Monday, September 12, 2005

New orleans Vs Mumbai

Seeing all the responses and questions to the previous post, i thought i will write a seperate post with some more info regarding the calamity and some answers to the questions.

In USA everything operates in a systematic way.Its a country that is too dependent on the system.It has its advantages and disadvantages. In india we are hardly systematic, so it is easy for us to adapt and manoeuver during conditions like this.It is not the same in USA, here it is all good when everything is going right. But hell breaks loose when the system fails.

Let's just take the example of food.Food culture is different here, you are dependent on fast food shops and restaurants for most of your food requirements. Rest, you go to the store in a weekend and stock up everything from meat, milk to precut vegetables and microwaveable food in your refrigerator.In time of hurricanes the electricity goes out and all the food gets spoiled in are totally out of food and no food store is open. You cannot even light your electric stove, provided your house has still not submerged under water. you are pushed to think about the next meal. And imagine if a whole city thinks that way.It is just not food, your apartment/county wont be able to pump the water to the tank. There is no wells here or no personal pipes.All your water needs are provided by the apartment or county. so when electricity goes down, there is no water also.A city of people with No Food, No water and empty shops what will happen??.This is just food, there is traffic and so many other things that go wrong during crisis times like these.

Every country has its mis managements and negligence. Every year the same ganga and brahmaputra floods and 100's of people die. Every year there is scarcity of water in Chennai and farmers all around the country die of starvation and drought. Experts have been saying so much, but who cares.If something is going to cost a lot for the state then there is always the question of who has to take the responsibility state/center etc. Until something drastically happens, no body will take any action.Its been the same case with the leeves in New orleans also.

If u take the case of water not draining off.To put it simply if it was just rain water, even the amount of rain that came down on mumbai.Any american city which got that much rains might have done better.They might have gotten into lot of other problems but not the problem of water not draining off. Cause they simply have better drainage systems.

In india we have been deploying army for rain affected areas and even for riots for quite sometime. But it is not the case with USA.IN order to prevent military mis use they have made some laws. In USA army cannot enter cities just like that, the president cannot mobilize the army into cities without the written permission from the governor of that state. There was some delay in the governor granting the permission and the president was not able to do mobilize the army faster.

This is not to say that there was no negligence or mis management from the people responsible. There has been a lot of them. But USA here is a fallen giant. The right thing to do would be to go and help the person get on his feet, rather than stand on the sides and laugh at the fall or pinpoint his previous problems. Iam totally against iraqi invasion or Bush being the president. But i dont think this is the right time to pin point that.

And let us think and make efforts to make india measure up to USA, when USA is in its heights, not when its down.

I liked your last statement!
Very good post Sen. Me too was fed up with those email messages, celebrating such a tragedy.
let me vent my thoughts - Indian pride is good and I am as much as a patriot like any of my fellow Indians back home, but this just seems wrong to me......In a time, of loss and crisis like this, somebody has actually taken time to compare facts like these to prove that India is better in handling crisis - which may or may not be right but that is not the point here.....
I know many of you would have seen the loss happened in New Orleans and Biloxi on TV but sitting here, I see it almost every day as more and more bodies pile up.....let me just say it is a not a pretty sight.....I won't go into details but monsoon rains in Mumbai are really a walk in the park when you compare a category 4 hurricane like Katrina, with winds topping at 145 miles/hr....some Boeings on the ground were swept off and thrown away - that was the New Orleans, the people wouldn't be able to return for the next monthes - Katrina has flattened everything its path....
I wish the writer would have compared the Tsunami that hit us last year and Katrina...then he would know what he is talking abt.....
enough said....I am proud to be an Indian but this mail just disgusts me.....
Sen ,
Again a very good post .Its really nice that you have pointed out the differences betwen the systems in India and US .

My one and only concern is - why is that we don't appreciate the relief efforts of the Mumbai Government - It failed in the first few days but then it did a good job after that .There is not even a single blog on that .AGreed ,we are way behind US in lot of things and we need to improve ,but India needs lot of encouragement and the ability ' to look positives and negatives ' in a given situation .Iam not comparing anything here ,but we seem to relish in finding mistakes in India and doing really nothing ,sitting thousands of miles away from India .

ibh ,
Tsnumani cannot be compared iwth this .What happened in New Orleans is un imaginable - To be honest ,i don't think we have the capability to handle such a calamity .
"But USA here is a fallen giant. The right thing to do would be to go and help the person get on his feet, rather than stand on the sides and laugh at the fall or pinpoint his previous problems."

Senthil very Good,thats the right spirit.
This also showed the dark side of the social fabric that usually gets simply ignored or dusted under the carpet. One cannot simply wishywash away this one.

Apparam why I didnt see you at H1Bees album release ?

yes ibh, lot of people didn't get the difference between a hurricane and excessive rainfall.thanxs for pointign that out.

I dont think one has to always appreciate the state govt to encourage india.As ibh and aravind in the previous post has pointed out there is a difference between a hurricane and excessive rainfall.
When tsunami came every blogger wrote about it, apreciating, critizing.They even went to the affected areas.But the rains in mumbai was not on that scale.Still people wrote about it expressing shock on it.For god sake the monsoon hits mumbai every year and it is flooded every other year, this year it was incredibly more that's all.

iam not pointing out the mistakes of the state govt.Iam just saying even we have mistakes, when we are not ready to correct them, why should we compare ourselves to others.

When u say u want everyone to appreciate india, you are asking to appreciate relative to that of katrina.You are talking what the guy who wrote the email is talking. Otherwise that argument should never pop up here, period.
'This also showed the dark side of the social fabric'.There are problems, but why talk about that now and feel proud being an indian.There are hell a lot of skeletons in our closet and how can we point that out and feel proud being indians on that respect.
my point is not all focused on what indians thought about that.
I was talking about the problem only as someone residing here for past 7yrs. Esp now that politicians here trying do the blame game.
So that was my perspective it had nothing do with comparing situations or what some desi guy thought about it.
Sen ,
Naan sonnatha apadiye ulta paNNitiinga !!!

WHat i meant is - WHy is that we are appreciating our government by comparing our selves with Katrina ? We can appreciate them as it is !
As I was reading this, i saw the update that LA lost its power for two hours and the city was on the roads.
US is a incubator baby.
Ask them to stand tall, in situations of distress.
We stood tall in our efforts, in the aftermath of Tsunami.
Senthil, eppadi irukkireergal?
Iam good,r u back in dc??.
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