With the coming of the Gujarat Earthquake on 26th January, a new buzzword is taking the rounds – and that is, Crisis Management. The idea of this sort of management is that, we should have some sort of an infrastructure to face the eventuality of any crisis that may befall the country, at any point of time.
Yes, it is all too well to think and imagine such a set up, however, let us just ponder to think as to, how a crisis management infrastructure can be maintained when; the normal infrastructures of daily performances cannot be maintained.
When and where the daily routine works are mismanaged what good can be expected to come out of a crisis management system.
In considering the establishment of a crisis management cell, the one thing we have to remember is that, a crisis almost always comes without giving a due warning.
Experience shows us that, the annual crisis of floods in certain areas has not been able to come under control then how can we control an unprecedented crisis?
The floods in Assam for example are an annual feature and in the last 50 and odd years we have not been able to have any action against the destruction expected then, how can we ever expect to be prepared for some such unexpected calamity.
These floods are a sure occurrence, the Government knows it, the people know about it yet, the calamity comes annually, and we just put up with it and forget it.
With this attitude I personally don’t think that we can ever hope to make any dent in establishing any sort of crisis management cell, to work for crisis warding off or to stand up as soon as the crisis hits. This makes it so clear that, when a crisis is sure to come we are not able to handle it or plan for it then how can we ever plan an unforeseen crisis.
To my mind all crisis can be managed if the Government authorities and machinery remain functioning smoothly in all weathers. A routinely non-functioning Government, people, and other organizations can hardly ever expect to plan a crisis management.
If our routine management is efficient and meticulous, I think any crisis can be dealt with without any special cell for crisis management. Over here, to lay stress on this point, I would like to give an example of our extreme inefficiency. At the Prime Minister’s residence, during Indira Gandhi’s regime there was always kept an ambulance for any emergency that might occur.
However, when Indira Gandhi was shot at her own home, this same ambulance could not move and her dying body had to be dumped in an ambassador car and taken to the hospital. When this is the way we maintain crisis items for the Prime Minister, what better will we do for the poor public of India is beyond any one’s imagination.
Thus with this one example we can ascertain how our crisis management can be expected to work. As experience tells us if a crisis management cell is to be taken up by a special task force, it will only imply a new avenue of bureaucratic high-handedness, and a new source for breeding corruption.
Let us gear up our daily routines and activities and we will always find ourselves sufficiently alert to manage any crisis. A lethargic set up in the nam6 of crisis management cell will be of no use to manage any crisis of any magnitude. The ambulance story of Indira Gandhi is an eye opener for us to understand what happens to our crisis occurrences.