The Pen, Too, Is a Tool for Rebuilding: A view of tsunami reconstruction in India, where the local government and NGO sector are leading. "It occurs to me that the tsunami has done something not even Mahatma Gandhi could: It has brought fundamentalists together to work for a common cause. Since Dec. 26, three sworn enemies have been working with each other on the relief effort: The RSS, the Hindu extremists who are part of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party; their fierce rivals, the Marxists in the Communist Party of India; and the Jamaat, the authorities who run the mosques and serve the Muslim community. ..
The politician told me that the government will endeavor to rehabilitate the islanders on shore. One of my traveling companions, an engineer from Madras, whispers to me that politicians aren't afraid of breaking promises, they're only afraid of the press.
And he's right. India has a dozen 24-hour news channels -- the most in the world. They're all offering nonstop coverage of the disaster and the relief efforts. So much scrutiny is focues on the government, relief organizations, and politicians about their responses to the devastation that any slipups become national news and prompt heated debates. Although I had wanted to volunteer to help with relief efforts, I now don't mind being a reporter again." 11:06:37 AM