The onset of the monsoon season this month has already killed 600 in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand high up in the Himalayas. The daily reports from the north tell a grim tale of landslides, massive flooding, and the destruction of livelihoods and homes. Even the statue of Lord Krishna got dislodged this week from the northern temple by furious winds and the downpour. The scarier part is to think what happened to the Hindu pilgrims visiting the temple that day. In the country of extremes, even the weather follows the ancient pattern of stark contrasts: the excruciatingly hot summer months of April and May give rise to what feels like nature’s massive revenge in June. What is often traditionally viewed as the season of serenity and contemplation in the Indian folklore is turning increasingly into the season of death and devastation.
Don’t think I will ever understand why so little money is spent on any infrastructures here to help prevent the worst effects of flooding and landslides. Curiously, these same questions were asked in New Orleans. Don’t think the answers are any different from the non-answers that the residents of New Orleans got from their state or the federal government when Hurricane Katrina hit the coastline in 2004.In India though, the monsoon season is annual and much more predictable. Perhaps the answers are found in the greediness further south. The governments and their many cronies are busy cashing in on the spoils of the new and booming Indian economy. You would think there’s now enough money to be found to build more secure roads and barriers to keep the river floods under control. Surely, everyone is questioning what appears to be more than obvious. The effects could have been minimized, perhaps even prevented.
Living and working globally throws all of us in situations in which we witness events that are local, but the effects are much more global. The torrential rains this summer are devastating parts of Central Europe and continue to damage and kill people in China and Indonesia. And we all stand by and watch it unfold on YouTube. Feels like there is something wrong with that picture?
Natural or not?
- Life goes on…it always does although not really the same way for all.