Of Kerala floods and Manipur

Sir,
Kerala, ‘God’s own country’, had recently witnessed one of the severest floods in its history. More than three hundred lives have been lost and properties worth crore of rupees destroyed. Help, financial assistance from all across the country and abroad and good samaritan works/activities continue to pour in to help the flood victims.
Without joining the debate (this is no time for debate and pointing fingers) on the causes of the floods- whether the flood is man-made or/and due to the unprecedented heavy rainfall- one thing is for sure. Nature is angry, damn angry. It is nature’s fury. It is Nature’s answer to all the dams constructed and the minings conducted over the years. The environment had been destroyed to no end, trees felled recklessly and thus the ecological balance has been utterly imbalanced. It is no secret that the ‘dam-contractor-mafia’ has been ruling the roost in league with the ruling dispensation.What happened and is happening in Kerala is obviously the result of a myopic and faulty environment policy. It is only to be expected when the dam-contractor-mafia rule the roost and are given state patronage. This is the price paid for destroying the environment and disturbing the ecology. The same thing or similar scenario may certainly happen in Manipur (and elsewhere) too if these ‘twice-born’ privileged class of people- ‘contractors-turned-politicians-turned-contractors’ are given free hands to carry out dam-centric policy programmes and development activities. Manipur which too recently faced severe floods/flash floods and is witnessing the same every monsoon, will face the same Kerala scenario sooner than imagined if concrete and environment-friendly steps are not initiated/implemented to protect/preserve her environment and ecology. You can’t blame the monsoon for what had happened in Kerala. Nor can you put the blame squarely on monsoon if and when such Nature’s Fury visits our Sanaleibak. Monsoon comes and goes. If, at all, you want to blame: Blame it on the dam-developers and contractors.

Yours faithfully,
Prof. Rajendra Kshetri, Manipur University.

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