Understanding Punjab’s Floods and Celebrating the Resilience of the Panth

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An image that emerged from the current situation in Punjab, which captures the scale of the challenge we face and our rootedness in panthic traditions. – Photo: Panth-Punjab Project

By Panth-Punjab Project |

An image that emerged from the current situation in Punjab, which captures the scale of the challenge we face and our rootedness in panthic traditions.

The Panth and Punjab are closely watching with concern as flood waters once again inundate Punjab. In this context, it is imperative that we critically analyze the root causes of this crisis, and identify practical solutions in the short and long term. Moving away from sensationalist and conspiratorial commentary, we need to focus on concrete analysis as we strive to understand:

What are the immediate and the broader, structural causes of the flooding we are seeing today?

Given the realities on the ground, what does meaningful solutions look like in both the short-term and long-term?

Looking at the current situation holistically, there are three primary layers underlying the problem of flooding in Punjab:

1) the consistent negligence and ineffectiveness of Punjab’s subedars (ie. the junior partners of Hindutva, governing in Chandigarh);

2) Indian imperialism and the lack of Punjab’s control of its own water and infrastructure management; and

3) the reality of the unfolding climate crisis and ecological destruction of Punjab.

The politics of subedari

For decades, back-to-back administrations in Punjab have failed to institute effective water management policies, plan and implement development in a way that benefits Punjab long-term, or even just maintain the already existing infrastructure in a functional state.

This negligence transcends political parties and is actually indicative of the broader political decay in the circles of the political elite in Punjab. Politics is widely used as a vehicle to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few, which leads to the neglect of key public services in favour of the money-making schemes of private corporations and wealthy elites.

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