Suicides and Massacres in Himachal Pradesh

When you open a newspaper or your tablet to look at the latest updates from around the globe, how saddening it is to read the report of a gun shooting, a bomb explosion, massacres or any other form of terrorism that threatens humanity. What do you do next? How do you get over that feeling of dread and destruction? How do you get about your day with an instance of terror being the first thing you were exposed to in the morning? I’ll tell you. You go and contribute to killing some more humans, and, mind you, yourself. That is what you and all of us are, suicide bombers.

Your form of terrorism doesn’t concern guns and other ammunition, you kill by destroying the very surroundings we all inhabit. If you figure that this article will be about vehicular pollution or other harmful gases being emitted that are affecting the ozone, then you are wrong. This is a not very unpopular topic, but one that is very close to all those who live in and visit Himachal Pradesh for its natural beauty. We puff up with pride when tourists from around the world come to Himachal to witness the Himalayas and the beauty that lies in its foothills, and so we have taken it upon ourselves to ruin this prized possession to earn a few more cents.

There were always settlements in Dharamshala, but the lesser touched and thence preserved places were McLeodganj, Bhagsunag, etc. which make up for all the tourist attractions today. The increasing tourism has led to an increase in the number of hotels and restaurants, built in areas where there is no proper road because the land sinks. 4 story high buildings have been set up here with world-class infrastructures to support the tourists that keep increasing every year. Looking at it all you would think it must be enough by now, but you would be surprised to see how many people still don’t find a place to stay here when they come in without a booking. Not only are these buildings a threat to human life and property, it comes with all the degradation that deforestation has to offer. Natural beauty is what Himachal so dearly advertises to attract tourists, however, side by side they are destroying this by handing out illegal construction permits.

If you had planned a visit to Dharamshala 20 years ago you would’ve seen a landscape like no other. The beauty of the deodar forests was mesmerising. Sadly, I have not many words to describe it, for I have only heard of all this from my elders who lived here 20 years ago. No millennial alive was born during the time when this place was in its full glory, basking in the sun, proudly showing off the many gifts that mother nature had bestowed upon this land. Depressing is what is happening to this land. As a tourist you might not be able to feel the pain that troubles the heart of those who understand the wounds inflicted on the Land of Gods, but if this doesn’t stop, then you will know what I mean when you return a few years later to see all the places that mesmerised you, ruined.

There are suicide and massacres everywhere on this land. Just because it isn’t being carried out with a gun and blood isn’t being spilt as of yet, doesn’t make it any less evil. Thankfully, the government did take action against the illegally constructed buildings. However, if something similar to what has been instated in the entry to Rohtang Pass is applied to Himachal, and that too with full force, this land can still be restored to its former glory. Bring this love for nature in your heart, when you join us for TEDxDharamshala.

 

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