#ChennaiFloods – The “credit” game

Yesterday I was angry and I didn’t want to write this at that time because I would only get emotional. So Rajesh bore the brunt of my anger 🙂 because I called him, but he knows me well enough, so no damage done. 

Harry S. Truman said it best – 

Everyone who has read this will quote it every now and then but very few people actually follow this. It requires a higher perspective and a mature soul. In all my work with people who help others, I have seen that most would like to get the credit for the work they do. A leader quoted the above during a manager’s meeting and I was super impressed but the next thing I know, the leader was “smartly” ensuring all the credit for good projects went to him. I have also known some wonderful managers who had to be reported to HR for taking credit for things that somebody in their team did. That’s the lure of credit. Who doesn’t want to be feted as a do-gooder ? Who doesn’t want to be in the limelight ? 

The challenge of this “credit” business is, it hampers work that is necessary and critical. Now read this article – Why 100 soldiers had to wait for 10 hours to help Chennai flood victims. Your blood boils ? Mine did too and it doesn’t help. 100 well trained soldiers with supplies were just twiddling their thumbs because the TamilNadu Govt didn’t know where to direct them. It’s nauseating to watch Jaya TV and any AIADMK member speak – every bloody statement starts with “Amma” and ends with “Amma” and nothing happens in this state without Amma’s blessings. Yesterday I was angry because the goons were insisting on relief material to be stamped with Jayalalitha’s photos and I told Rajesh, that if I had been around in that situation, I probably would have knocked one of these goons down. I would have no compunctions in doing so.

The “credit” business has seeped deep into our psyche … Every news channel is trying to report a “tragedy” first and wants the viewer to remember they reported it first. Do I really care ? Why is it important for the viewer to know who reported it first ? So that they can get their TRPs up. Every good “celebrity” Samaritan wants his or her picture handing out some books or notebooks or some such relief material or charity or dole. The true Good Samaritan doesn’t care .. How many of you have heard of or know Anshu Gupta ? The name may ring a faint bell because he got the Ramon Magsaysay award this year. Ok the ringing got a little louder now ? Yes, it’s Goonj’s founder. Now this is one guy who really doesn’t care about credit – he does what he thinks is important and as he has said often to me, Goonj’s work starts as soon as the TV channels move out of the disaster zone. Goonj is still working in the Uttarakhand flood affected areas – what floods ??? Right, those floods happened when PM Modi was CM Modi and it’s the same floods where the idiot scion of the first family held up truckloads of relief material so his picture could be clicked with them !!! Now he is coming to Chennai, oh no :(:(. 

The tragedy of the public discourse in India today is, 1000+ khaki knicker guys are providing organised relief across Chennai silently and they are labelled “anti-national” while a super rich idiot will be holding up traffic and hampering relief work whenever he chooses to descend on this “publicity” disaster hotspot. Am too harsh ? Baby, I haven’t even started …. Am tolerant. 

I request the Govt to declare disasters to be under the central Govt.’s jurisdiction and ensure all relief work is carried out under the aegis of NDRF. Staff the NDRF with armed forces folks and experienced non-credit seeking individuals like Goonj and channel all efforts through them. Start with the Chennai floods. 

2 thoughts on “#ChennaiFloods – The “credit” game”

  1. Brilliant! Can I get angry with you, Bindu? So ridiculous

    Shalini Sahay Bose | Internal Communications
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  2. Bindu, your article and Chennai disaster actully brings out one point very well ……we ourselves are responsible for this, How? because when voted, we did not weigh these points and again and again bring such shallow people to politics. Lets start from voting responsibly and that is the only way to keep such so called “Samaritans” out of polictics.


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