Good Read

There is a good article in the NY Times about some recent events in India: “A Summer of Troubles Saps India’s Sense of Confidence” From what I see, it seems to be a fair summary of the factual incidents* cited, although I am no where near qualified to weigh in on the analyst opinions.

However, to me this article has one glaring omission: the tragety in Uttarakhand in June 16 (and afterward), aka “The Himalayan Tsunami” or what I’ll forever think of as India’s Katrina. 5,700 people presumed dead. Over 110,000 people evacuated after the disaster –an incredible % by helicopter, since the roads washed away and left much of the terrain otherwise inaccessible. If this doesn’t ring a bell, Google it; it seems the international press did a crap job covering Uttarakhand based on my conversations with friends in the US & UK.

The lack of any sort of disaster planning in this area widely know for religious pilgrimages in a naturally flood-prone river valley set deep in the mountains boggles the mind… It was such a popular pilgrimage that everyone presumed it would be safe. It is indicative of so many missed opportunities to prevent the accurately forecasted disaster. Meanwhile it ended up a literal death trap and fodder for show-off politicians who couldn’t get out of their own way in hampering rescue efforts (seriously: 2 politicians were actually filmed having a shoving match at an airport trying to get to rescued victims –and the photo op– first). It is so heartbreaking & tragic… And such a strong symbol of government** failing its people. From my prospective, Uttarakhand was huge news and a real tragedy that seemed to occupy — and shake — the national consciousness for weeks if not months. It certainly warranted mention in the article.

*Although I do believe everything the article cited occurred in Monsoon season rather than Summer… But I am learning the 6 seasons myself, so I won’t quibble.

**Clearly, colossal government failures happen elsewhere, too — Katrina in the US, on-going Ferry disasters in the Philippines, etc. I am just saying that in the context of this article, the author should have included Uttarakhand because it seems to have had a profound impact and, if nothing else, set the tone for the other incidents mentioned…

1 Comment

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One response to “Good Read

  1. Dan Goudeau

    That’s sad- and yes I heard nothing of it.

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