We, the Citizen
By Hugh and Colleen Gantzer
Yes, we do mean Volley: a bombardment of a number of different weapons to send a clear and powerful message. Wake up Uttarakhand before it is too late. Stop the vote-catching, diversion creating, and turn your attention to the real crisis that is looming ahead. The signs are that we are likely to face an acute shortage of water that will put a further obstacle to our economy. And dear Netaji, you will be blamed.
THE FLOWERS HAVE BLOOMED TOO EARLY WHICH MEANS THAT THE FIRST OMINOUS SIGNS OF Climate Change are upon us. So if your bunch of High Commanders, whoever they are, plan to get their high-priced Spin Doctors to try and bluff the public, remember that no amount of tamasha will deceive.
You could, of course, produce mountains of paper to twist the truth, and reams of denial churned out by your tame sarkari Meteorologists claiming that this is Alarmist. But we believe the plants who have survived for millions of years by getting forecasts right. So before your netas start spouting their platitudes, here are a few facts. Plants have survived for millions of years longer than mankind. The very survival of plants depends on the accuracy of their forecasts. Since the objective of all living creatures is to Survive, Adapt and Reproduce, plants have had to start sprouting from seeds long before they can produce their flowers. And those brilliant reproductive organs have to blossom at the right time to have winds blowing in the correct direction, or insects to be hatched at exactly the right time, to fertilise their flowers so that the next generation of plants can strike root in the earth.
To achieve all this plants depend on a number of accurate guidance systems which we have still to fathom. For one, do they rely on the electro-magnetic web that surrounds the earth? This is produced by a giant ball of Nickle-iron rotating in the heart of the earth: a giant, metallic generator. Birds probably depend on its network to carry out their annual migrations. So, probably do turtles when they return to lay their egg on the beach of their birth. This is also, probably, what salmon use to return from the oceans to their hatching grounds where they perform the miracle of turning from sea-fish to fresh-water fish. And this electrical network is what creates the incredible Northern lights lighting up the Poles like giant curtains of coloured illumination shifting and folding and reflecting silently. Yes, this electro-magnetic web is real and we have seen it.
So do plants use this global web to power their life-saving growth patterns? Possibly.
So what is likely to happen if the early-flowering of the plants in the Valley of Flowers proves correct?
First there will be an influx of visitors to Mussoorie and our economy will prosper. Then the water, in short supply, will be diverted to those who can pay the high prices for it. This will lead to a series of stronger and stronger protests by the citizens of Mussoorie and heads will roll. Then the citizens of Mussoorie will be informed that their water will be curtailed but, in the quiet hours, water will be diverted to those with deep pockets. This will be exposed by alert vigilantes and a law and order situation will prevail which will further damage Mussoorie’s reputation as a tourist destination. Finally the shortage of water in the Himalayas will become a national issue, as the Farmers Agitation did and the bastions of political power will begin to crack.
We do not wish to go beyond that dystopian time because, judging by the Ukraine disaster and the Afghan tragedy, once a powerful state makes the wrong move, the tidal wave of unrest is likely to engulf many beyond the shore-line.
Our richest resource is our forests. It has also been our most plundered. We have had considerable patience with the so-called Guardians or the Green. Hidden in their ranks are the greatest Predators, Exploiters and Despoilers of our Forest Wealth. These criminals should be exposed because they not only wipe out what cannot be replaced, but they also strangle the world’s only mass producers of Oxygen and recyclers of Carbon Dioxide.
Dear Netas, if you don’t listen to the wisdom of the forests, including our Valley of Flowers, you are slowly squeezing the air out of the lungs of your children and grand-children.
(Hugh & Colleen Gantzer hold the National Lifetime Achievement Award for Tourism among other National and International awards. Their credits include over 52 halfhour documentaries on national TV under their joint names, 26 published books in 6 genres, and over 1,500 first-person articles, about every Indian state, UT and 34 other countries. Hugh was a Commander in the Indian Navy and the Judge Advocate, Southern Naval Command. Colleen is the only travel writer who was a member of the Travel Agents Association of India.)