The Bold Voice of J&K

Choosers in distress

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The incidents of floods in Kashmir Valley are not new, nor it had been an uncommon phenomenon, in history and the geography of the Valley. To quote Sir Walter Roper Lawrence’s book, “The Valley of Kashmir (1895), “Many disastrous floods were noticed in history, but the greatest was the terrible inundation which followed the slipping of the Khadanyar Mountains below Baramula in 879 AD”.
The other major floods in Kashmir include the one in 1841, which Lawrence notes, “caused much damage to life and property.” However, flood of devastating proportions to hit the State came in 1893, when 52 hours of continuous rainfall, caused “a great calamity”. In 1893, “the flood cost the State Rs.64,804 in land revenue, 25,426 Acres of crops were submerged, 2,225 houses were wrecked and 329 cattle killed.” Working at present equations these were no way less devastating.
After 1948 in Valley, another major flood hit the State in 1950, leaving more than 100 people dead. That flood was also caused by the Jhelum’s overflow. According to a report “more than 15,000 houses were either collapsed or damaged and more than100 people lost their lives in the heavy rains and floods in Jammu Division.” The ex-Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, donated a sum of Rs.24, 000 for the relief of flood victims, while the Maharani donated Rs.10, 000. More than 250 people were reported dead in the floods triggered by the cloudburst in Leh during Aug 2010.
While the nation is helping the State with open heart, the local disruptive elements who are exposed for their lip service, deceit, corruption and inefficacy are obstructive even to rescue operations thereby harming the interest of the victims who need help, sympathy, shelter, food and medicines. The pelting of stones on the hovering helicopters, boats and ill-treatment to the rescue teams are manifestations of the devilish face of a section of local ‘leaders’. They do not want packets ‘thrown’ from aircrafts. They don’t like Sattu – a ready to eat nourishing food needing no fire/ cooking. It is not new to Kashmir and was known in villages for long. Reported incidents of ‘kicking’ food packets at Lal Chowk explain the bewildered frustration of anti-Kashmiri, anti national, elements at large in Kashmir. Whom are they harming anyway?

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