Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Time for transformation

We live in a time of great change. The change is seen not only in society, morality, polity and business areas but also the way we perceive the world around us, the way we communicate and relate to each other. Though we have more tools for communication and accessing information of the world around us, are we really taking the time to understand the turning points and transformation of over lives? Some time ago, we all saw, on our TV sets devastation of the kind mankind had never seen, at least in living memory. The flooding of coastal areas of Japan by giant Tsunami waves. The live images of overturned ships and cars being carried by waves like matchboxes were traumatic to say the least. But soon afterwards as the news channels found a ‘new’ story to show, everything was forgotten. In our desire to return to normalcy and to move on to the next big story, are we missing out on some important reflection? But the images are being repeated with an alarming frequency - the flash floods in Uttarakhand, in which perhaps tens of thousands if not lakhs of persons are still unaccounted for. And today's disturbing visuals - the washing away of a bus in the Bhakra river in Punjab, a motorbike on which two people were travelling being washed away while crossing a flooded river and tourists stranded because of floods at a picnic spot in Rajasthan are pointers that we need immediate reflection which may be crucial for our future. In this case, did we take out enough time to learn the lesions from the Tsunami and the flash floods about climate change, about pollution levels and green house gases and about disaster management? If we do, then we can find ways of preventing and responding to them in future.

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