If India starts acting on the yearly floods in Bihar and Assam, that would be true nationalism -Yogendra Yadav

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published Published on Jul 22, 2020   modified Modified on Jul 26, 2020


Attention deficit of the public, policy dyslexia and lack of political will lie at the roots of the recurring tragedy of flooding in Assam and Bihar.

It’s an annual affair. Every year the floods arrive, bring devastation. ‘Reliefs’ arrive, bring consolation. Nothing changes. Water recedes. Drowned for months, the land emerges, drained of life. Hordes of living skeletons teeter on this dead land to build a life again.”

It could be this week’s despatch from Assam. But it is not.

It could be P. Sainath, writing on why everyone loves a good flood, two decades ago. But it is not.

This was published in 1948 by Phanishwarnath Renu, among the finest storytellers of 20th-century India. Titled ‘Kosi Dayan (Kosi, the Witch)’, it was published in January 1948 in Janata, the weekly magazine of the Socialist Party. The floods and the promise of taming the Kosi river through a barrage forms the backdrop to many of Renu’s writings, including his magnum opus, Parati Parikatha (Tale of a Wasteland). When floods returned in 1964, despite the Kosi barrage, Renu wrote a sharp article in Dharmyug titled ‘Purani Kahani: Naya Paath (Old Story: New Reading)’.

That could well be the title of the story of floods in post-Independence India. It is a recurring story of political and policy disabilities: attention deficit of the public, dyslexia of the policymakers and lack of will on the part of political leadership, year after year.

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ThePrint.in, 22 July, 2020, https://theprint.in/opinion/india-acting-on-floods-in-bihar-and-assam-true-nationalism/465618/?fbclid=IwAR0j_xCze8tEzDT47_MJuo_I2KjXfC4FTiDSWsScJtb2rs_PVTBl5_PC594

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