jun 11th, 2007
there are serious ecological consequences that we do not anticipate. my best example, and one of the reasons i disagree with the proposed river-linking project (sorry, dr. kalyan!), is what happened to the florida everglades. the army corps of engineers 'straightened' the rivers and drained the swamps, and it has been a complete disaster. so much so that they are now, at very high cost, undoing as much of their hydrological interference as possible. a number of species and ecosystems have been destroyed already.
apart from everything else, there is the law of unintended consequences. we don't know what the heck we're doing when we do large-scale modifications of the environment.
the 'dravidians', on the other hand are into huge, monumental projects of dubious value: this is the sort of thing that mu karunanidhi wants to leave as his legacy (we can observe their very semitic death-worship in all those mausoleums on the marina beach in chennai: crass, uncultured, almost soviet-style crude structures). they do not understand the rationale behind the monuments of old such as the brihadeswara temple, they only see that tamils of old built large structures. the 'dravidians' want to ape this without understanding or any idea of harmony with nature (yet another very semitic trait of environmental destruction), and the result is disaster. one example is the execrable valluvar statue at land's end in kanyakumari. it is neither esthetically pleasing, nor does it do anything for the poor sainted valluvar: he would be turning (metaphorically speaking) in his grave.