Good But Not Enough

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Activism, Friends, Musings, Poetry, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

As a mark of protest he said he will go on a hunger strike on April 30 for a day. But when asked if he would take any political step, he said “No”. It was then that i relaised that the step of Pejawar Mutt seer Vishwesha Teertha was yet another gimmick.

His hunger strike was in the name of Kudubi people who lost their land to Mangalore Special Economic Zone Limited. The forceful acquisition led to the Kudubi people losing their agricultural land which earned them their daily bread.

Mr. Teertha who has a strong political hold, i thought, could have directly spoken to the people in power and ensured justice to the Kudubi people. But he said his hunger strike was not a political act to bring some political pressure. Was it a fancy dress then?

At one level it can be argued that he has some concern for the people so he went on a hunger strike to express his solidarity with the exploited. Yes, agreed. But as Arundathi Roy said: Hymns Of Brotherhood And Love Are Good, But Not Enough.

Two days after that i see the Deputy General Manager of Mangalore Refinery and Petrolchemicals Limited, Lekshmi Kumaran donating a van to Sanidhya a school for the specially abled children on behlaf of MRPL. The company also donated Rs. 18 Lakhs for the construction of the new Sanidhya building. The audience applauded and the authorities of the school praised MRPL and Lekshmi sky high.

I have no problems with MRPL donating money and van to Sanidhya. Good work, i say without hesitation. But my problem with MRPL and Lekshmi is the unkept promise to the Kuthetoor villagers of drinking water follwoing the contamination of their drinking water wells of oil due to MRPL. The drinking water is not fit for consumption but still the people continue to heat the oily water as there is no other way out. MRPL which accpeted that the conatamination was due to an unknown leakage of oil pipe from MRPL, has taken no solid step to provide water for the people of Kuthetoor, which is just next to their plant.

Dilashan a child at Kuthetoor (grand son of Padma Poojary) is now one and half year old. His mother says that he had started to walk but from the past few months he was contantly falling sick and had turned so weak that now he cannot even stand on his legs. The constant falling sick of her child, she thinks, is because of the conatminated water. Why is it that MRPL cannot see Dilshan and understand the intensity of the problem which is growing in their shadow?

I remeber an incident which took place few years ago. I had comlpeted my degree and preparing for PG entrance exams. Divya had come home for some books and as usual we got into discussion regarding literature. As i was explaining some Gulzar poetry to her my mother, who was washing clothes behind the house, called me and i replied saying “I will come in five minutes,” thinking that she needed some hangers to hang the wahsed clothes.  Divya then asked me to see why my mother called for me and i said “Let me finish this…” Divya did not ask me to stop but what she said then made me stop. “Gulzar na kaavyakke karaguva hrudaya ammana koogige kashtakke kargade iddare yenu prayojana?” (What is the use if the heart which melts for Gulzar’s poetry does not melt for mothers call and mothers difficulties?)

Similarly what is the use if the heart that melts for some distant specialy abled children does not melt for the people in staying and suffering close by, that too because of you!!!

03 May 2009

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