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The missing festive spirit of Eid 2015: Are we celebrating festivals the right way?

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By Prerna Grewal

Festivals are joyous occasions which unite people in traditional revelry. Everyone looks forward to festivals because they are occasions when people can forget all the stress and just be a part of the celebrations. This year, some things were amiss during Eid festivities in India.

Like every other year, Eid was celebrated with utmost joy and enthusiasm. However, this time it also turned out to be an occasion of ostensible contrasts.

On one hand, Pakistani soldiers on the border refused to accept sweets from Indian soldiers.

On the other hand, however, Muslims in small town of Lonand, Maharashtra, decided to postpone Eid celebrations to Sunday (19 June ‘15) because the original date clashed with the 1000 year old Hindu Tradition of Varkari.   

Such contrasts especially force one to reflect upon the ways in which acts and ideologies of the past are carried forth to the present and often end up presiding over the humanitarian spirit.

This is especially apparent in the case of Pakistani soldiers not accepting sweets from Indians. Communal tensions intensified by the act of partition in 1947 prove consequential in determining people’s actions and molding their ideologies till date. It also proves significant in shaping contemporary politics within and amongst the two nations.

The second incident, however, serves as an oasis of humanity within intricate web of tensions induced by communalist and fundamentalist ideologies. It is an act that reminds one of the time when people across religions respected and participated in each other’s customs and festivities.

For those willing enough to look through and acknowledge, for those are not blinded by religious bias and communal antipathy and most importantly those who rather than being obstinately determined are willing enough to open the blindfold; the contrast does raise some important questions. Why do we let religion govern every aspect of our life? Why do we let rivalry and religion dominate over gestures of love and friendship?

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)