Reigning Nature

Mother Nature still reigns supreme. It is quite an irony that we are reminded of the supremacy of nature by its occasional fury and not by the perpetual gentle breeze and breath taking water falls. In recent times, Hurricane Katrina has demonstrated this in no uncertain terms to the most powerful nation on earth. In a way it is useful that USA (and like nations) bother to name such natural phenomena. Perhaps they thought it to be the best way to take the awe out of nature's fury. But now it helps them to remember the names of hurricanes and cyclones that have destroyed homes and killed innocents. The dominating western White culture in America has never respected Mother Nature and the famed Red Indian ways of living in harmony with nature has been given complete go by. The results are beginning to show.

Katrina and Rita are revealing so many things about USA. All the fame and name that has been preserved so well by the lone super power has been rendered thoroughly useless in front of a minor display of fury by nature. People belonging to a powerful nation look so vulnerable in front of unexpected behaviour of sea and wind. While a more devastating downpour in Mumbai affected only an accounted number of people, the toll taken by Katrina in New Orleans still remains unaccounted even after three weeks. This is definitely a warning for the mighty and powerful who always like to believe that natural and man-made disasters are only for the poor nations. Mother Nature has always considered all the beings that inhabit this planet as equal owners of all its resources. The fact that some are temporarily richer or smarter than others does not take them above the natural law. The recent hurricanes have clearly revealed two facts about USA:

' That the emperor is still helpless in front of natural forces
' That the emperor is still 'naked' underneath

Emperor is Helpless 

USA is the emperor of the current world order in terms of economic and military might. Yet it is 'zero' in front of nature. Anything can happen at any time any where in the world without any warning. A devastating earthquake can swallow White House in a matter of seconds. Or yet another hurricane can blow away the towering symbols in the land of unhindered freedom and liberty. Thus the fact still remains that even the mightiest emperor is just helpless in front of nature's fury. No amount of wealth and military power can guarantee the safety of anyone. Emperors and kingdoms have come and gone in history. Complete civilisations have been wiped out by violent reactions of nature. It is an axiom that nature never respects nor tolerates anything unnatural. Successful are only those who understand and respect natural ways of living in harmony with nature. 

Every disaster teaches us something. If 9/11 taught us that no one is safer than others, the infamous Bhopal tragedy indicated that there is no limit to the greed of multi-national companies. Future belongs to those who learn from their mistakes in the past and heeds to the lessons taught by nature. Though we all say that to err is human there are some who do not believe it in their own case. For them it is always others who err. People who live away from nature are the worst victims of this no-error syndrome. Nature has its own ways of tempering humans to joy and sorrow, but this happens only in the case of those who live in harmony with it. More and more Americans are losing touch with nature and hence the feeling of utter helplessness in the face of any disaster.

Emperor is Naked

The more important revelation by Katrina is about 'nakedness' of the emperor underneath. Though USA boasts itself of an egalitarian society the real happenings were always there to see. Blacks have 'miles to go' in USA and in Katrina affected area their living conditions have been exposed to be far below those expected in an 'equal opportunity' situation. While the rich and filthy rich could escape the fury of Katrina by fleeing the scene their poor dark brothers did not even realise the fatal spin in the wind. The situation is so repugnant that even the number of people who lost their lives is unknown. Mayor of the city and even the president of the country have now admitted their shameful shortcoming in response to the distress in a pre-dominantly Black area. The emperor is still 'clothless' underneath the aura of egalitarianism. 

America had always displayed a White slant in matters of state. Just one incident is enough to expose USA in this matter. Why did they put the second bomb in Nagasaki in Japan? There is full justification for the first bomb because it was Japan that waked up the sleeping giant by needling its Pearl Harbour. But by all logic and reason, Rome or Berlin deserved the second bomb. World history would have been much different in that case. At least so many souls could have escaped the pain and shame of harvesting in Africa and Asia. The only factor that saved these cities is the overwhelming White population who were after all 'our own' people. Man is instinctively racial and it is just covered up in the case of clever people. 

Emperor can Learn

Anyone can learn from mistakes and correct the ways. Americans must learn to respect nature and if possible worship it. Their best model in this respect is India and Indians. Those who laugh and look down on people who respect wind, water, sun, snake and trees must start thinking again. Everyone knows that a snake is just a snake and tree is just a tree. But by treating these 'insignificant' things with respect, there is a great message that is conveyed - it is the humbleness or the equality of human being in relation to these simple things. There is absolutely nothing that is so significantly great about Man. It is utter foolish to believe that God created Man to look like Him some 6000 years ago. God doesn't resemble any thing that we see around or know of. We only see God's manifestations in nature and it definitely includes all the powerful, fearsome, loving, beautiful, giant and miniscule phenomena that we see and feel. The moment we learn to respect and worship nature, we develop the power to understand its moods. In turn we learn to accept its loving care and its violent retribution with equanimity. Even if we are devastated by a natural calamity we will not die cursing nature but with an understanding that death is only a semi colon in the continuity of life. Life has existed in this universe for millions of years and has undergone many extinctions and resurrections. It is quite possible that yet another gamma ray explosion can wipe out entire humanity in earth once again. Only those who understand, respect and worship Mother Nature can take such violent ends and new beginnings with equal poise.     


More by :  J. Ajithkumar

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