What Chennai Floods taught corporate houses & professionals?
Dear Gurudev, what is the lesson to be drawn from the Chennai flood, especially for the corporate houses and professionals?
Well, the analysis will take a long time. I was told that the flood gates were not opened at the right time, they waited till the last minute. The concerned authorities were scared to take permission from the Chief Minister to open the gates.
This is how problems arise — when power gets centralized, people don’t use their common sense. They sit and wait for instructions from above. If you know that your superiors or seniors are not available, then you should use your common sense. You should be daring and courageous enough to take responsibility for the larger good of the people, and be ready to face the consequences.
At the same time, when leaders become rigid, they create paranoia in people around them, which does not let them take responsibility. And irresponsible people who don’t do what they are supposed to do, cause more disaster on this planet. These people have become irresponsible because they are clogged with paranoia or fear.
You cannot manage anything through fear. Only a little bit of fear is essential. You should fear the law but you cannot function in society with fear all the time. Be it fear of authority, fear of the people above you, fear of losing a job, or fear of being persecuted. And this is exactly what happened in Chennai. Of course, they have to analyze it much more.
One thing is for sure, we have to care for our environment much more than what we are doing now. In the ancient days, all the dams were connected, by little canals. Now, the sand and land mafia have destroyed all those connections. All of them have grabbed the land in between the water channels, and built homes in the canals and low lying areas. So when the dam gets filled, the water does not have another outlet. This is what happened in Chennai. The 20 or more lakes that were initially all connected had no place to overflow, since people had built homes in these low lying areas.
Even here in Bangalore, we have fought several times with the authorities because they wanted to fill up the lake area behind Radhakunj. In fact, that is the reason why we bought the land around the lake, nearly 20 years ago, even though we did not need so much land. Similar things happen in other places.
We have rejuvenated many ponds and lakes in Karnataka and Maharashtra. We need to take better care of the environment.
In spite of all this, nature’s fury happens, we cannot do anything, simply have to accept it. What we can do is to prevent and manage man-made disasters. But when nature’s fury occurs from time to time, it has its own purpose.
Note – This is an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s satsang at Art of Living.