The God of All Things

…has a way of adding the effects of Small Things up!

This entry is in response to the heated zing-fest in the comment section of Wrath of God, a post that drew a fair amount of human wrath.

If one imagines God as some thoughtless boy slaughtering people in Counter-strike, then annoyance with the observation by Umar seems fair. However, there is room to broaden the mind.

God also goes by the name of “Mother Nature” by some. Even that way, Mother Nature was never very kind to humans. Or dinosaurs.

Do we know that there was a lava eruption in the Balakot-to-Naraan area aout 2-3 years ago? Yes, lava!

It blocked the River Kunhar and the banks over-ran. Last I saw about 2 years ago, there was an island in the middle of the river, and people had cut the path for river to flow again. The driver who related the story (which I never heard of in the press) said he believed it was because of “messing up with nature.” It was a shock to me. Lava! On way to Naraan! Unbelievable (if you’ve seen the scenic place first hand).

There has been massive cutting of trees by the timber mafia. Reckless, environment-enemy development of road by way of blasting rocks has weakened the mountains. According to God Who is soliciting mindless wrath of the Humans here, mountains are like “nails” on the bed of Earth. Geologically speaking, they hold it together. Mathematically, weak mountains = weak hold on earth (tactonic plates? geological expertise could glorify this analysis).

When we were shown the lava-created island, it was past 0100 hr in the dead of the night, and our jeep was flying by on the road to Naraan. It was a new mulit-lane road, a mere few hundred feet about the River Kunhar. In 1990, we perched precariously on the way to Naraan, with River Kunhar flowing thousands of feet below . There was barely room for one jeep, and sometimes we had to back up to make space for facing transport. Even the once-very dangerous road to Lake Saif-ul-Maluuk in 2002 was no more than what a bumpy ride on a Karachi road would be. There were blown-up rocks everywhere. In place of a huge glacier that ran more than a mile long when I visited the place first in the summer of 1990 was now a piece of ice that people were using to cool soft drinks! It is astounding!

Walk into any office of IUCN (I’ve interned there) and ask them about the erosion of the Indus Delta. We know that the sea is beginning to climb up the river and reversing the water flow. These are the same areas (Badin, Thatta, Tharparkeretc.) that suffered from a flood in 2003, thanks to man’s destruction of environment (mangrove plantations destruction, toxic dumps, etc.). The destruction of the mountainous regions of Pakistan from an environmental POV is mind-boggling. And according to environmentalist Garrett Hardin‘s first law of ecology: “You cannot do only one thing.” When we hurt a tree, we hurt a mountain that is held together by it. Everything else follows. So works the God of All Small Things.

7 Comments so far

  1. umar (unregistered) on October 18th, 2005 @ 7:09 am

    Very well written. Great post.


  2. jay (unregistered) on October 18th, 2005 @ 9:17 am

    wow…..finally someone intelligent and articulate. Thanks for a great write up


  3. Kashif (unregistered) on October 18th, 2005 @ 11:09 am

    Were you in IUCN Karachi office? when? and which unit?


  4. Irfan (unregistered) on October 18th, 2005 @ 12:42 pm

    You can believe the Quran authored by Allah (SWT) the most truthful or believe the authors and makers of ” Day after Tommorrow”


  5. kinza (unregistered) on October 18th, 2005 @ 6:03 pm

    First of all all those people obsessed with this tragedy being the wrath of God…please first try HELPING the poor people who have suffered so much, instead of giving your so called theories!! uff u guys make me so MAD. If this was an Azaab then first it would have come on karachi & lhr…where all the flithy rich & corrupt people reside, instead of those simple innocent people & MOSTLY i might add just little CHILDREN. Secondly if this is a test, then its a test for people like us who have survived without any loss. God wants to see how we will help our brothers & sisters who have lost so much. So start helping & stop talking.


  6. Ramla A. (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 11:48 pm

    Kashif… you name rings a bell. I was with Samina in the documents & publishing department which then merged with Zehra’s educational one. I was in intern in the summer of 2002. Let me think: weren’t you the web guy there? I edited the web pages, and sent them over. Ah, memory! Hmmmm…. it’s all coming back to me now.


  7. rabia (unregistered) on October 21st, 2005 @ 11:54 pm

    Its true that the worlds environmental problems have only just begun, wait till everyone in India and China has a car!! But I dont think that “the wrath of God” theory is easy to disprove…people who believe in God have to ascribe God human qualities. People who believe in charity forgiveness and kindness can’t be convinced this earthquake is the wrath of God. People who believe more strongly in crime and punishment can’t be convinced otherwise.



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