It doesn’t matter what one says, if the way it was said was wrong. About a decade ago, I came across a video of Brahmakumaris, a talk on values. It was about how to use auxiliary values to support primary ones. The example was about speaking Truth, perhaps the fundamental of all values perhaps with the exception of Survival.
A batch of students goes to a village with many blind people to find out what made them blind. A boy goes to one and asks ‘Hi Blind one, how did you became one’? The blind man was offended and refused to answer. Later a girl goes to the same person and asks “Dear elder, what unfortunate incident caused you to lose your sight’? He answers. [I think Brahmakumaris believe in the natural softness of femininity and so used the gender accordingly in the example. I second them.] The point was to highlight the necessity to use ‘compassion’ and ’empathy’, to support the Truth.
There were reports about an attempt to cover the water in the reservoir of Vaigai dam near Madurai in Tamilnadu, by one minister. Sellur K Raju, minister for cooperation, failed in his attempt to cover the water with thermocol sheets. Entire South India is on the verge of drought and especially Tamilnadu is facing worst situation that was not seen in the last one and half century. He wanted to prevent water evaporating by covering the surface of reservoir. Seems he pasted sheets of thermocol with tape, but the sheets were blown away immediately by the wind. I too agree that this attempt was not the solution and looks like all the ‘fall videos’ that are circulated as comedy ones.
What caught my eye was how he was ridiculed. All reports have ridiculed the minister for his foolish idea, including journalists with decades of experience. Some reports linked his attempt to the ongoing squabble between both factions of AIADMK that too depends on the wind velocity. People present at the location apparently had a comedy show, as per the reports.
This is a classic case of journalism from air conditioned rooms. Many people wonder, how Lalu could rule for fifteen long years, despite doing nothing to improve economic conditions. He could win because, he connected with his people. And, all he did during his regime was to establish a sense of confidence in the minds of backward classes.
What was hidden and not conveyed in the reports that called Sellur K Raju’s attempt a foolish one was the SINCERITY behind his attempt. All we hear was about ministers who were doing scams, siphoning money and giving jobs to their long distant relatives. Here was a minister, who wanted to do something for his people. He was trying to address the major problem that is affecting most of the states at present. The way he was ridiculed, I am sure no one would dare to experiment in addressing any problems.
Our scientist journalists have even quoted how thermocol is bad for birds and marine life. What the journalists from the underdeveloped and third world country that India is, do not know is that in all developed and first world countries it is the ‘human life’ that is considered important. Human lives are not sacrificed to save lives of animals, birds and fish. As recently as two days ago, there were calls in Australia to cull Sharks to protect swimmers in the sea. Here, sharks are not invading humans in their drawing rooms or bedrooms, but those who are in the sea that is home for Sharks. In almost all of European nations, wild animals can only be seen in zoos and not in their natural habitats. All the while, in the heart of Mumbai, leopards attack humans and kill them. Then, we discuss how humans have encroached into the natural habitat of wild animals. Maybe our journalists really try to learn how the world functions.
In a way, Sellur K Raju preferred to save human lives even though sheer ignorance. Even twitter had not taken kindly to Sellur K Raju. Some commented how thermocol is not biodegradable, as if what we use daily is biodegradable.
Wait; there were some good ones too. One in Twitter (@iMSivam) had given in fact the solution to this problem – Shade Balls. They are used to protect environment and slow down evaporation. May someone in the government see that tweet, or even Raju himself, and work in that direction.
— Achillesṩ/அக்கில்லீஸ் (@iMSivam) April 22, 2017
This entire episode exposes the lack of touch with emerging technology our bureaucrats and technocrats associated with the government departments. Well, once they know of Shade balls, they will explore if any other solutions exist to solve the problem of evaporation. I hope by next year every state in India will try to cover reservoirs through something. If not for public interest and water saving, the lure of lots of bribes in awarding the contracts should push them trying to address the problem.
Tamilnadu is a state where the value of water is known to all including the rich and mighty. Even after a decade also, Sellur K Raju would be remembered for his ‘foolish’ attempt to cover water.
He will smile one day when the reservoirs are covered by shade balls or something else, if not by thermocol. After all, it was his futile attempt that initiated this process and highlighted the issue.