ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Natural Disaster Made Worse

Kashmir Deluge

The floods that overwhelmed Jammu and Kashmir last month were a terrifying natural disaster on their own without the civilian government or the military authorities having to make it any worse. But confused priorities and a lack of preparation and coordination ensured that this happened. The Indian Army plunged into rescue work, and did a creditworthy job, though it is debatable whether its efforts matched the high praise the media showered on it. It was the local people who helped themselves and their neighbours when outside assistance was slow in coming, and they were undoubtedly the heroes in this cataclysm, which was worsened by a history of neglect and an unresolved conflict.

The floods that overwhelmed Jammu and Kashmir last month were a terrifying natural disaster on their own without the civilian government or the military authorities having to make it any worse. But confused priorities and a lack of preparation and coordination ensured that this happened. The Indian Army plunged into rescue work, and did a creditworthy job, though it is debatable whether its efforts matched the high praise the media showered on it. It was the local people who helped themselves and their neighbours when outside assistance was slow in coming, and they were undoubtedly the heroes in this cataclysm, which was worsened by a history of neglect and an unresolved conflict.

In the midst of a calamity, a war of perceptions is never too far. This was evident in the two narratives coming out of Jammu and Kashmir as people grappled with devastating floods and their aftermath.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top