India’s Water Crisis

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India's Water Crisis

 

By degrees, water is increasingly becoming one of the scarce resources in some parts of the world. The government of India and many other Asian countries have begun finding ways to circumvent the pending water crisis in their countries, while some remained desperate. But it’s in India, a country that seems to have several uses for water than perhaps any other country in the world, where water shortage is  more pressing. The tens of millions of Temples, spread out all over India, depend on the use of groundwater. Each major Temple in India must have its own man-made lake or resevoir which it uses for many things, including for purification during ceremonies and rituals, and this is just one of many ways that Indians have involved over the centuries with the use of water. But part of the blame is on India for its ambition to become a major economic power, thereby welcoming the influence of globalization, and the result is that; more and more Indians are now using efficient means to exploit more groundwater in a short period of time than they did in the past, which helps exacerbates the water crisis.

The last two decades of the twentieth century helped propelled India well up the rank of an industrial giant on the Indian subcontinent.  With the impact of open-market economics, fair-trade deals and booming domestic high-power manufacturing plants tconstantly dumping capital goods on local markets, for the first time, more and more Indians are investing in capital, and millions of people are taking the leap from a relatively small subsistant farmings to large scale commercial farming.  Because more and more farmers are upgrading their farming capacity by drawing upon ideas of agribusiness and other Western methods– all of which in some form, needs more and more water to grow crops–  by the time the last quarter of the 20st century could see itself through, India had started to notice changes within its groundwater systems.

Much more than this, India is home to a whopping 17% of the world’s total population, and majority of the population are people who still live off the land. Most villages in India depend on groundwater to grow their own food and to feed their animals. Proper sanitation continued to be rare in India, and many homes lack indoor toilets, so  It’s very common to see people attending to nature in open spaces. Whole rivers have turned into debris of soups, filled with human remains and all sort of unimaginable filth. These elements along with poor management by local government officials, guaranteed a sustaining water problem for the country, and is surely a serious economic barrier for this emerging economy.

In 2012, India sent a special delegation to Israel, to gather information from the Israelites; about the way they have been able to successfully manage their own water crisis. India and Israel, before that year, signed an agreement to support cooperation on urban water system.  But at home in India, other steps have been put into practice in big cities, some in the form of public restrictions on water usage, but also the use of state-of-the-art technologies that can monitor and record where and how the water is being used at any given location, are at the moment under consideration.

In the meantime, according to Parthasarathy, in the New York Times, even “the Mullapreriyar Dam, a 112- year-old reservoir, located on the Periyar River in Kerala, is no different. The dispute over the dam, distinct as it may be in its historic makings, is ultimately symptomatic of a festering federalist crisis.” The mention of this truely historical Indian landmark, explains a lot more than it seems. The water crisis has sprout into a dispute between two major southern states; Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and then to the federal government. It has now become an issue of whether federal officials would consider the eminent domain clause as an option.

You often hear people refer to India as a Sub-continent, or the Indian subcontinent, but what they are referring to is a southern region of Asia that is situated on the Indian plate, and extends southward into the India Ocean from the Himalayas. The country India, is in southern Asia, and it borders the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan. The country also ranks 7th in the world in terms of size, and second, in terms of population. Indian borders six countries, China, Burma, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. Both Nepal and Pakistan are in the northern part of the country. The Bay of Bengal, where Kolkata lies, is the part of India that borders the four other countries, including Bangladesh. The entire northern part of the country is home to the great Himalayas mountain ranges.

India is perhaps the most religious country in the world today. For thousands of years, religion has continued to play primary role in the lives of most Indians. Even today in modern day India, almost every home you enter there’s an altar, which is kept sacred, and is approached only for puja, or prayer. Some families set aside a special room in their home for this purpose. When it comes to religion, India has a long history of religious tolerance. For ages, the Hindus live alongside other religious groups peacefully. But there have been cases of violence sparked by religious sentiments. The most recent ones have been between adherents of the Islamic faith and members of the Hindu religion.

More than 79% of the population goes to Hindu Temples.  Islam is only 14% of the population. Christianity makes up little over 2% in this great country, and the most Christians adherents are found in Kerala; India’s southernmost State. City like Punjab and Kashmir are predominantly Muslims. The Sikh and Jain religions are perhaps the smallest religious groups in India. Buddhism is almost missing in the south, but there are few Buddhist Temples in places like Sikkim, Ladakh and Dhamasala, where the Dalai Lama stays. The government of India has no religious restrictions in place in the country, though most politicians, including the current prime minister,  belong to the Hindu faith.

 

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