Am going to kill two birds with one stone (aik teer se dau shikaar), and just post the link for my piece in Outlook India on the River Indus. Yes, because I think self-promotion is sometimes necessary and also because I am too lazy to write another blog post.
“Historical accounts often describe the Indus as ‘mighty’. And mighty it has mostly been, defeating Alexander the Great and his rampaging army and spawning the ancient civilisations of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. The British successfully tamed the Indus, building the world’s largest canal-based irrigation system and providing succour to millions.
But the once-mighty Indus is now shrinking rapidly, courtesy climate change, bad irrigation practices and an exponential increase in population. In addition, Islamabad accuses India of curtailing the flow of rivers into Pakistan. Whatever the cause, the sight of the river today wrenches you, as my two friends and I experienced on our road-trip cutting through a wide swathe of Sindh and Punjab. On our first stop at Sehwan, Sindh, where the Sufi saint Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is buried, we climbed a hillock. Down there was the Indus, an apology for the river of our memory, a thin strip of water snaking across the dark brown landscape, the riverbed shallow and muddy. Amidst sighs of disbelief, a glance at the map confirmed to us: yes, it was indeed the Indus.”
You can read the entire article here.