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Archive for the ‘Disasters’ Category

Political-Imran-Khan-23-March-Jalsa-at-Minar-e-Pakistan-Lahore-2077

To many it came as an unbelievable shock. For some it was an eye opener while for the rest it was a mere revelation and demonstration of the bitter reality that refused to blink and stared right back into the face.

To me and many others who had seen the environment deteriorate and the institutions, state and system ( if any ) to crumble to an extent whereby the echoes of a failed state were beginning to make regular noises, all the indicators were nose-diving whilst there was a continous hue and cry and red flags raised by the think tank and various experts, it was a prospect of a possible vibrant new beginning. It was at that point that sucked in by the state of chaos and uncertainty, the middle and affluent educated urban class was jolted to come out of its slumber and hibernation to wake-up to reality.

Whether the deck had hit the rock bottom, the only survival lied in the prospect of a change. Ignorance or avoidance wasn’t a choice any more. For survival, action was the only option. When the grounds of Minar-e-Pakistan were swamped and swarmed by the families, women, children, old and young by an electrified crowd of hundreds of thousands that cut across entire cross-section of society on Oct 30th, 2011 it was a flash point. It marked the eruption of lava from within that had been boiling for decades. Many of us who had been pulled to the venue by the mere realization of need of the hour had nothing to do with the active politics and were hence participating in our maiden political rally _ what emerged as a result was an unusually rich and unprecedented demographic, cultural and social mix that glued together into a cohesive whole for a selfless and common cause. Every soul was charged up and every one, young or old, man or woman, wanted to be counted.

For some it raised the alarm bells but for most it brought heaps of hope. It was a clear sign of a living nation who refused to budge and, if not over-emphasized, signaled a rude and rebellious awakening of a nation willing to stand and fight for its survival and rights that was put to a tranquil sleep for the loot and plunder to go on unabated.

Whilst the volcano had exploded, the aftermath and repercussions had to be enormous. The jaw dropping event and a series of others that followed shortly sent shock waves through the circles at helm. Sooner than later, it came as a bitter realization that non deliverance wasn’t an option any longer. Thus thoroughly threatened and under enormous pressure, the provincial government that had been sitting on its haunches for nearly four years ran into a state of panic that accounted for many of the gimmicks and questionable projects and initiatives that were forced down our throats while the elections were fast approaching.

But the winds of change continued to blow setting unprecedented examples and unsettling the competition that found itself more and more at loss with each shift. What we saw progressively was rise and formulation of a party structure from bottom to top on purely democratic principles; a mini revolution in this part of the globe in itself.

So when the captain stood in the shadow of the Minar-e-Pakistan once again on March 23rd, not alone but accompanied by thousands of elected representatives of his political party belonging to all walks of life, some of them hailing from very humble backgrounds, facing an endless ocean of people and waves of fluttering national as well as green and red party flags and declared with a beaming smile that the ‘change’ had arrived, he was stating the obvious. Below the stage, the emotionally charged crowd roared in frenzy waving flags and chanting slogans in sheer passion. Many of us were those who had ridiculed his intent and motives when he had started his unorthodox political movement as a novice in the same city about sixteen years ago. But it was his sincerity to the tune of devotion, determination, boldness, truthfulness, enormous love for his homeland and leadership qualities that convinced us to part ways with political inertness and rally under his flag. Most of all it was his consistency and habit of winning against all odds repeatedly and belief in himself, his God and the youth of his country that made the nation absorb new rays of hope.

Battling against the inertia, status quo and traditional politics the movement of justice continues its dynamic journey unabated. A mere morsel that began to roll down the hill many years ago gradually assumes the giant proportions of a snow ball that takes everything along in its fold. The challenge and erosion it poses to its competition is immense and grows with its dynamism and continuity progressively. Innovative and setting ever higher standards for the nation to guage, with a towering and gifted leader at the tip with a character to fill potential leadership void that has existed, it promises a better future to Pakistan and its citizens. It is a gradual process that demands decades for its materialization and consolidation. But the signs of challenge and evolution are significant. The will and determination is there. It is for the same reason that awash with rain, as if baptized and cleansed, amidst the soaring and unwavering tides of fluttering flags when the tsunami of impassioned enthusiasts listened to its leader, every soul and mortal stood its ground soaking up all the energy and verve in the air to imbibe the currents of the impending and inevitable change.

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Another worthy contribution by Mrs. Delirium

As we make headlines again for all the wrong reasons, this time we should be given the benefit of the doubt because they were not our doing-not exactly, so to speak.

So following our national sport of evading responsibility and blaming others, this time it is the Almighty himself who is to be blamed. The Heavens have turned against us in the form of floods and that tiny thing causing that beastly disease–Dengue.

 Since this time surprisingly it was not our not-so-friendly-neighbors infesting mosquitoes and using them in place of nuclear weapons, nor was it a conspiracy on the part of the superpowers using them as micro drones. Of course, there is always the theory of Biological Warfare by our enemies using the mosquitoes as a vector. By the way our population keeps on growing by leaps and bounds; it will take them a while to commit genocide, even if they wanted to.

The popular view is that Azaab-e-Ilaahi has descended upon us to punish our deeds. Not that there is the slightest of doubt in anyone’s mind regarding the Almighty’s displeasure with us as a nation. We are guilty of all the evils mentioned in the Book and failing to acknowledge them beneath the cloak of self-righteousness.

These natural disasters if anything have ripped apart the gaping holes in our system. Our lack of basic infrastructure and myopic vision making it impossible to respond to any disaster is apparent. The Japanese had their earthquakes and the Americans had their hurricanes in the not too distant past. Undisputedly, they are rich on resources available at their disposal. But how we have managed to use/abuse ours is also a study in itself. The damage inflicted has been blown out of proportion by our own incompetence.

While there will be innovative means deployed to raise funds for the floods (conferences, telethons etc.), one wishes the same imagination had been used for something erstwhile in apprehension of the impending floods.

The Government has responded with surprising alacrity to the Dengue crisis, but while our neighbors have been successful in containing it through research, we chose to ignore the problem when it could have been effectively dealt with without causing the large-scale damage it is causing today.

However, it is also in moments like these when one sees the spirit of nationhood re-kindled and everyone contributing in whatever way they can to help. Also, it is amusing to see the local health authorities preaching lessons of public health, long forgotten and never implemented upon. Overnight, we seem to have discovered the benefits of keeping our environs clean and realizing the importance of prevention.

And in a typical hypocritical way, we would spend more time organizing en-masse prayers than take any practical steps for this purpose but the hand of divinity is omnipotent and ubiquitous, like a variable biasing the end-result of a spreadsheet. Because when one has managed to the best of one’s ability; we conclude “Dua karein. Allah behter karega.”

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Thousands of years of human evolution has failed to quench the insatiable thirst of man for a man’s blood. Just like striving for power, is killing and annihilation a basic human instinct? We have learned and groomed and polished ourselves and become civilized. But civilization has taught us one art to perfection. Beyond a shadow of doubt, we have learned and mastered to kill and annihilate with sophistication. 

We are proud to build immense data & information warehouses. And what do we gather? A bare ironic fact. Our immense knowledge, history, experience and learnings have done absolutely nothing to alter the beastly seeds of greed, lust and power ingrained in our genes. Everything pales in the face of this bare truth.

I don’t know if Jagjit’s ghazal has any co-relation to the ramblings and makes any sense here but I felt like embedding it in the same post.

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Before I really get started, let me clarify that I have no personal or political affiliations with PTI or any political or religious outfit for that matter. I am an ordinary citizen of the land of pure who simply believes in keeping his eyes and ears open and as tired and averse to all the gimmickry and everyday drama staged on the political stage by the buffoons, we hold in high esteem and reverence and shamelessly call our leaders. Neither do I believe in generalizations or stereotyping (or atleast I suppose so) nor drawing corresponding inference from an action just for the simple reason that it is associated with a particular source.

Yes. If I have some regard for the man, that is for his well rounded leadership skills. For he is the only skipper who led us to the victory stands during the ‘92 cricket world cup. I believe, that is extraordinary as no one else could accomplish the feat in 36 years of world cup history for Pakistan, even with much more talented super stars and players in the respective teams. A glance upon the history of the game reveals that despite various controversies, Imran Khan is easily one of the most successful captains, the cricket of Pakistan has known. Those who think I am digressing, I am actually not, as various leadership theories emphasize that it is the personality and personal attributes that formulate the central core of leadership skills or abilities. So whether you are leading a political party, a nation or a cricket team, it has more to do with your core personality, vision and motivational charisma than prowess and acumen.

In addition to that, Imran Khan has shown much more consistency in his political career than any other so called political leader, I have known lately. He is one person who has contributed directly to health and education main stream by establishing mega projects such as Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital and Namal University for the common man.

When it comes to drone attacks, I’ll rather base my case on facts, figures and reason than on rhetoric. The emphasis shall be upon the basic human rights’ violation as opposed to any political argument. As the various authentic sources reveal and the buzz is in the air, some 1184 innocent citizens have been butchered by drone attacks just in 2010. Wikipedia quotes the number of the slaughtered since 2004 anywhere between 1439 and 2290 including significant number of women and children, even infants. Brookings Institution suggests that Drone strikes may kill 10 or so civilians for every militant killed. Whereas, according to Pakistani sources, against the strike on every single terrorist or extremist, 50 innocent lives are acclaimed. How shameless can it really get when we dismiss it with such a God forsakenly brazen expression as ‘collateral damage’!? Are we living in stone age? We are talking of human blood and gore for God sake!

Where are all those so called champions of human rights who keep on jumping like clowns on every drop of the pin? Why are they deaf and blind to all that unjust bloodshed? It is disgusting even to watch some of the self proclaimed human rights’ workers to ridicule Imran for the simple reason that they cannot get over his right wing political leaning. At least he has the guts to stand for a just cause and humanity that I see as more than a mere lame attempt at gaining some political mileage.

Not that the butchering of innocent population like herds of sheep and goats can be justified in any way, when it comes to effectiveness of the drone attacks, how far have they been able to weed out extremism? How many scalps of proclaimed offenders or terrorists have we claimed and how many terrorist attacks or suicidal strikes have we been able to suppress so far in 7 years? What good has it contributed to restoration of regional peace?

It is not about Imran Khan or his politics but it is about standing up for a just cause and lives of innocent Pakistanis. Forget national sovereignty, forget foreign intervention, forget that nefarious and bogus war against terror_ how bizarre and ironic it really seems asking for the right of basic existence and putting forth a demand as innocent as sparing of those precious human lives and letting them live in peace in that rush of madness, supremacy and brutality!?. Really wonder if we are living in 21st century or are we transported back in history to the age of darkness and times of Genghis Khan?

In this golden era of modern civilization, a tower of human scalps is growing and well on the making for the world to witness! 

Sources :- 

http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/174477.html 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan

 

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There must be something in their blood or strewn in their culture that brings such enviable discipline, tolerance and patience that is hallmark of the champion Japanese nation. Imagine a small isolated country comprising series of islands fraught with rugged mountains and rough terrain combating triple disaster posed by the natural and human intervention.

A country and a nation probably most exposed to the frequent deadly earthquakes round the globe, Japan is arguably the most equipped and trained nation that responds to such a disaster. But horrifying even to think what it is pitted against right now!

An unprecedented earthquake (of the order of 9.0/9.1 on Richter scale) unleashing tremors of the magnitude that have NEVER been recorded in the history of the country before. These waves triggered not only a series of aftershocks but unleashed monstrous tsunami waves as high as 10 metres that swept away vehicles, installations and settlements like toys and doll houses in their rage as the heavens wrecked fury. As if it was not sufficient, the problems compounded a great deal by explosions in the nuclear reactors releasing radiations to the atmosphere and even generating a possibility of a meltdown according to certain quarters. According to latest update, the gravity of the situation has worsened and surged to level 6 on the international scale of safety operating on a scale of 0 to 7. The radiation leak is and may cause serious health hazards within its domain of influence that has a potential to spread gradually.

As the mother nature disgourged all its wrath and the disaster continued unabated, element of human intervention to natural course added a catastrophic dimension to the overall imbalance making one really wonder if the artificial and technological breakthroughs, in a holistic sense, are bringing any sustainable betterment to the mankind or potentially bringing it to the verge of destruction and elimination?

Leaving that argument aside, what is exemplary is the way the nation is responding to the disaster. Even if we talk of the nuclear reactors, the structures have sustained the tremors and conditions much beyond their design capacity. It is the operational failure engendered to devastating conditions that is causing all the havoc.

In spite of depleting supplies, no electricity, fuel and even water, the survivors reportedly wait in long lines for the basic utilities. There is little anger and no loot. Four days after the major catastrophe, the community is responding in a most responsible manner by sharing food with neighbours and cutting back on electricity supplies to diminish blackouts. The disrupted transport systems are forcing many to stay overnight at the remote cities and the people have opened their homes to others. To quote abc News “”I heard someone say they had two bottles of water and gave one to someone else.”  

Japanese are a caring nation known to be hospitable and courteous to their neighbours and community in particular. This is the kind of spirit that is developing all the unity, bonding and interlocking enabling them to stand as an iron wall in the face of sheer adversity in this hour of need.

The Japanese prime minister in his speech to the nation on Sunday night declared that they were confronting the most serious crisis since the second world war.

True the prospects of a potential disaster still loom large and there is still a lot to worry about and deal with. But then he knew, he was addressing a nation that taught the world what rebuilding was all about_ A nation that despite all odds against it, rose from the rubbles of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to emerge as the third largest economy of the world within a matter of decades.

Be it the quality and conformity, Kaizan , productivity, efficiency, motivation, organizational behaviour, loyalty, commitment , emergency response or disaster management there is a lot to learn from these superhumans from the land of rising sun. With the massive flood devastation hardly behind us and a lot of rebuilding to go for, time to take a leaf out of their book!

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