Thiruvananthapuram: Writer Sethu said that he was a victim of flood as his native place and the current residence were both submerged in water. A Whatsapp collective had helped him to clean the house. He was speaking in the session ‘Ee Pralayum Kadann- Pralayakalavum Pralayasheshavum’ (Flood and post-flood) session held at Kanakkunnu Palace as part of Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL). He said that the history of Kerala can be divided into three stages: Pre-flood, flood and post-flood. “During pre-flood we thought that everything is going well and will always remain same. We tagged the young generation as social media addicts. During flood, government, young men and fishermen together helped people to overcome the situation. It destructed the inner wall that inside us and also those we built,” he added.
Social activist and writer Civic Chandran commented that the flood has proved all the development strategy in Kerala to be wrong. It destroyed the established mode of development and brought forth a new model. People worked together to emerge from the situation. But after the flood, government took over the control and gave the rebuilding mission to a corporate agency. First flood proved that all our physical strategies were wrong. Implying on the Sabarimala issue, he stated that the second flood showed that the ideals that Keralites always held were also fake.
CPM leader P Rajeev disagreed with Civic Chandran and opined that it is quite easy to blame everything. What we have to do is to imbibe good lessons from the experiences and eliminate the negatives. After flood, we have gone back to past. We should change and retain the renaissance values. Kerala needs physical, cultural and emotional rebuilding. Fisherman Suresh Cochin who has took part in the rescue operations during flood said that the government has stood with them during the mission. He said that repaired our boats which were damaged in the mission, but the government ignored us after the flood.
“I was diagnosed with rat fever after the floods. I didn’t get help from the government. Mathrubhumi showed by situation to public. After that, I received help. Though we were accepted and respected during the adversity, our lives were in trouble before and after the flood,” he added. The moderator E Kunhikrishnan concluded the session by stating that Keralites haven’t learnt anything from the flood and our attitude must be changed.