Let me share an anecdote on Assam Floods. Sarat Chandra Sinha was the Chief Minister of Assam then, between 1972-1978. The state was reeling under severe flood and erosion. A town in western Assam was under serious threat from bank erosion. Being alarmed, Chief Minister Sinha summoned the “Chief Engineer” of the concerned department and they together reached the spot of erosion. The Chief Minister asked the Chief Engineer for solutions. The Chief Engineer came nearer to the erosion spot ,folded his hands and started praying. On being asked what he did, the Chief Engineer said that that was the only solution with him.
Copying and Pasting
Once again in July 2016 Assam struggled hard with floods. Guwahati based electronic media did an excellent job in highlighting the plight of people across the state and also the miseries of animals in Kaziranga National Park.
The media also debated on a report sent by the state government to the central government on the flood scenario. The point of the debate was that a state government official had copied and incorporated in the report a photograph from a facebook post which actually showed what had happened in Bangladesh the previous year . Few things we can note:
- The Government is “truly “going digital
- A Govt to Govt communication is of no value to the suffering people and time spent by the media on the issue looked unreasonable.
- The Govt talks of “Ease of doing business” , but it seems there should be “Ease of governance” which would make such copy and pasted reports redundant.
Every year the visuals of Assam Floods look alike, as if these are also “copy& paste” images. The helpless citizens have learnt to be adaptive with floods leaving everything to the mercy of nature.
On a Serious Note
Our helplessness against flood and erosion is surprising indeed. We as a country boast of our technological excellence, innovative human resource and some of the best institutes of Engineering education including the one at Guwahati, the IIT Guwahati. But we all continue to be as helpless as the “Chief Engineer” of Sarat Chandra Sinha era.