Tsunami reading

There are many stories being told about the Tsunami at the moment. Here are four that have caught my eye. From the Kashmir Times, this editorial:

The tsunami might have broken thousands of houses and families but it has, obviously, failed to break the shamefully cruel caste barriers of the Hindu society there. Thirty-two Dalit families of Meenavars (fishermen) have been thrown out of the relief camps and — what is the most shocking — have been physically prevented from collecting their food and drinking water meant for all of them. The caste Hindus, who dominate in numbers as well as the administration, enjoy the fish that these hapless fishermen catch and sell, but would not risk contaminating their caste status by sharing their food, shelter and toilet with them. … Surely, they have proved Tagore wrong, who wrote, “The fury of God will force you (proud caste Hindus) to share your food and drinks with the rest when those are in short supply and thus be equal to those unfortunates in their humiliation”.

From the other end of India, the wonderful Amitav Ghosh – whose Fine BalanceCalcutta Chromosome(I’m a bloody idiot) is exceptionally good – begins his tale with this observation:

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are one of those quadrants of the globe where political and geological fault lines run on parallel courses. Politically the islands are Union Territories, ruled directly from New Delhi, but geologically they stand just beyond the edge of the Indian tectonic plate…. More here.

David Martinez, whom I’m hoping will let us reprint and distribute his thoughts at the Voice of the Turtle proper, has beautifully-written memories of Aceh, thoughts that tell the story you’re not hearing about the Indonesian government’s impatience with relief efforts in Aceh. Finally, Leunig has some universal commentary on the tsunami of compassion, over at The Age (worth a click if you can’t read the version below).