Two Nations in Turmoil and One in Need of Change

Posted on April 5, 2010

Sandeep Dasika:

We are all aware of the challenges the world is currently facing- The climate change and its aftermath, and unsurprisingly enough BANGLADESH is at the mercy of climate changes. It is more exposed to global warming than any other country.

According to the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) says that the rising sea levels will devour 17% of Bangladesh’s total land mass by 2050, leaving atleast 20 million people homeless. In Bangladesh, climate change is in the newspaper multiple times every single day.

According to recent reports, 60% of Bangladesh lies at less than 5m above sea-level. A sea-level rise of 1m could turn 30 million Bangladeshis into climate refugees.

The biggest climate impacts are slow and quiet and felt only by the residents, farmers and fisher people. The Sunderban’s rich bio diversity is threatened by encroachment of sea water into the mangrove swamps; the loss of the mangroves, which provide a vital layer of protection against storms, will further increase the devastation caused by cyclones.

And indeed the Bangladeshis feel that it’s not paying back the climate debts which is as important as actually reducing emissions- the only thing that matters to them is the shutting down of the climate change. Because Bangladesh is most vulnerable to climate change, it also has a strong case for getting a meaningful share of climate finance. Under the COPENHAGEN ACCORD, there’s going to be tens of billions of dollars in play and even a tinge of it would be a massive amount of money in a country like Bangladesh. It’s sometimes alleged that some Bangladeshi political parties and NGOs are interested in climate change issues primarily to get their hands on inter-governmental and private funds.

Currently some of the major after-effects faced by the country have been- reduced fresh water availability, surface drainage congestion, sea level rise, increased floods and coastal storms. There were deaths of thousands of fishermen off Bangladesh last summer. The Bay of Bengal was unusually rough. Usually, the authorities only issue a storm warning to the fishermen to stay at home once or twice a year. Last year, four warnings were issued in the space of two months. Every warning meant that the fishermen lost valuable days at sea. Went the last warning came, they could not afford to stay ashore and went to sea. Officially, 1,700 were drowned but many believe that the number could have been more.

Another Asian country facing major challenges is PAKISTAN. The current political system in Pakistan is in utter turmoil. The country’s political parties are heading towards a dead end and a complete failure. The sad part about the whole story is that all the parties have forgotten about the nation and its people. Apparently, the government is content with the current situation, the reason being, the recent row between the executive and the judiciary which has put behind serious and threatening issues like poverty, inflation, corruption, economic issues and load shedding.

Indeed, it is truly heartbreaking to see the pathetic condition of its leaders, political parties and other stakeholders. Very few resources have been spent on improving the situation and solving the problems faced by the country.

Coming to our own country – INDIA. India has been subject to many issues and agitations of late.

There have been issues concerning the separate statehood demand for Telangana in Andhra Pradesh. Then there have been issues relating to the communal riots-be it the early Bombay riots in Mumbai between December 1992 and January 1993, wherein the country witnessed the death of more than 900 people; or the Gujarat violence in 2002, the Godhra train burning and the resulting communal riots between the Hindus and the Muslims; or the more recent anti-Muslim riots in North-Assam.

Indeed, India could not free itself of communalism even after more than sixty years of independence; it in fact has been getting worse year after year. There has not been a single year in the post-independence period, which has been free of communal violence. The Gujarat riots in India proved to be the worst of the lot.

It is true that the communal carnage in Gujarat shook the whole world.

As far as the agitations relating to the formation of a separate Telangana state are concerned, they had a major impact on the economy and business establishments in the state and the country. The prices of commodities instantly soared high as the transport of goods had been stalled due to the lack of movement, business was uncertain and the student community across all the three regions of Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema were staging protests, thus impacting their education.

All these instances, be it India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, go on to prove the volatility of the administrative authorities of the present day!

After all, it is the duty of the government to bring the country back to equilibrium after all the agitations and problems have passed.

No wonder the phrase “Pakistan, India and Bangladesh: Two Nations in turmoil and one in need for change” is true…

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