanath is controlling the private bus unions. Out of fear, the lower division workmen withheld this information to the high commander. 

In Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Ghaziabad borders leaders took part in a strike, in which they accused the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister of politicising the matter and disallowing Congress to help migrant labourers. 

I am only looking at this incident like a specimen case study to understand today’s anatomy of Congress. From this incident, Priyanka definitely understood the condition of her part at present day. 

Today, no one wants politics, but everyone understands that. With the migratory labours, every party has started doing politics. They have become busy to prove who and how much are migratory labours lover. 

I saw a couple with two kids, standing in front of the Delhi station with bag and baggage. Not entirely poverty-stricken, but they used to work at a factory in Ghaziabad, where they had not received wages for two months. Not being able to pay the rent, they wanted to return to their native place in Allahabad. The couple had reached the station on foot after some rumours of a train which would be ferrying people to Allahabad. Now where will they return? That’s why they decided to walk up to Allahabad. 

Another family of a labour was seen begging for a pair of slippers from the police, as his foot had suffered blisters due to walking a long distance. 

The government may say that the deduction in salaries of the middle class and upper-middle-class will be spent for these migratory labours. But, how many of the middle-class society will agree to this? Rather, we would criticize the administrative powers and will raise questions on the move. 

In Ahmadabad, Mumbai, Bhopal and Indore, graves are being dug in advance due to immense coronavirus outbreak. 

I feel sad about the bus row. Sonia Gandhi had stated that in Congress-governed states, the state government will send back the migratory labours via trains. But now, the government is providing trains and buses. 

This incident is not merely an ‘incident’ and I hope the Indian politicians are understanding. 

The sight of migratory labours is not merely an ‘incident’ either. 

The migrants deserve a little more respect in the pages of newspapers and on TV screens. They are dependant on us. If anything happens to one of my relatives, I will shed tears by sitting back at home. Neither do I have the nerve, nor the feasibility to walk for 1,000-1,500 kilometers like the migrant labourers. 

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