Jus Rerum 2020-09-01: 10 Min

When Insanity meets the thought of Purity

Author: Shivani Sharma

Student Of Information Science Engineering, BMS Institute of Technology & Management, Bengaluru

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“आपः पुनन्तु पृथिवीं पृथिवी पूता पुनातु माम् ”

Veda mantra that means, “Let the copious flow of water purify the earth from garbage, dirt, filth. Thus, the purified earth will grant me purity.” It is a simple calling to fulfill one’s wish, rather one’s avidity to bring the utmost purity, peace back in life. Right? Well, you asked for it, you get it. The blissful rain is here to turn all your dreams into reality. To bring the soul of farms back, to calm the blaze of the sun, to exhilarate sulky souls. But, Sorry! It isn’t exactly the way you might have asked for. What to do? There was so much waste that an equal amount of water was needed. Resulting in floods from Bengal till Gujarat.

Yes! I am talking about “Flood 2020”. Amidst this global pandemic, COVID-19 or commonly known as coronavirus disease, India is at worst hit by floods. When the whole globe was under lockdown, nature was healing itself. Pollution got decreased, a lot of pure-fresh air was available to breathe, Yamuna retained its originality, in some places instead of human animals were seen on the road because they felt that now their habitat has no boundaries. But, then the heat of human blood, warmed by their obstinacy and also by the sorrow to meet the ends; just re-initiated the vicious circle. In my opinion, since the sources of pollution were just near to zero, our ecosystem was balanced, but a sudden resettling of work disturbed this balance. Thus, resulting in heavy to very heavy rainfall.

Floods are an annual occurrence in India. Almost 15% of India is prone to flooding.  But this time it’s not just the prone parts of India that have been affected by heavy rainfall but the other parts as well. Assam, Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Punjab, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Odisha evidently cover almost half of the country.

Several states continue to be affected by rain, widespread flooding and landslides from the Southwest Monsoon. 847 people have died as a result, while more than 14.8 million have been affected (ECHO, 16 August). 

Central Gujarat and Saurashtra region got hit by torrential rains. Vadodara alone recorded a startling 50 cm of rain in just 24 hours. Almost 10 districts of Maharashtra got hit by rains. Resulting in the evacuation of about 4.5 Lakh people to 372 relief camps; and Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway No. 4 got closed too, leaving heavy-duty vehicles stranded on either side. Whereas Uttarakhand is not just worst hit by the rainfalls but also by the landslides. Interestingly, there are well enough trees in forests to hold the soil but still, 80% of the state is prone to slope instability not just because of natural aspects but also because of clear-felling in forests and by construction on steeper slopes. Torrential rains lashed Rajasthan’s capital city Jaipur as well and wreaked havoc all around. 

In July, when Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka were sailing below the danger mark, the Ministry of Home Affairs Disaster Management Division (NDMI), reported 183 fatalities across the four States. Which marked the beginning of flood in India? In such menacing situations, news of flood in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), Assam spread a feeling of lament around the globe. This news was so devastating that Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) expressed their concern and distress in a letter to the Kaziranga National Park’s director P. Sivakumar. “We have the happiest memories of our visit to Kaziranga in April 2016 and are shocked by what has happened,” he wrote in the letter. The park had been hit by many waves of flood so far this year with more than 90% of the area submerged in water and 123 animals, including 12 rhinos, dead (as per July 24, 2020). He further wrote expressing his dismay towards the mental situation and working condition of staff, “We know from our visit how dedicated all the staff in Kaziranga are in caring for the park’s wildlife, and can only begin to imagine what a difficult time this must be”. Even though P Sivakumar, Director, KNPTR, said that “It is a riverine ecosystem, not a solid landmass-based ecosystem. The system won’t survive without water.” but clearly the concerns to save the life of the endangered species and even the non-endangered species took over all the themes and theories.

Every year, the river Ganga flows above danger mark alarming the disciplinary lives around. Hitherto the management of the government and authorities fail to keep up with this obvious-known disaster. Aware of the fact that every year monsoon arrives before the season residents are more prepared than the concerned authorities or departments. Not only the people living near the catchment areas but also those living far away from the shore, do own boats by now. It goes without saying that, why they do it? No doubt that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is well equipped to deal with the unpredictable circumstances but still every human fears death, and therefore one has to be well prepared before anything more severe or serious happens. 

Every now and then, your WhatsApp family group is filled with videos of DTC bus crossing subway submerged in water or other videos of a similar plot, they go viral in just a few seconds. If not on any social interactive platform then there are News channels to make you scream “Oh My God!!!”. Those morning non stop 100 news of every channel engrave out the feeling of misery from you towards the person who was stranded at Kutaghat Dam and got rescued by Indian Air Force after 16 hours. Feeling of misery towards the driver of the heavy-duty vehicle and his companion, who was crossing a bridge submerged in the river and got engulfed by the rising waves of the river. But somehow managed to save their lives. Feeling of misery towards the monkeys, whom you might have hated once because they stole your banana. But now they are being rescued by making a bridge of ladder. Feeling of misery towards a family who was enjoying a quality time near a river which soon got ruined by the sudden heavy waves. Not just that, if you haven’t seen wildlife in real or without bars around them, then it makes your blood run cold when you see the news of a crocodile or rhinos entering residential areas. But eventually, in such situations, you end up praying to God and thanking your stars for keeping you safe.

The Clean and balanced environment is essential for the survival of human civilization. The Western civilization has understood this fact in the second half of the twentieth century, while the Indian Manisha realized it during the Vedic period itself. “The earth, water, fire, space and air” our sages and sages knew that the human body is created by these five elements -

“पंचस्वन्तु पुरुष आविवेशतान्यन्त: पुरुषे अर्पितानि।”

They were aware of the fact that if one of these five elements is desecrated then its effect on human life is inevitable. But the development of and by humankind couldn’t keep up with the terms like clean and balanced environment. Hence, we are facing the never expected natural disasters deteriorating not just nature itself but also the human establishments for which they always kept nature on stake.

But we are daredevils, although we have already anticipated the aftermath still, in every summer we wish for the same blissful rain to bring back the purity in our life and wash away all the dirt. We know that once we will ask for it, we will get it. But not in the exact form we wanted it, we will always get more than what we expect. Because it’s the mother nature, so generous and kind that the much you will give to her she will return you the same with some extra caboodle. The same caboodle which you hear as red warnings for heavy rain which have been issued for different parts on different days.


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