Satabhaya’s sorrow

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first_imgIt’s a struggle between man and sea. Back in 1971, a tidal surge triggered by a tropical cyclone invaded 16 villages on the coast of Kendrapara district in Odisha, sweeping away more than 700 people and causing immense destruction. Ever since, the advancing Bay of Bengal has been eating into human habitations, razing houses and destroying villages.The worst affected are the people of the Satabhaya gram panchayat, enduring nature’s fury for decades, much before the word “climate change” entered the public discourse. Once a cluster of 16 revenue villages spread over 3,440 acres of land, the panchayat has been reduced to a few hamlets. Mohanpura, Sanagahirmatha, Paramnandapura, Kaduanasi and Sahebnagar have already gone under. The advancing sea sand has swallowed substantial portions of another eight villages.Coconut trees battered by the sea, thatched houses just inches away from getting buried under sand and remains of tube wells show the enormity of the devastation. Without suitable land for resettlement, people had been left stranded on the edge of the sea for four decades. Remoteness, inaccessibility and lack of governmental resolve stretched their miseries for years.When people across the world hold on to their homeland, Satabhaya’s inhabitants fought for an alternative place. Just before the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2014, their threat to boycott the polls moved the administration to initiate a relocation process.In 2018, the villagers, described as climate change’s first orphans by filmmaker Nilamadhab Panda, agreed to relocate to Bagapatia, about 10 km into the mainland. Last month, the idol of Panchubarahi, presiding deity of Satabhaya, was shifted to Bagapatia, speeding up the process of relocation. As of now, more than 571 families have found a new address in Bagapatia colony.Satabhaya today wears a deserted look. A few dozen families are busy gathering valuable household articles before the village is wiped out from the map.(Biswaranjan Rout is a photographer contributing to The Hindu)last_img read more

‘Sports should play its part in cementing ties between nations instead of breaking them’

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first_imgBack to Basics”After offering various new bases like side-tables, showcases and car dashboards, people have finally realised that Lord Ganesh looks best on his mouse next to Goddess Lakshmi.” -RAJNEESH BATRA, Delhi Blasting Myths With pseudo-secularists inflicting more damage on Hinduism than the Mughals and the British, probably the best,Back to Basics”After offering various new bases like side-tables, showcases and car dashboards, people have finally realised that Lord Ganesh looks best on his mouse next to Goddess Lakshmi.” -RAJNEESH BATRA, Delhi Blasting MythsWith pseudo-secularists inflicting more damage on Hinduism than the Mughals and the British, probably the best thing that could happen to modern India is a revival of Hinduism (“The Changing Mood”, November 4). It has to be nurtured carefully and the best people for the job are the young. After all, they are the ones who brought about the Diwali change. Let us hope it is a harbinger of greater and better things. -RANBIR MAHAPATRA, CuttackThe new way of celebrating Diwali is welcome. In fact, the buzzword of togetherness cannot be stressed enough. It should percolate to all the sections of society and replace hatred with love, peace, prosperity and happiness to all. -A. JACOB SAHAYAM, on e-mailShooting from the LipPravinbhai Togadia’s remarks may have been in bad taste but hasn’t the overreaction of the Congress loyalists to his utterances against Sonia Gandhi only confirmed the belief that puppies are the most faithful creatures (“Fountain of Hate”, November 4)? -DR VINOY KUMAR SINHA, RanchiIs it only the congress and other Opposition leaders who have the right to use vituperative remarks against the Sangh Parivar – Rajiv Gandhi called them “Indian dogs”, Madhavrao Scindia branded the BJP babus as “traitors” and Sonia Gandhi called A.B. Vajpayee a “gaddar”? Why were the critics quiet when a foreign author maligned former prime minister Indira Gandhi, leaving it to Maneka Gandhi to clear the debris? -M.S. KILPADY, Mumbai Voice FailWhy is the media making a mountain out of a molehill (“Deep Throat and Other Stories”, November 4)? The prime minister is as susceptible as the rest of us to viral fever and cold – after all, these are attacks which the SPG commandos are unequipped to combat. -MADHU AGRAWAL, on e-mailWhile it is true that one of the factors in bringing the BJP to power was A.B. Vajpayee’s oratorial skills, let us leave his throat alone. Our prime minister is human too. -SANDHYA JOSHI, on e-mailSage AdviceThe kind of rhetoric indulged in by Narendra Modi would have had few takers among Hindus only a few years ago (“In Top Gear”, November 4). But Modi-and others of his ilk-have correctly deduced that 50 years of abuse by Nehruvian secularists and communists have made Hindus resentful. Plagued by a dangerous persecution complex, they are no longer prepared to be lectured to. -V. GANESH, ThiruvananthapuramSpirited PlaySports should play its part in cementing ties between nations instead of breaking them (“Blackballed”, November 4). The cricket boards of Australia, England and Holland should ensure that the game’s spirit scores over politics. Citing security as a concern is inexcusable- how the three teams from the subcontinent played in a packed Colombo stadium in the 1997 World Cup when Australia and West Indies refused for the same reason is now legendary. -ABHINAV ANAND, VaranasiIt Adds Upadvertisement”Instead of helping children succumb to silly dreams, they should be made aware of the need and worth – or lack of it – of coveted things in life.” -ARVIND DAVE, on e-mail Coalition governments formed with some clever arithmetic may rule but they fail to govern (“Holding for Now”, November 4). Now with even the Uttar Pradesh Government in turmoil, it is not difficult to see why the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not optimistic about a coalition government being formed through backdoor deliberations in the state. -WING COMMANDER (RETD) K.K. CHAUDHRY, Delhi BJP MLA and minister in the Uttar Pradesh Government Ameeta Singh was incorrectly referred to as Ameeta Modi in the story on the Mayawati Government. The error is regretted. -EditorArm’s ReachWith North Korea dropping a bombshell by admitting its nuclear weapons programme to Uncle Sam, the chinks in the armour of the recently bolstered US-Pakistan relations are beginning to show (“Unholy Nexus”, November 4). North Korea has set a bad precedent of impudently violating the nuclear non-proliferation treaty it signed with the US. It will not be pessimistic to believe that cash-strapped but technologically advanced nations will now rubbish away non-proliferation accords and indulge in clandestine barter deals with economically powerful nations that want to acquire nuclear know-how. -NALINI VIJAYARAGHAVAN, ThiruvananthapuramRates and RantsThe need of the hour is a drastic slash in the high interest rates, which is affecting the manufacturing sector (“Burden of Plenty”, November 4). The recent slashing of bank rate and CRR by 0.25 per cent by RBI is only a drop in the ocean. Bold steps are required and the interest rate should be immediately cut by at least another 2 per cent to save our economy. -S.N. VARADARAJAN, Coimbatore Faux PowerAll international sports competitions, including athletics, are really a test of a player’s physical fitness, endurance, agility and training (“Behind the Vial”, October 28). Why have those disciplines at all when certain drugs enhance performance? -T.S. CHAWLA, Mohali It is true that success has many fathers but failure has none. Sunita Rani will face humiliation and disgrace for the rest of her life but not one question is directed at the officials who are busy celebrating India’s success at Busan.-SUBHENDRA K. BEHERA, NasikFor Fear or FavourOne fails to understand how even the UN can remain unmoved by the plight of the Iraqis (“Readying for War”, October 28). If no nation dares to speak up for the dignity and human rights being denied to the Iraqis, the day is not far when some other nation may have to bear the brunt of America’s dictatorial attitude. Pastor Niemoeller warned rightly: “First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew, then they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist, then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” -VIVEK KHANNA, ChandigarhRock, Stock and GravelWho are the experts who conclude that NASA’s digital image of the Palk Strait shows that Adam’s Bridge is 1.75 million years old (“Ram’s Bridge to Eternity”, October 28)? The curves are easily explained by anti-clockwise Coriolus forces that erode the coasts of Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar to deposit silt on Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts and the western Indian coast from Kerala to Gujarat to deposit it on the Arabian and African coasts.-DR A.J. GEORGE KODUMUTTI NADAR, SalemWays to MeansThe government must realise that contract jobs are the order of the day (“Where Have All the Jobs Gone?”, October 28). They encourage efficiency, leaving red tape to rest. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged and business studies taught in secondary schools so that not everyone runs after jobs but some even create them. Only then a ground would be created for generation of employment opportunities. -APARAJITA DASGUPTA, KolkataadvertisementTech Tonic People love to experiment but not necessarily for physical intimacy. -DR NILIMA D. DHARKER, MumbaiSMS is not a gadget to deal with mid-life crisis, only a cheap mode of instant communication. -SHEHLA RAZA HASAN, KolkataGrain of TruthYour story accuses Star News of misrepresentation of facts about starvation deaths in Orissa (“Starved of Veracity”, November 4). Since we were the first channel to report on the alleged starvation deaths of two children in Kuladera village, there was no question of ignoring the denials the children’s parents made on other channels. The parents, however, told me that they were threatened and pressurised by some local leaders and officials into saying their children died due to snakebite, not hunger. Your story also says Mongulu Juango, who we reported was driven out of his village Kuladera, lives in Sumatha. A BPL card was issued to him in Kuladera, where he has a house. While editorially you may have differences with our reporting, the “facts” in this case are clear. -SAMPAD MAHAPATRA, NDTV, BhubaneswarThe article mentions me by name and shows me in poor light as a small-town, part-time journalist who, like many others in Rayagada and Koraput districts, does “sensational stories” on starvation only to serve his own petty interests. I do not need a certificate from your reporter or the state government or any other agency about my commitment to truthful journalistic inquiry. -RANJAN KUMAR RATH, RayagadaSpecial Correspondent Ruben Banerjee replies: INDIA TODAY has a video CD in which Mongulu Juango recounts how he was taken in a jeep from Sumatha to Kuladera for Mahapatra’s filming. In another CD, other bereaved tribals talk of enticements offered for attributing deaths to starvation. As for Juango’s home, we have correctly contradicted the Star News report. Juango lives in Sumatha where he has a house and land, of which we have documentary proof. He also draws rice on his relief card (GRY No. 204059) from Sumatha. Kuladera is the home of his wife. Besides, the local anganwadi worker has recorded that Juango’s son died at Sumatha on August 10 this year. As for Rath’s protests, the National Human Rights Commission has unequivocally debunked his reports on starvation deaths.advertisementlast_img read more