Sunday, May 16, 2021

Barren land

Nature had been kind enough to our State and had bestowed it with endless features of beauty and ambience of serenity. Nagaland was blessed with dense forests, mountains, clear streams, lush green meadows, water bodies and much more. The overall landscape is so breathtaking even now that any visitor gets mesmerized by the enchanting atmosphere of this land. Up to the commencement of twentieth century, our State was almost untouched with every aspect of nature intact and away from the brute tampering hands of mankind. With initiation of modernization in production processes and industrialization greed of mankind grew unimpeded and to follow his materialistic urge mankind’s first victim were natural resources and immediate environs, resulting in enormous damage to the fragile ecosystem. To feed the swelling population and their selfish urge human beings resorted to loot and plundering of natural resources with impunity at the behest of political patrons. Forest land and other parts of the landscape were the first victims of human intervention. Large parts of forests were cleaned out to create vast patches of cultivable and residential land and much of landscape tampered to implement selfish ventures. Over the period of time, unrestricted tampering with nature lead to disturbance in the ecosystem, resulting in erosion of precious top soil, endangering, and disappearance of certain flora and fauna, inviting floods and forcing water scarcity. Indeed democracy brings emancipation and freedom in every sphere of life but premature and defective democracy encourages greed flourishes vandalism. First ray of emancipation brought new breed of plunderers to limelight that fell on the natural resources like vultures at the instance of their political mentors. This unending loot is going on unabated and mother earth is being denuded and de-shaped with a sense of right and pride. Vandalizing natural resources and ecosystem has endangered every aspect of our life and loss and damage is irreversible and irreparable in certain fields. Forest cover and forest area has reduced considerable over the last few decades for creation of so called infrastructure, but which is invincible. Interference with forests leads to extinction of many plant species animals and disturbance of animal habitat resulting in human animal conflict which is very common nowadays. Forest and other vegetative cover play an important role in the water cycle particularly in districts situated on higher altitudes. Any tampering with these ground covers will bring disasters over a period of time. For the last many decades vast portion of the State’s landscape particularly within the plains had been disturbed to make ways for so-called modernization and ill conceived development. Nature has its own system of evolution and development of natural features, and any disturbance of this system in any way leads to disasters. Flow of water from catchments down to the plains craft some water features and other landscape structures of varying contour levels to ensure proper harvesting of water to recharge the depleting water table and giving smooth way to rushing water and ensuring localized drainage. Undulations, depressions, and other contours are crafted by the nature in harmony with the surroundings and as a result natural and beautiful landscape takes shape. Disturbing this natural setup of landscape features over the period of time has disturbed the soil cover, drainage potentials and over all beauty of the State. Conversion of vast patches of cultivable irrigated land into habitations is another clear pattern of intrusion into the ecosystem. This change in nature of topography has further stressed the forest land and we are also losing precious crops especially grown in the pleasant climate here. This is how we are experiencing receding trend in important horticulture and floriculture crop production. Other crops have died down with every leap of land grabbers and real estate developers. Authorities are watching helplessly as some unscrupulous revenue employees and land sharks appear to have tied a symbiotic knot to change the title and rights of land to their choice at their will. Indeed mother earth in this otherwise charming State is crying! Crying to seek succour from someone who can get it out of this mess. If our land keeps on facing brute hands and apathy of its inhabitants for their materialistic urge, our State is heading to become a place of destruction, misery and curse.