Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yet Another Mullaperiyar Story

It occurred to me one cold night [ the 'fine morning' part was starting to sound boring ] that having a 'swimming utilities' shop would mean quick money. Tectonic plates were moving in Idukki and there was panic everywhere I looked. People, who in their entire lives hadn't put more than Rs 50/- worth petrol inside their bike's fuel tank were now filling it upto the brim. Suddenly there was money to be spent. I even called up my friend who works in the insurance sector and inquired if it would be possible to rename any of their existing accidental policies as "mullaperiyar policy". Would sell like hot egg bajjis at Payyappilly's that!
And that was it. I had finally devised a plan to piss my friend ('a save Mullaperiyar through FB warrior') off. Surprisingly though, she liked the idea. According to her research, there would be 20 feet of water at Edappally if the unfortunate event happens. And that strangely implied goggles + insurance. Infact she urged me to find out more about it and inform her so that she could pass it on to her fellow FB warriors.
Depressed by the fact that I couldn't antagonize my friend I decided to switch on the TV for entertainment. Fascinatingly after 5 minutes of persistent channel swapping, I found myself comparing the Mullaperiyar saga with the previous cricket world cup. Such was the intensity. Special programs about the 999 pact. Interviews with Sohan Roy who got terribly lucky with the timing of his movie's release. Predictions by scientists and seismologists. And the media coming up with their own conclusions, which at times were completely contradictory to what their expert panel had found.
There is no disagreeing the fact that Mullaperiyar requires serious attention. Millions of lives at stake, both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The dam might not break tomorrow but it will someday. So it is a good thing to milk the sudden outrage and get a dam built, than sit quiet and die someday. As most Keralites know, the Mullaperiyar has a been time bomb for quite a while now. So the protests are more than justified.
What irritates me is the exploitation of the issue by certain organizations and individuals for their own benefits. Not many have been outrageous enough to suggest goggles and insurances but everyone seems keen on making the most out of the 'fear factor' that has completely devoured the people of Kerala. Politicians and media going to intolerable levels is not a new thing. That is how it has been since time immemorial.

Though I never voluntarily joined any Mullaperiyar group, I am a member of atleast 6 different groups in Facebook with the very same objective in mind. Like everybody else in Kerala, I wanted to know more so I decided to stay and for the first time paid attention to every single post  that popped up. Initially it was intriguing. Nobody knew what would happen but everyone realized the need to be insurgent and loud. Then it became a necessity. Everyone you cared about were in it. So you had to be in too. And then it became spam. Not because I suddenly started believing in Jayalalithaa's obtuse attitude or Idukki dam's new found strength. When I look inside these 'groups' what I see is 'chaos'. I've read at least 3 completely different versions of 'what to do' when the dam breaks. Seen immensely disturbing photos and videos of submerged  buildings and people dying in the Tsunami attack morphed into its 'Kerala' equivalent by talented artists. I understand their sentiments. Nobody wants another catastrophe. But December 26, 2004 is a scar we are still fighting hard to remove. Please don't alter these pictures or UNICEF's poster against water pollution, put your name or your facebook page's link on it and post in the Mullaperiyar forum. Its distressing and unfair. This act of  exploiting the public sentiment is unethical, outrageous and at times disgusting.

To idolize Bono is not a wrong thing. Most singers do at some point or the other. But the totally unrelated ' Oru Meeshakaryam' by one of Kochi's most promising band is yet another classic example of people trying to make the most out of the situation. Initially they brought out the song as a protest against the poor quality of Kerala roads. It didn't really click. So they are back again with the same old song. I suppose Elton John pulled it off with Monroe and Lady Diana. No reason they can't.

And then colleges and their 'eco' clubs come up with painting competitions. I do understand the apprehension and I appreciate the fact that  people are doing something about it. But why put the name of the college in it?  Stop making the most out of the issue for heaven sake!
If at all the dam breaks Tamil Nadu is going to suffer as well. Today we are playing the game precisely the way they want us to. In the rush, we would sign a dumb treaty for the next 400 years and then what? What if Kerala becomes dry next year and suddenly there is a need for the Mullaperiayar water?
I usually like to leave the readers confused but at the moment even I am confused. And the same goes for the entire Kerala. Nobody is sure. Nobody knows. At this point of time, its important that we forget our differences, preferences and stick together under one name- Kerala. What we require is ONE loud voice. Not umpteen small ones funded by corporates and organizations. And there are things we students can do that does not require spamming. Why not start a database and collect the name and addresses of the all the families volunteering to lend their multi-storied homes. Why not think of new ways to communicate like the Ham radio?  But then I seriously hope none of this is required.


bobz said...

cant agree more with you nev..
i mean its always been the case in it any issue, the social and the political class have almost always tried to exploit the vulnerable fraction of the population..
good work.. :)

Thalish said...

The media is always twisting facts na bobin :|

Nevin said...

Thanks for reading people. its good to know that everyone feels the same.

Aswathy said...

as always u have managed to put in words the views and sentiments of many like me who are unable to do even i've started to think that 90 percent of the hype about the issue is politicised and people are just taking advantage of the situation to cater to their own selfish needs which cannot be encouraged at any cost!!
anyway brilliant job nev!!! :)
and the blog looks much cooler now with the new look!!! :)

Nevin said...

thanks pal :)

sree said...

"prepare n prevent z always bttr than repair n repent" bt the preparations shud make some sense...where is the youth power???? tym that v react to this useless reverberations first and do something sensefull not for Kerala nor for Tamilnadu bt for the humanity!!!!!!! good that u made a truthful post on thz!!!

sree said...

"prepare n prevent z always bttr than repair n repent" bt the preparations shud make some sense...where is the youth power???? tym that v react to this useless reverberations first and do something sensefull not for Kerala nor for Tamilnadu bt for the humanity!!!!!!! good that u made a truthful post on thz!!!

Shinu said...

Nev : I feel the whole havoc on is just absurd. Why cant Kerala build a dam in its own place and leave the old structure as it is till time permits. I don't think TN would object building a new strong structure in our place just to prevent a hazard, if the old thing is not demolished. I wrong??

Nevin said...

But we need the center's permission for that. I dont know much but I am pissed with these facebook groups which aren't helping much.

Shinu said...

Of course..
What i meant is TN shall not object the same and it would be all the more easier.

There is a column in yesterdays Malayala Manorama daily by the famous writer C.Radhakrishnan, who has shared similar views.

Anonymous said...

Very good interest to read. By Regards Wholesale Printing And Cheap Postcards

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