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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Assam: Load Shedding Of The Third Kind!

Power supply in the state of Assam presently cannot just be said as erratic, it is atrocious. It cannot just be said as load shedding, because in load shedding there is a method. This is madness that has no method. It is raging across the state, although more tellingly in lower and central Assam where rains have been scanty over the last two months and people are faced with oppressively humid heat conditions. The sky remains cloudy and no rain falls eventually, not even welcome winds blow across. If you are inside you sweat on with a severe kind of consistency. If you are out you are almost roasted alive. Those who can afford an inverter still sweat at the thought of how to charge that relief-giving unit, because for that you need power. Evenings are even worse because gleeful swarms of mosquitos add to your dark sticky woes. Small time operators who depend on their desktops for the daily bread are finding it hard to survive.

Power supply comes for five minutes and goes nuts for 2-3 hours or more and then again for ten minutes and out for similar periods. Any time day or night, unfailingly when humid heat is at its unbearably oppressive best. If electricity stays on for quite some time people are incredulous and so they cannot even relish those heavenly moments. There are absolutely no prior announcements or intimation about possible hours of load shedding. At at any point of time you have no inkling of the coming blanking outs. As if sweating has become your latest fundamental right.

Scanty rains is just one reason due to which maybe power generation has reached a low. However, the other more important reason is a purely political one. BJP winning 7 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats here in General Elections-2014 has left the ruling Congress government utterly bitterly decimated and demoralised. They are at a total loss to understand what is best for them or for the people. Blame games after the debacle have divided the Congress into two distinct groups. While Assam sweats and suffers their rulers are busy making political moves in cozy air-conditioned chambers to fight dissidence or to accelerate the fight within. Hapless and desperate people are protesting, burning effigies of their power minister and cutting all kinds of dirty jokes on the rulers. But to no avail. Some wise souls are contemplating calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and save them. Amen!

Post Script: This post was scheduled for publication 4 days back, but due to net problems in my mobile (maybe due to erratic power) could not be published. Meantime in a shocking and unbelievable car accident near Delhi airport Maharashtra's tallest BJP leader Gopinath Munde passed away on 3rd June. He was just sworn in as one of the super Union Ministers for Rural Development and other portfolios on 26th May in the Narendra Modi cabinet. Being from the OBC (Other Backward Classes) and a farmer's son Munde held immense promise for rural development of the country. We express our heartfelt condolences and pray for the eternal bliss of his soul. Gopinath Munde had been a constant part of our news stories and coverages over the years. We will miss him dearly particularly after his potentially new role.

This also puts renewed focus on the madness on our roads and highways. Rash driving, road rages and increasing number of fatal accidents continue to rule this God foresaken country where crimes against women have also picked up with horrific incidents in Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya in the last few days. That women are not at all safe here is an accepted bitter truth. But, if even central ministers are not safe on our roads who are?

PS: Meanwhile in Assam the Congress dissidence drama seems to be over as the party's High Command has asked the main dissident leader to fall in line. The leader, Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has been campaigning for changing the present Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has offered to resign and said that nobody in his camp wants Ministerial berth and that all present ministers in his camp including himself are ready to be dropped from the cabinet in the possible reshuffle soon. The power scenario meantime has shown little improvement as the spell of humid heat and no rains continues unabated. The sweating is hardly over!
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