The sadness of the whole situation lies in the fact that in this case we are actually talking about one of the most important resources, any country needs. The water, the rivers, they are the elixir of life and life revolves around this element of nature with shameless dependence. Yet, here we are at crossroads, at a juncture in history, when there is no proper usable water, in spite of having numerous rivers all over the country. The Ganga, Yamuna, Cauvery, Indus, Brahmaputra, all mighty rivers have their own stories of disputes, pollution to tell. These mighty rivers which we likened to Godesses, are today slowly dying, they are slowly fading away.
When we travel across the country, one very common sight we would come across, is the lack of water in the rivers. One factor, could be the population, another could be misuse, but the fact remains that unless stringent steps are taken we will lose our rivers one day. It is a known fact that all civilizations in history grew up around a river, be it the Nile, or the Indus, or any water source for that matter. An Ecosystem is created basically from a water source and that is the law of nature. So when we indifferently allow industries to throw off their toxic waste into the rivers, we can rest assured that the next generation will not have a long lifeline.
Today, I have to spend thirty rupees to buy myself twenty litres of clean drinking water. I languish often about the fact that when I visit my native place in Kerala, which is yet very remote, I drink freely from the big well, and that water is much sweeter. The Ganges is one beautiful river which in it`s origin is crystal clear and admirably pure, at the Gangotri Glacier. Yet as this amazing river continues it`s journey to the sea, providing life and fertility to the millions and the country`s soil, it is being subjected to great humiliation in the form of pollution, unreasonable obstacles and pure filth. When Ganga Devi, meets the King of the Ocean, it is a tear filled embrace, one of great anguish and trauma.
Then of course there is the Narmada over which there has been so much of controversy, that today the common Indian citizen is at a dilemma as to which side to take. Is it the water for one hungry group of people which is important or is it the plight of those rendered homeless, if the water is provided.
Then again we have the Cauvery dispute between the states of TamilNadu, Karnataka and Kerala, where all need water. We have spent decades fighting over our water and river resources and in all this time, we never bothered to actually look at the rivers, and sympathize with it`s condition. By the time, we resolve our issues, and settle, the water in these once pure, beautiful rivers, would either have dried up or would have become untouchable poison.
In the Malabar area of Kerala, there is this great Bharathapuzha river, which is fondly remembered for it`s scenic beauty and pristine water. Today in the summer season, there is no water at all, it is a long stretch of soft sand with small pools here and there, where water has got collected after the trucks came, pulled away the sand and sped away. It shockingly reminds me, that the future of the country is similarly on a road which is potholed thus.
It is time to awaken to do good, than to ignore because then centuries later our parched throats would struggle to ask "Oh!, Mighty Rivers, Where are thou ?"