Monday, September 15, 2014

Purposeful Rehab in Flooded Kashmir

"When the floods struck,  
people watched their dreams

Swim like champions, b
ut drown like fledgling sparrows

The horror entered their pillows every night

Like black seeds in silk cotton."

Vinita Agrawal
Doesn't that create a goose bump raising picture of rising floods, just when India is in the throes of the Vadodara, Bihar and the Kashmir floods, now bleeding into Jammu too?
For days now, the floods in J&K  have flooded the media with loud outcries. As a matter of fact, rescue is still underway. The army itself has yet to examine what it has lost by way of arms, ammunition, supplies and family in the flood. 
The situation in the whole state too has yet to be assessed thoroughly for damage, what is retrievable and what gone forever. News reports trash Omar Abdullah and his government, but also raise a weary doubt:
How much of these anti stories are planted in anticipation of next year's assembly elections?    Politicians will make use of every opportunity to score points, just as the infiltrators are already doing no doubt.
That leaves the security forces stretched thin between border security and rescue operations. Rescue is vital and life saving, but induction of more uniforms may just raise howls of protest from the hitherto shouting lobbies of the Geelanis etc etc.  That would paralyze everything. Both security and rescue need SOS attention just now.

Perhaps I am again thinking too far ahead. But, may be, just may be, this will prompt someone who knows someone who can make a difference to make that call for a more calliberated, focused and forward thinking to rehab, which will consume thousands of crores.

The messes left behind by receding water will need to be cleaned up, need both citizens and officials to work in tandem. Perhaps many buildings may have to be brought down for safety reasons.

Is this then, not the time to work on those reports of INTACH, not only on environment issues but also on restoration...... of the ethnic Kashmiri style of buildings; the rehabilitation of the three shrines in Shrinagar itself;  the area also boasts of what is purported to be the grave of Jesus Christ.

An aesthetic restoration with the type of modern tourists facilities modeled  on that which spins billions in Mecca and Medina.  
Combined with a Buddhist monastery or two, and Vaishnavo Devi in Jammu next door, it would form an entire new tourist circuit that would work wonders in resurrecting J&K's economy that has been shattered by the floods.

Come, Kashmir, you can do it. Build up the will!

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