Money never comes without strings. The people who give the aid often expect “gratitude” that turns out unreasonable and costly. It promote a kind of image that we are trying to get out of and interferes in doing business. Go through the following three headlines as a Exhibit A from our ex-coloniser talking about gratitude.
Britain gave us a few millions in aid in the long past and expect billions in business deals favoring them. Yeah, nothing is free. Even if their government themselves don’t directly ask and claim the tabloids like DailyMail or Express don’t represent them, there is a huge public pressure created by media that see India as poor, indebted to them and should wipe the floor for them.
Thus, the foreign aid has always turned out to be “penny wise, pound foolish”. For a few crumbs here and there, we get to lose a lot in the long term. This is why the major parties in India have avoided going with the begging bowl to the outsiders.
UAE still has plenty of ways to help Kerala. They could invest in the state through FDI and FII routes. Their companies could set up greenfield factories in the state or bid road contracts for rebuilding the state. If the quality fits, they could import products from Kerala companies. They could also buy and transfer technology to the state in building new kinds of homes, water purification etc.
Just as the fishermen who saved a lot of lives graciously said no to aid ["Don't Want Money For Saving Lives," Say Kerala Fishermen Who Braved Flood Water To Help Victims] it is often prudent not to accept aid that often come with hidden strings attached.
Every government that has ruled India in the past 15 years has had the same view — whether it is BJP + coalition in 2003, Congress + Communists in 2004, Congress in 2013 or BJP in 2018 — the policy has been consistent for all states across India. There is no reason to turn this into internal politics.
If you want to help, invest in new opportunities and trade. Visit as a tourist. Spread the positives that happen there. And countries like Maldives giving us some paltry sum is more insulting than helpful. They have snubbed India a lot in the recent past and there is no way we can see their $50000 as an act of kindness. Had we taken the money, they will rub it on for a long time as though our existence depended on that.
And it is not as though UAE has wired us the money and it sits in the bank. What is quoted was a proposal and given how governments work, it might take a long time to reach if at all.
In short, there is a strong reason why India has avoided foreign aid during calamities for a long time. Thanks, but no thanks. If you want to help a country — India or any African country, invest in their technology, visit and spend on tourism, purchase their products, promote trade, write about good things happening in their country etc — but keep the alms to yourselves.
Credit - Quora