The ongoing uncertainty in Ukraine is highly concerning, particularly in the interests of safety of Indians stranded there. It has to be noted that there were sufficient warnings by Russia about the invasion and many indications pointed towards impending crisis since November 2021.
The unfortunate death of Naveen, a native of Haveri, due to shelling by Russia has exposed under preparedness of BJP government and failure to assess the impact by Ministry of External Affairs. According to MEA, about 20,000 students were studying in Ukraine. The government had lot of time to evacuate these students between the outbreak of hostilities in early January this year till the start of military conflict in late February. Build up Russian troops around Ukraine started as early as November 2021.
Why was there lack of response by government to issue adequate advisory for the students to leave Ukraine and make necessary arrangements to fly those students back to India? Why did the government start the process only after the outbreak of military conflict? India issued the first advisory on February 15 asking for details of Indians residing in various parts of the country, whereas many other countries had carried out this exercise a month before. It is not new for India to conduct evacuation of its citizens from conflict areas. In 2011, more than 15,000 were evacuated from Libya at short notice for the safety of Indians. But the laxity by BJP government has taken toll on the safety of Indian students in Ukraine during the current crisis. Why could BJP government not do which previous governments could do? Had BJP acted swiftly, Naveen would still be alive with us and also could have saved 20,000 students from experiencing trauma.
The news reports by domestic and international media houses, about the humanitarian crisis and plight of India students, are very disturbing. Students, especially in the conflict zone, are facing difficulties even for a single meal.
It is unfortunate to note that BJP leaders are jumping to improve their PR during the time of crisis. BJP leaders considers every crisis as an opportunity to increase their publicity. Narendra Modi used even the name of Ganga for the evacuation operation so that it helps BJP during the ongoing Uttar Pradesh elections. I just hope river Ganga forgives the sins of BJP leaders.