05 December, 2020

The Core Issue: How Do We Live?

The intensity, the loss are colossal. Can Srinagar cope with this scale of relief? Updates

The Core Issue: How Do We Live?
In Uri—laid out like a freezing, open-air morgue—they are saying this to stave off terminal depression: that, across the LoC, destruction came on a magnitude so extreme that Allah seemed to have been more munificent on the Indian side. Cold, even perverse comfort. But, as survivors and relief workers endlessly pile up the corpses, hunt under the debris in some remote hope of finding signs of life, even this relative sense of escape offers a straw to clutch at. For, the truth is, five days after the earthquake struck at 9.20 am last Saturday, they are still contemplating the rubble of a collapsed universe.

At last count, the toll in the border towns of Uri, Tanghdar and the villages adjoining them stood at 1,195. The roster of the dead can only swell—leave alone survivors under the debris, early onset of snowfall has exposed even the living destitute to the crippling cold. But a traumatised people are slowly picking up the pieces. Help, initially available only in pockets where the army has a presence or could access, is now picking up as the civil administration...


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