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India: It is time we stop demonising riverine floods during monsoon as a calamity. Here is why by Manoj Misra July 24,2020   |  Source: Gaon Connection

Water is life. Nothing demonstrates this better than the monsoon season in South Asia. Immediately after the summer months, when the relentless sun has battered us all and squeezed the moisture out of weathered soils, the first rain of the monsoon season soothes all hearts and fills the air with the heady ‘sondhi khushbu’ (petrichor). It signifies ‘rejuvenation’ in its true sense!

Monsoon is also one of the most-awaited annual events for those living in the South Asian nations, with the meteorological departments keeping busy refining and upgrading their tools of monsoon prediction. Even the stock market swings in tune with the nature and content of these predictions. Paradoxically, the monsoon is also associated with alarming headlines – ‘Menacing floods batters… ’, ‘Calamitous floods sweeping down… ‘, ‘Another cloud burst raises fear of flash floods…’ – creating fearful imageries in the audiences’ minds. But, is flood natural or humanmade? This is as much an effort to demystify riverine floods in the south Asian context as try and establish the humanmade origins of floods, usually seen as a calamity. Although this article focuses on east India (Bihar in particular) but the principles discussed are hopefully found applicable elsewhere

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