Yes, India is REFUSING Aid.
Link 1 – The Times of India
Link 2 – News Insight
Ok this topic is a whopper, but let’s try and tackle it. First para goes to abusing my favourite horse – Right-wing (and some lefties too) Americans. Whenever us non-American savages dare to criticise anything American, (or steal a few “American” jobs”), a common response is: “Let’s stop giving those Indians free food and aid”. Ok, India has not been a receipient for foreign aid for SOME TIME now, but if you read Link #1, it’s official. so STFU. But of course, now that India is refusing Aid, these same people will now call us a bunch of morons who are too busy letting pride or some other such stupidity get in the way of saving lives…
I had often heard of nasty strings being attached to any aid given by foreign countries, but usually took it with a pinch of salt. But honestly, I think it’s more than mere childish pride that causes India to refuse aid. Especially for the help required for Andaman and Nicobar.
For those who don’t know anything about Andaman and Nicobar, the names refer to a set of islands to the east of India, very close to Indonesia (and Aceh). These islands are a legacy of British India, and are home to the notorious “Cellular Jail” where the British would house some of its more unruly subjects (Indian Freedom Fighters, for example). They are also home to some very ancient tribes, who are mostly hostile to the rest of us, and left to their own lives by the Indian Government. These tribes are native to these islands, and have lived their quiet isolated lives for centuries (apparently some back to the stone age, but I find that a little hard to believe, and probably just media sensationalism). Current news media is reporting that when an Indian Air Force helicopter did a fly-by, it was greeted with a hail of arrows from their bows! Well at least we know that they are still alive! In more recent times, these islands now also house an Air Force and Naval Base. The Indian government is refusing aid for many reasons, as Link #2 above claims (I wonder if that article is based on fact), and second because Andaman and Nicobar are important to National Security, and finally, because the Indian Government does not want a bunch of aid agencies and irritating reporters intruding on the lives of the local tribals (In line with Star Trek’s Prime Directive…).
All fair reasons, if you ask me.
Further, our current Prime Minister is anything but a moron, so I’m sure he has good reasons for refusing aid…
Link 3 – Anuradha’s Blog
And on a final note, India is playing more the part of donor! The Indian army is launching a gigantic relief operation to help Sri Lanka and the Maldives,plus co-ordinating the setting up of the (completely useless and pointless, IMHO) Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning system.