India is well known for its history of rescuing its citizens from war-torn nations. But, rescuing with minimum collateral, overcoming all international challenges, be it low to zero co-operation from nations, is what the Narendra Modi government has done seamlessly whenever Indians abroad needed help from their home country. If we talk with facts, there were two instances, where the Modi government carried out mega evacuations and rescued over 25,000 Indians: From Yemen in 2015 and Ukraine this year.
The Indian government sprang into action soon after the embassy in Ukraine started sharing videos of students' plight in the war-torn nation. In response, the government was swift to evaluate the situation and send over help. Several ministers also went to surrounding countries to assist in the rescue mission.
These two — Operation Rahat in Yemen and Operation Ganga in Ukraine — were not just any operations, it involved obtaining safe passage, keeping posted both countries that are at loggerheads and also getting citizens back with zero casualties.
Let's decode both the operations carried out by the Modi government.
Operation Rahat (Yemen)
‘Operation Raahat', was the name given to the evacuation of Indian citizens from Yemen during the 2015 military intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies in that country. Bombings, shelling, and firing led to destruction in all quarters of the oil-rich country, but the Modi government managed to rescue 5,600 stranded Indians and restricted the casualty count to just one.
The effectiveness of the operation was extraordinary; the leadership of an Army General-turned-diplomat has a lot to with it. General V K Singh, Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs supervised the whole operation and led from the ground.
When India announced the conclusion of its Yemen evacuation operation, this was the final tally:
Total evacuated- 5600
Indians among evacuees- 4640
Foreign National among evacuees-960
Countries whose nationals were rescued- 41
Among the rescued, there was a baby as old as 6 days. There were women, children and people in their 90s. Though, these people are back to their homes (most of them jobless) what about the million others who are still in the gallows and can't leave because it is their home.
A country of more than 23 million, torn between four power centres, Yemen looked nothing like it used to. Dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, Yemen has a beautiful culture and is worthy of pride.
The power struggle in Yemen lies mainly between two main sects of Islam, Shia and Sunni. Iran being the leader of the former and Saudi Arabia of the later. On the world stage, Iran has the full support of Russia and Saudi Arabia backed up by the USA.
As Yemen is extremely strategic in the Arabian Peninsula, both parties want to place their dominance over it.
Operation Ganga (Ukraine)
As per the known figures, India has brought back almost 20,000 nationals, mostly students, on 90 flights under the evacuation mission 'Operation Ganga' that was launched following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February this year.
Ukraine is a major educational hub, especially for the field of medicine, with thousands of Indian students choosing the country for studying medicine due to the affordable fee structure there
Melting snow to slake their thirst and fast running out of food, hundreds of Indian students stood on the road every morning hoping "today is the day" when they would be rescued from the savagery of the war that has engulfed the nation. The wait, however, ended when the Narendra Modi government stepped up its effort to make sure every individual comes home alive. From late-night meetings to sending over cabinet ministers to oversee operations from neighbouring countries, the government has done it all.
India brought back its nationals from Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova after they crossed over to these countries from Ukraine through land border transit points.