We seem to have turned like amphibians breathing with gillswhen in water, with lungs when on the ground. As rain gods show no signs ofrelenting and don't let us enjoy a dry spell for too long, our mere survival isunder threat. `What shall we do'? Everyone asks everyone else. Does our safetyonly lie in running away to the safer spots? Is it all about issuing warningsand advisories? Are we in the lap of God who (feeling burdened with a sinisterload we carry) will one day throw us irretrievably into the surging waters?
Unless a miracle happens and we are saved, another disasteris awaiting us. Since 2014 nothing has changed. Infact everything has changed –but it has changed for worse. Our rivers, streams, flood channels and all otherwater bodies are like brimming cups and anything more than a drop makes themoverflow. Our roads, lanes, drains, streets, manholes, pipes – everything isleaking and now we are the denizens of a leaking nation. (Don't sneeze, lestyou be flooded in your own water).
It's not a daylong, but an hourlong downpour that fills ourdrains and holes. The drains are too shallow to hold waters for too long.Despite some genuine efforts to rebuild roads and bridges taken up during thelast few years, the challenge is too huge to meet. All political or ideologicalcompromises notwithstanding, Kashmiris would have – temporarily though –reconciled with any possible dispensation, that offers them a shot of life.Whoever is in the office and whoever he or she pairs with, the deal would stilldo. But the way things are shaping makes the bargain unilaterally adverse. Allprevious governments' promises to rebuild a flood-ravaged Kashmir have fallenapart. Add to it the state's empty coffers. Nothing seems to be going our way.
The flood we had a few years back was sudden and stormywhich gave us no time to think. Whether the then government was responsible ornot for – what many call – inviting the disaster – is debatable. But the floodthat is feared now will unarguably be an invited disaster. Like Nero, they lostall these months in fiddling while Rome was burning. The only differencebetween Romans and Kashmiris lies in the nature of the calamity. Rome wasburning, but Kashmir is drowning.
Still is the time to dredge and deepen the water bodies.Before all is lost, we must suspend all – otherwise important – activities anddevote everything they have on rescuing people. Even rehabilitation of the oldvictims can wait before we make new victims join the queue. Kashmir issuffering a massive haemorrhage, the solution does not lie in a prolongedmedication. Only an instant surgical intervention may save us – if it will.