On Independence Day, a photo of children saluting the national flag standing in chest-deep flood waters at a school in Dibru district of Assam went viral. While many hailed it as a reflection of true patriotism, others – especially on social media – emphasised the worsening living conditions of people in the flood-hit area. After the photo went viral, the Internet was filled with similar pictures of people celebrating Independence in the north-east. But now, there is another photo that is going viral, and the last thing it is, is celebratory.
Uploaded on a Facebook page called The Voice of North East India, it has a girl holding a placard with a message written in capital letters — “Mumbai: Rainfall; full media coverage, Assam: Floods every year, death of hundreds of people; nobody cares. And we live in a society where we have at least 30 24*7 news channels who can show your horoscope but not the HORROR OF ASSAM.” The fact that the photo is from June 2015 and keeps resurfacing, went viral again this year, in the aftermath of the devastating floods the state has been seeing. Unfortunately, the connect still stands.
Though there are few who will contest the sentiment, social media has provided a platform for people from that region to have their voices heard.
Meanwhile, it is also true that rainfall in Mumbai garners a lot of attention mostly due to the badly constructed roads that cave in and give way to potholes at this time. This year, RJ Maliksha Mendoza’s satire song directed at Shiv Sena (which controls the Bombay Municipal Corporation) went viral after the civic body’s lack of interest in the issue. This is in spite of how the alarming increase in the number of potholes after the rains lead to many people losing their lives as well, including a toddler and Jagruti Hogale, a biker.