PACHU MENON, MARGAO
CYCLONE Ockhi, pretty much in the same tormenting mood as its predecessors that have hit the country, traced a destructive route in the west coast of India. But then tropical storms and hurricanes are quite common in the country for their regularity. In fact it is widely accepted that cyclones and storms that originate in the Bay of Bengal have been battering the southeastern coast of the country for ages now. Ockhi for that matter commenced as a depression in the Bay of Bengal to turn into a cyclonic storm. However, the utter failure of disaster management groups to come to terms with the overwhelming destruction in the wake of such calamities conveys a different message altogether. Scientific breakthroughs as proofs of man’s efforts to challenge nature lose their significance when confronted by devastations brought about by its fury. Mankind was never made to conquer nature, rather a peaceful coexistence between the two would have made the world a better place to live in. Humankind has been enjoying the benevolence of Mother Nature for eons. But man’s insatiable greed has been that shameful quality responsible for nature turning its back on humankind. Entire civilisations have been wiped out under nature’s terrible onslaught. Earthquakes, floods and tsunamis as natural disasters have brought about indescribable destructions in their wake. Yet we refuse to learn and continue plundering nature’s bountiful gifts with gay abandon as if there is no tomorrow. With governments turning a blind eye to activities that bring about ecological imbalances of the region, illegalities like felling of trees, cutting of hills, denuding of forests and rampant mining to name a few, continue unchecked. The manner in which high tides attributed to the ‘Supermoon effect’ wreaked havoc along Goa’s coastline on Sunday, the importance attached to maintaining coastal regulation zones in the state certainly draws attention for its flaws. With government authorities and eco-activists across the world renewing their environmental crusade with added zest, one can’t but foster the feeling that too much is being done too late. The global climatic changes observed have generated enough discussions about the causes and consequences of global warming and greenhouse effect. The ongoing cricket Test match between India and Sri Lanka at Delhi entailing forced-stopping of the game several times due to smog pollution should draw one’s attention towards the gargantuan problem.