Attributing the cause of natural disasters to wrathful divine beings is common practice amongst religions worldwide. Devout, superstitious Christians are usually the ones taking heat for their views from the secular population. One of the most infamous trolls on Youtube made a video in the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami in 2011, thanking God for exterminating the atheists and ruffling more than a few people’s feathers. I posted below a link to the video for my readers who haven’t seen it:
But Christians aren’t the only ones claiming that God smites people he finds displeasing. A recent flood in Uttarakhand, India has fed the indignant flame of the local populace who were outraged by a hydro power company’s efforts to remove Dhara Devi, a form of the Goddess Kali, from Her original place of worship to make way for a 330 MW hydel project dam that would have submerged the little island her shrine was built upon. Hours after Dhara Devi’s removal from Her shrine, a sudden deluge struck the region, leaving behind a path of death and destruction, and leaving the dam’s construction site in ruins.
Scientists write the disaster off as an unfortunate coincidence, but locals and many Hindus from around the nation say otherwise. I’m not sure how I feel about this situation; you can draw your own conclusions based on this article and the information I have posted in external resources at the end of this article.
Regardless of the flood being an act of divine retribution or not, two facts remain certain. One being that the local people’s insistence for respect of Dhara Devi and Her shrine was not paid any heed to by government officials who pushed for the project to continue anyways. And two, the area where the dam was set to be built was declared as an eco-sensitive zone under the Environment Protection Act of 1986, which theoretically should ban all construction activity from the region. The state government opposed the ban anyways and gave the okay for the hydro power company to go through with their plan due to a desire for economic progress in the region. Such an act shows a lack of respect for local beliefs and the people who hold them, but a lack a respect for Nature.