“Amma” Stickers put the AIADMK in the Spotlight
About the Floods:
For the past week or so, Chennai has been hit by a series of floods that have left the the metropolitan city in shambles. The recent deluge has proven to be one of the worst storms Chennai has seen in over a century. While the heavy rainstorms have ceased, approximately 300 people have lost their lives and thousands of others have lost their homes. Amidst the starvation, destruction, and tragic loss of life, people have still found a way to weave politics into a city that needs nothing more than helping hands.
“Amma” Stickers Spark an Outrage:
Luckily, with social media at our fingertips, it has become very easy for us to get insider access to the world’s biggest problems. The Chennai floods have had the world’s attention for the past week or so and relief efforts have flooded in from countries around the globe. These relief efforts, however, have not been going over smoothly. Members of Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha’s party (AIADMK) have allegedly been holding up the distribution of relief packages by insisting that pictures of “Amma” (Jayalalitha) be posted on packets of food and other necessary items. Although the AIADMK has released statements proclaiming that “They will never endorse such acts during a disaster,” pictures posted on Twitter may lead people to believe otherwise.
In one case, a relief truck was stopped for over 4 hours because the AIADMK activists were waiting for Amma stickers to be printed, he said
— T S Sudhir (@Iamtssudhir) December 5, 2015
The stickers are clearly being pasted all over relief packages in Chennai, and the people are outraged. The question that remains is whether or not the stickers are the work of the AIADMK or some of the party’s more corrupt followers.
The Issue with the Stickers:
The most obvious problem with this is the cause of a delay in the relief effort. At a time where thousands of people are homeless and hundreds have died, there is no time for stickers or politics. The most respected politicians are those that go out in public and physically make a difference in their communities. CM Jayalalitha, on the other hand, has been facing backlash for barely showing her face at all amidst this tragedy. To be fair, Jayalalitha and her administration have been working to provide housing to families that no longer have a home and distributing food and clothing to those in need, but that does not excuse the party’s affiliation with this sticker fiasco. If the “Amma” stickers are a ploy to gain popularity before the 2016 election, it will only prove to show how corrupt Indian politics has become.
Corruption is never the answer. It is time to move towards a government that puts the needs of the people before upcoming elections and public image. It is time to move towards a government that is willing to be seen interacting with people and working hands-on to make their cities a better place. This sticker issue is an unnecessary and selfish attempt to put politics before humanitarianism.
Nevertheless, the efforts of relief workers all over India are something to admire. It is truly amazing how the world has come together to support Chennai’s recovery from these floods, but there is still plenty of work to be done. If you would like to contribute to the relief effort, visit any of the following websites for more information: Akshaya Patra, Bhumi, and GlobalGiving.[Image Attribute: Aleksandr Zykov]