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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

plight of migrant workers and the politics played over ! Dutch example !!

When Indian Prime Minister Modiji appeared on TV and announced lockdown –  I stopped print edition of Times of India & Dinamalar  getting delivered – and for past two months or so have not been reading newspapers, mostly do not see TV especially news as one vies with another to deliver more depressing news on Covid-19.  Mostly I don’t read Corona related statistics and bulletins  sent on WA / FB too.

Isolated in a recent European Union council of ministers, with attitudes described by European leaders past and present as “repugnant”. It sounds like an old script of Britain in the EU. Yet it is the Netherlands that has found itself at the heart of the union’s most bitter row during the coronavirus pandemic. As EU leaders meet on Thursday for their fourth virtual crisis summit in seven weeks, the Dutch will once again be in the vanguard of opposition to plans for big spending on the recovery.  British parallels only go so far. The Netherlands is a founding member of the European club and single currency, and does three-quarters of its trade with the EU. A year ago the prime minister, Mark Rutte, gave a sweeping vision of a savvier, more realpolitik-positioned EU in the world. Surveying “the chaos of Brexit”, Rutte said, “there is no such thing as splendid isolation”. Dutch Eurosceptic parties have quietly shelved visions of “Nexit”.

So the Dutch are in news ! ~ the Netherlands,  informally Holland,  is a country in Western Europe along the North Sea coast. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany, Belgium, North Sea and United Kingdom.  Together with the Caribbean Netherlands, consisting of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba, it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country's official language is Dutch, with English and Papiamentu as secondary official languages in the Caribbean Netherlands, and West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland.

They are good in many sports especially Hockey. The Netherlands' national women's field hockey team is currently number one on the FIH world rankings and the reigning world champion. The Netherlands is the most successful team in World Cup history, having won the title a record eight times. The team has also won eight Olympic medals.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte claimed that all sorts of public events in the country will be canceled till Sept 1. He said so at a press conference as quoted by Voetbal International. That, in particular, concerns football games. The national football federation has not yet responded to this statement, but the decision actually means that the current season is over, ahead of the schedue. The season was supposed to be over on the schedule, the way UEFA previously recommended to do; the Association considers the option not to let the teams from the countries that ended the season early play in European cub competitions. So far, only Belgium claimed that the season was over early due to the spread of Covid-19. Germany, on the contrary, plans to resume the games of Bundesliga and the championships in England, Italy and Spain may follow in June.

A couple of months back when Covid struck - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte surprised everyone with appointment of  opposition MP as the country’s new health minister to help combat the spread of   coronavirus. Martin van Rijn, the former Labour party health secretary, was  appointed the Minister for Medical Care on a temporary basis for 3 months. He has years of experience in healthcare and knows the Ministry well,” Mark Rutte said.

Now today a casual search on something else led me to the same subject written differently by Deccan Herald, Times of India and Indian Express – topic ‘migrant crisis’.

Desperate to strengthen the Congress in the state, Priyanka not only outfoxed the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP but also pushed the BJP government into a corner and virtually forced it to accept her offer, wrote   Deccan herald.  It stated that finding  themselves outwitted, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati were also forced to join the issues with the Congress leader. The BJP government, not wanting to be seen opposing the help, was forced to accept the offer of the Congress general secretary though reluctantly.   

Mayawati, who had also initially termed Priyanka's offer as a ''political ploy'', asked the Congress leader to send the buses to Lucknow so that they could be used to send the migrant workers home. Akhilesh Yadav, however, asked the state government to utilise thousands of school buses to ferry the workers home. Political observers here see Priyanka's ''bus move'' an attempt to send across a message among the workers, that the Congress, despite being in the opposition, was ready to help them.

That is not over as yet !  the  BJP on Tuesday alleged that the list of 1,000 buses sent to the UP government by Priyanka Gandhi’s Congress also includes smaller vehicles like auto-rickshaws and cars. Uttar Pradesh Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said there are registration numbers of three-wheelers, scooters and goods carriers in the Congress list of buses given to the Uttar Pradesh government of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “We have done preliminary inquiry and it has come to surface that out of the buses for which they sent details, many are turning out to be two-wheelers, autos and goods carriers. It is unfortunate. Sonia Gandhi should answer why they are committing this fraud,” Singh said. The minister alleged that the Congress has no intention to help the migrants who are stuck in various states. He described the Congress as a 'farziwada party', adding that it has been known for long to commit scams. (

Indian Express was to state that the Yogi Adityanath government on Tuesday found registration numbers of bikes, autos, cars, and ambulances in the list of '1000 buses' arranged by Congress to facilitate transportation of migrants to their native places from the UP border. The list was provided by the UP Congress to state government on Monday night.

Shambolic is the plight of migrant workers caught in a political web.  In Tamil Nadu they were haunted and hurt by locals calling them ‘panipuriwallahs’ but now when they want to attack the Central Govt, they put memes stating that the plight of migrant workers is so pathetic.

Politics !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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