For Kerala, the catastrophic deluge in Jammu and Kashmir has dried down to the concern of 300-odd travellers from the state. For last four days, the media in Kerala have been engrossed in the early return of these travellers, who are stranded but safe in various hotels.
The discussions in TV channels since Monday have almost ignored the magnitude and gravity of tragedy, which has ravaged tens of thousands of people in the valley. Instead, the focus has been on these few hundred Kerala people, who went to J&K as travellers last week in various batches. All of them were safe in various hotels in Srinagar, but had to move to top of the buildings as water engulfed them.
The state government rushed Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala to Delhi on Wednesday to aid the rescue operations. Chennithala wanted to fly to Srinagar, to help the Kerala people, but reports from Delhi said VIP visits to the flood-hit region has been discouraged as that would hamper rescue efforts.
The highlight of the media report on the tragedy was a small-time actress Apurva Bose. On Wednesday evening, when Bose reached Kochi airport, media jostled her to get comments on the Kashmir situation and take snaps of her beaming face.
In Delhi, Thara Samuel, one among the Kerala travellers who returned from Srinagar, told media that they enjoyed initially the rising water levels on the premises of the hotel where they stayed. “We took mobile snaps of the flooding waters, while local people were seized of the gravity. Later only, we understood the dangers,” said Samuel.