Around 41 workers were trapped in dangerous conditions inside the Silkyara tunnel since November 12, 2023 and after 17 days of ardent efforts and prayers of all they were finally rescued. Interestingly, each one of them came out smiling, appreciating and thanking the rescue workers and the government.
They thanked the government that not even for a day they were without food and despite being from different states, whatever supplies they received they shared amongst themselves with love. Instead of focusing constantly on the problem, they engaged in a constructive manner by doing yoga, playing board games etc. provided to them by the government and kept each other’s morale high. Even on telephonic call with our PM Shri Narendra Modi, they thanked the efforts of the government for going to the extent of even calling an expert from Australia and for constantly being in touch with them as one big family.
Now, if we compare this behavior to some of the Indians who were stuck abroad and rescued by the government of India under operation “Ganga” from the war torn Ukraine. Many of the students were seen slamming the welcome gestures of the union ministers and officials at the India Gandhi International Airport, refusing to accept flowers or simply ignoring their presence at the reception. Some of them were heard complaining that they had to sit on floor, eat stale bread, walk on foot for long distance and another one was heard saying that it was wrong to call it “evacuation” when the flights brought them from a safe country! A few other students staying at a transit shelter expressed their dissatisfaction over being asked to clean restrooms by embassy staff and the amenities been substandard.
And a female student was seen complaining that the government official did not arrange for her inland travel and that she had to pay for her return home (that is from Mumbai to Dehradun)!
Many developed countries like the US and European countries had to temporarily close their embassy functioning and had abandoned their citizens, by asking them to go to safer locations on their own volition. In fact, the US President Biden had asked all Americans as early as on 11 February to leave Ukraine within 48 hours ruling out any possibility of dispatching any teams to rescue American citizens. On the other hand, after the Indian Prime Minister spoke to the heads of states of Russia and Ukraine, vehicles pasted with Indian tricolor and individuals carrying Indian national flag were given safe passage everywhere. However, these students were found cribbing and complaining completely ignorant or nonchalant to the difficulties that the GOI had to overcome both diplomatically and strategically to make the operation a success.
Unlike the gratefulness shown by the Uttarakhand workers, these students had conveniently forgotten that the choice to go to Ukraine for study was made by them and that the Indian government was in no way responsible for the crisis. It was only because our Bharitya culture and dharma that the present government took proactive and prompt measures for their evacuation! it is because unlike the west, where capitalism booms and only “I, Me and Myself” is the mantra. We as Bhartiyas consider each other as a part and parcel of one big family and even Modiji lived up to his raj dharma by making tireless efforts to evacuate these students – only because he considered them as his own, that is, citizens of Bharat! All in all, the most important lesson which should be learnt from the Uttarakhand workers is that they despite not being as literate or educated as these students – they had displayed strong qualities like- having patience, teamwork, empathy towards each other, courage for they didn’t lose faith (neither in the government nor on kedarnath ji) and above all – being grateful and thankful to all those involved in their rescue! It is these Bharatiya values, of thinking not just about oneself but of the collective “we” that takes one higher in life.