Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili
American author Mary Mapes Dodge’s story of the little boy who averted a flood disaster by sticking his finger in the dyke is famous all over the world. I had a poem about it (in our poetry book in FSC class) in SP College in 1957-59. The courage and sacrifice of the young boy who saved his country from drowning (least caring about his own life) mesmerises one.
A son of lockmaster, the 8-year-old nameless boy who lives near Haarlem one day discovers a leak in the dyke. The dyke is about to burst any moment. The little boy doesn’t think twice but sticks his finger in the hole. The water stops flowing. There he is, with nobody around to help the little hero. Evening comes and then night falls. It gets colder and colder. Apparently nobody in his family thinks of going to look for the little fellow. The result is that the child (numb with cold) is not found until morning (by the vicar).
Now his father and the authorities quickly take action and all ends well. By a curious whim of fate the anonymous hero erroneously became known under the name of Hans Brinker. It was not Mary Mapes Dodge who gave him that name, but unknown readers who couldn’t remember the names of the heroes in the book and got them mixed up. Its writer probably didn’t foresee that the story would become such a huge success. It was frequently reissued and adapted.
In comparison to this story we have this story by a columnist-cum-chartered accountant Abdul Majid Zargar about the drowning of Srinagar city that caused a loss of life besides made slush worth over a trillion rupees property. Post-floods, those responsible for floods are still at the helm of affairs.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah admitted the brazen role of MLA Chadoora, Javaid Mustafa Mir in obstructing the breach of Kandizal area. The failure at political and administrative level to take necessary steps to save Srinagar city from ravaging floods is an unpardonable crime for which heads should have rolled and guilty behind the bars by now.
Omar terms Kandizal as a flood basin “that’s a 25-year-old perspective”. The fact of the matter is that presently more than 200,000 people reside in that area. The chief minister wants us to believe that mischief was played only by PDP’s Mir and quite conveniently omits to mention the resistance offered by his own friend and MLA Amira Kadal to open up flood gates at Padshai Bagh.
He skips to mention the role of his education minister Akbar Lone who refused to allow diversion of water to Wullar Lake by reportedly using choicest abuses and invectives for officials pleading for prompt diversion as per the standard operating procedure.
It is true that Kandizal breach took place itself but the crucial question is when. It was on 4th of September that Mustafa Mir along with his few goons brandished a gun at Kandizal site & threatened to kill any body & everybody who dares to breach it. It was on 6th September that water finally overflew Kandizal.
Kashmir is a graveyard of many reputations, writes Zargar, It has demolished many a kings, rulers & dynasties.
The author is a retired engineer and can be mailed firstname.lastname@example.org