All the time, we are to speak on our own! In only a few days, we are going to celebrate our nation’s 70 years of independence. From the day we start our primary education, we are introduced to the phrase ‘unity in diversity’. The phrase is supposed to represent my nation across the entire world. India is a nation of diverse cultures.
The text books of all the Indian schools will give you descriptions about everything except the tales of the indigenous people of northeastern states and their livelihood – because who cares?
Today, Tripura is merged under neck-height water resulting from continuous rainfall. The overflowing of the major rivers including Howrah and Gomati have resulted in roads being flooded and the water level is far above the danger mark.
Being born and brought up in Tripura, I have never witnessed such conditions before. The monsoon shower for the last few days has crossed over 200 millimetres as per local media reports. The situation has already affected 6,000 people, leaving them stranded. Over 2,000 families have had to take shelter in relief camps. Near about 50 relief camps have been set up so far.
The overflowing of the dams has resulted in the destruction of property as well. This is not a regular problem Tripura faces every year. However, this is going to be one of the worst flood affected situations in the country. As per reports, the four months long southwest monsoon, lasting from June-September, is now active in the region.
This episode will now bring about a number of things – opposition criticism, round-table discussion, bureaucratic concern, and more interestingly, we will meet new activists, diplomats, spokespersons. But where is the help? Is deprivation our destiny? Is helplessness our fate? When will we have national priority? In fact, if such an issue couldn’t bring us any attention, then what will? Will we always end up only as annual tax payers?
The problem lies deep. I am not here to talk about political achievements and failures or criticise anyone. But you cannot ignore the existing defects in the system. Preventive and protective measures are often taken just to garner media attention and the nation’s applause. So, to conclude, where should we start to stop? Or where should we stop to start?
When will we have the developmental projects which will prevent such destruction? How much does a natural disaster management program benefit the person who is actually at risk of natural disasters?
Disasters have become a suffix for capitalism. Why? Who is responsible? Continuous controversy will never give us a productive long term or permanent solution. Doesn’t this affect the economic growth of a country?
What does a ‘national crisis’ stand for? Unable to resist my curiosity, I must ask why the meanings of national terms often get changed when it concerns the northeast.