Thus spake Jhelum

Thus spake Jhelum

Don''t curse me, it''s all your own doing!

I know all the dwellers of the Kashmir valley are very angry, and stand annoyed with me. But let me put my case before all of you and also before the water commission of GoI, in order to fix responsibility as to who are the actual culprits. Briefly, my source is at Veerinag, in the south Kashmir, and have been running down through the length and the breath of the valley and ultimately cross your man made line of control, and proceed to the other part of Kashmir. You will agree that I have been doing all these duties uninterrupted from the centuries together. As I have seen many civilization, periods, many kings and their kingdoms, but they used to own and respect my existence, and we both lived peacefully. I am sorry that some of the inhabitants of the valley, from the last three and a half decades, are the worst. I have seen, and stand tremendously hurt by them. Look, I have been taking care of your needs – on the orders of Allah, the creator of this universe. I have a set route, or the flow line, with my defined embankments, through which I have to flow and cover my journey, and meet your basic requirements; that is like being the prime source of water, to quench your thirst and to irrigate your crop fields, farms, orchards, and take care of your live stock. I give you grains, and vegetable. You do horticulture, agriculture, floriculture, animal husbandry, fish farming, poultry farming, and what not? Just to ensure your survival and existence, I am there for you in all these activities. 

I keep you cool in summers. Your navigate your boats on my chest. You have fun on my aquatic support. In winters, in extreme weather conditions, when I freeze in lakes, ponds and pools, some of you are so cruel that you break my hard ice cover, fill your pitcher and leave me in pain, and crying. Contrarily, I take care of the life beneath, I mean the fish, besides I take care of the summer and winter game birds, who have their nestling in the wet lands. But you – for your fun, food, and festivity just shoot them down, and thus do not allow the birds to flock together. 

How sad, you have encroached upon my embankments – constructed your houses, commercial units, stone crushers, brick kilns, shopping complexes, hotels, towers, and places of worship, even grave yards. But all on my land. Thus squeezing me day in and day out. You even blocked and chocked me further by encroaching on my canals, with the result I am suffocating and will die very soon. 

In simple terms I am just a utility service and you use and utilize me the way you deem fit. But alas, you dump the human excreta, all sewage, organic and inorganic wastes in my waterbed. And your Flood Control Department, Health Sanitation, PHE, Municipal Corporation, Town Area Committee , Urban Development Agencies, Land and Revenue Department Agencies etc., are mute spectators. Thus making my river bed a dumping ground. And now I stink and virtually became a cesspool of your greed. Thus narrowing my passage. It creates a heavy pressure on my embankments. When the water level rises due to rains on my porous embankments, which are already weak and fragile, I cannot sustain the pressure. I am dead tired. I prayed to Almighty day in and day out to take pity on my plight, and finally he listened. He brought floods to the valley. I swelled and spilled over my embankments, and like a caged birds, I broke my shackles. I was now free to go to any place, in any direction, and to any nook and corner of the valley, including your villages and the city. 

But I feel sorry to maintain that the valley dwellers got marooned along with their possession and properties. You see when I was fighting for my existence, you, the valley dwellers, were unmindful, and just laughed on my fate. So mend your ways, remove all the encroachments. Clean my river bed, and also think of your future generations. As I want to render the same services to them in future also. So let’s live amicably.

Waiting for your response, and the commission’s report. Bye Jehlum.

Author is Ex. Dy. General Manager, JKTDC