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Bamboo Flowers and a Revolution

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by vidyasarada, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. vidyasarada

    vidyasarada Senior IL'ite

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    Hi
    I read in today's newspaper that Japan is getting ready for the Cherry Blossoms Festival.It has generated much merriment there.

    Bamboos are going to blossom in our North Eastern States and Mizoram is getting ready too, not with merriment, but with tensely crossed fingers.
    It is common knowledge that the Flowering of Bamboo is considered an ill omen and a harbinger of misfortune here. And it is not entirely hocus-pocus.
    The Bamboo, a species of Grass, is long lived and flowers only once in its life time. Right after flowering, it dies. When the first flower blooms, it triggers mass flowering across hectares of bambooland .It is called Gregarious flowering. Soon, the plants shed seeds by the million, covering the forest floor.
    This sudden bounty creates a raging orgy of feeding among wild rats. Super nourished on the nutritious seeds, these rodents go into a breeding frenzy, creating a baby -boom of astronomical proportions. Imagine a land overrun by a zillion fat rats ! In the meantime, the bamboo plants have died and deacyed, leaving many other dependent creatures high and dry. Once the seed hoard is depleted, the rats invade human territory creating havoc in cultivated fields - standing crops, harvested grain all are gone in no time.
    The newly sprouting seeds take a very long time to mature, so bamboo dependent cottage industries too suffer ( paper, furniture, handicrafts, local medicines). No food, zero economy. Famine results. Added to this misery are diseases spread by the vermin.
    The Bamboo Flowering season of 1959 - 1961 is one of the most nightmarish experiences of the century because of the scale of human tragedy it created. Pushed to the edge and angered by the National Government's inability to prevent that famine, a revolution broke out. The Mizo National Famine Front was formed by the people to manage the disaster. They demanded independence from uncaring India ! Peace was brokered and having changed their name to Mizo National Front, the rebels finally settled for statehood .

    All because of a flower !

    Now, 2007 is predicted to be the Gregarious Flowering Season of bamboo in that region. Let us hope and pray that govermental efficiency and technology help in averting another disaster.

    VS
     
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  2. sathya

    sathya Gold IL'ite

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    hello

    poovukkum
    elikkum vaithane AVAN
    periya link thaan
    athu paattukku athu sappittu
    kutti kuttiya peruga
    naama ennadanna...
    kavalaipadugirom
    nam vayitrai ninaithu

    eliyai coat suit pottu
    adopt ellam panni
    padam parkum naam
    veetinil mattumalladu
    vayalilum pori vaithu kolla ninaikkirom
    survival of the fittest thaan..

    nadappathu ellam note panni
    pala varudangal munbe sonnadaal
    moongil pookkal arithaginum
    pookkalai kandu maghizhamal
    baynth-u saagirom

    inru porigalum
    moongil konde seigirargalendru
    vayalum vaazvil sonnargal
    eppadiyum..
    elikku
    saappada saava
    mudivu seivathu moongil thaan

    sathya
     
  3. vidyasarada

    vidyasarada Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Poetess Sathya
    Enjoyed your song from the rat's point of view !

    Actually disaster management in Bambooland does not begin after the flowering starts. It starts before. By bringing flowering under control, now that it is possible to predict the onset of flowering.
    This is done by harvesting most of the mature bamboo before flowering and retaining only some , in safely guarded environments , to produce seeds for propagation. And reforestation is undertaken in phases ,so that whole hectares do not bloom together. These will act as population control measures for rats. No seed surplus means no unmanageable rat gangs.
    Without a million rats, there will be no need for bamboo mousetraps either ! Also, better storage facilities for harvested crop will ensure that we dont become mass-murderers of hapless rats ! And we can all enjoy Little Stuart guiltlessly !:-D

    VS
     

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