The parched fields and Holi!

It was 12 in the night and I was dead tired when I got a call from our family friend asking me to run a campaign in the newspaper to ‘Save Water’ during Holi festivities. I naively asked him, Why? He replied bluntly, “Perhaps we can’t send them water but we can certainly empathize with people dying of drought in Maharashtra.” I was touched.

Unfortunately we couldn’t run a campaign but I decided to write a blog hoping that people who will read it will play HOLI with dry colours.

I don’t know why our politicians are so damn insensitive about people and their problems. The Union minister Sharad Pawar has been telling one and all that this year’s drought in Marathwada region of Maharashtra is worse than the 1972 famine. He even said that the availability of food is not an issue but as far as water is concerned the situation is serious. People, especially women, have to walk several kilometres for a bucket of water. I was shocked to read Maharashtra minister Ajit Pawar statement that at the time of drafting the state’s budget, they will keep the drought situation on a priority. As if people can survive till then without water!

The central government has still not woken up to the explosive situation though similar reports are pouring in from Gujarat and UP’s Bundelkhand. I know people no more listen to politicians but can they remain silent when the water situation is so grim? Yes, gone are the days when public had agreed to serve coarse food at wedding receptions on a call by a prime minister but they can still create some awareness.

Ironically, people in this country blindly follow the self-styled religious gurus but they too have no compassion. The other day I saw Asaram Bapu playing Holi with the scarce drinking water with his devotees. How could he use tankers of water to spray colours?

As usual the Bollywood has come forward and decided to play with dry colours. Shouldn’t someone of the stature of Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan make appeals to the countrymen to save water, out of concern for those who were dying for ‘Do Boond Pani.’ They can do it even now!

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