A tragedy beyond words
This is a tragedy that defies description. Many young lives blossoming with the hope of a bright future were snuffed out in an instant. The flow of water may be a force of nature, but this calamity appears manmade as the water stored in the reservoir of the Larji hydropower project was released without, as some survivors said, so much as a warning being given to areas downstream of the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh.
No outsider, onlooker or reader can feel the depth of the pain that rends the heart of family and friends of the students from Hyderabad who, on a happy sightseeing holiday, became victims of the thoughtlessness of fellow men. No one seems to have learnt a lesson from incidents in the past.
Had this been a case of over-adventurous youth stepping into swirling waters of unknown depth to be washed away by the current, the careless tourists would have been the only ones to blame. The students were merely following an age-old instinct of capturing a photo opportunity on the banks of a picture-postcard-perfect river winding its way in the hills of the Himalayas.
This is a manmade tragedy typical of a land that does not place sufficient value on life, maybe because the humongous numbers here make it appear so cheap. In not caring enough, the failure is national. Sadly, the price paid is in so many precious young lives.