Kolkata, Jan 28:
Warning that the Bengal Delta in South Asia is facing an “ecological catastrophe” in the light of climate change, acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh has questioned the “obscurement” of information regarding the vulnerabilities of the region.
“More than any other place in the world … we, in the Bengal delta, are facing ecological catastrophe and the degree to which this knowledge is effaced or obscured, that to me has become the great question of our age,” Ghosh said here at the Kolkata Literary Meet Tuesday.
Ghosh’s ‘Flood of Fire’, the last book in the Ibis trilogy, is the most awaited book of 2015. The author is a Man Booker Prize nominee and Arthur C. Clarke Award winner.
Some of the famous works of Ghosh, who is also a Padma Shri recipient, include “The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium, and Discovery”, “The Hungry Tide” and “Sea of Poppies”, among others.
Ghosh’s book “The Hungry Tide” is majorly based on the Sunderbans mangrove in the Bay of Bengal and talks of environmentalism and climate change.
Climate change, according to the novelist is a process “crucial” to all.
“I think climate change is the fundamental most important question. It’s absolutely crucial to all of us and to me it’s interesting how we have reached a state of consciousness where this doesn’t register in us that Kolkata is a city that is incredibly vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
Shedding light on the vulnerability of Kolkata, he said: “The city is below sea level.”
“It’s so vulnerable that one of the United Nations body which was asked to assess the risk refused to do it on Kolkata because they said the risks are so great you can’t even compute them.”
He said people in ancient times did not build cities in deltaic regions because of the dangers involved.
“There is a reason why in the ancient times people did not build big cities in deltaic regions,” Ghosh said.
“If you look at the old cities of Bengal … none of them were built in the deltaic regions because people knew they were very, very dangerous places in which to build cities,” he added. (IANS)