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Environment

Who is Responsible for the Current Climate Crisis in Delhi?

Delhi's choking condition is in the news every year, during this period. This year, it broke all the 'box office' records of bad air quality. The Supreme Court 'acted' as a 'concerned' authority. It asked the Delhi and other related governments to 'stop' the 'blame' game. It has given some order and 'decided' that 'enough' is 'enough'.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat 08 Nov 2019

Enviroment

Arvind Kejriwal blamed the Punjab farmers, while BJP and Congress blamed Arvind Kejriwal, for all that was happening in Delhi, where the air quality is 'good enough' to send you to some 'asthma cure' centers.

Netas are 'protesting' in the streets. Some students’ organisations and other groups, too, are 'protesting' that 'Delhi must be given ‘clean air' (as if you can buy it from Reliance's Big Bazar).

Watching the protesting people, I realised how hypocriticalour politicians as well as the publicare. The question we must ask today is whether Delhi's environmental crisis is because of the farmers burning stubble? Or are farmers being used as a soft target, ignoring the vast construction activities, vehicular pollution and above all, despite all pretensions, our 'festivals', which we glamorise so much. Modern day, commercialised Diwali and other festivals have become the biggest threat to our environment, and, actually, a disaster for our future, if we donot change the mode to celebrate them. There was a time when crackers were burst only on the Diwali day but now the trend has been extended to the Dusshera,Chhuth and other sundry festivals as well as marriage parties, India- Pakistan matches etc.

I am here, in the Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and every year I come to this place, particularly during the festivities of Diwali, to protect myself from the torture that we face in Delhi but here too crackers were burst. Noise pollution was already there, thanks to the temples but on Chhutth day, we saw crackers being burst. Next morning, we saw smog all over but we don’t care. We are hell bent on pleasing our gods, who cannot do anything, but will only help the brahmanical interests.

While flying from Chennai to Gorakhpur, I came via Delhi. I can say that the smog was not limited to the Delhi sky. It had actually spread across the other parts of Northern India, and various satellite images now confirm that. It is painful to see how India's smaller towns, too, are now being choked.

And it will continue as long as our political class, and people at large,do not act. We will destroy our environment, and no God will be able to help India if the people do not act. That is why, I remember Periyar, who was the man who had the courage to speak up against the evils of religion. There were many other reformers, who spoke against these evils, which are among the main reasons for the continuous destruction of our environment. Can we not imagine how much North India was engulfed in darkness on the Diwali day! But once you raise this question, the deliberate thing will be - what about Christmas and Eid? I tell them all that no other festival matches Diwali, in its current form, in the destruction of nature because bursting of crackers is considered to be an essential 'religious' activity. No political leader of today can appeal to the people not to burst crackers, but just greet each other and light diyas. Why cannot the government act against the crackers factories? But it will not, because it will allow things to come from the source and penalise the poor workers.

Our festivals are related to crop harvesting, and I have mentioned it many times, but given the state of nature today, we need to have a serious look at the way we celebrate them. On Holi, we burn so much of wood all over the country. Can anyone imagine burning of wood at a time when it will not be available, even for burning dead bodies. That apart, we destroy our environment.

Chhath has just finished. This festival is called the festival of ‘nature’, but the fact is, these are celebrations of male supremacy. Right from Karwa Chauth to Bhai Dooj and now Chhath, they all are part of our male dominated brahmanical system, but none of the politicians will ever speak against them. None of our 'revolutionaries' will speak. Now, Chhath has been cleverly 'nationalised' through TV channels, and rivers and banks are all filled with hordes of people. The next day, you find only garbage on these banks. Photographs appear, of women worshiping the sun in the highly polluted Yamuna river. I am amazed to see the 'faith' that makes these women, including young girls, to give 'ardhya' to the sun, standing in the hugely toxic water of Yamuna. I am not impressedby their 'faith', but can only pity their ignorance. I am shocked that political leaders and government did not advise people not to go to these dangerously polluted areas in the name of faith. It should have stopped them, but then, it will not because our politicians remain highly hypocritical.

India is destroying its natural resources in the name of faith. Watch our festivals of Durga Puja, Ganesh Puja, and the amount of garbage that is left over after the ceremony. After the festivities are over, we immerse all the idols in rivers and seas. Has anybody asked why this cannot stop? How will we keep our water bodies clean and safe, with such massive levels of rubbish being thrown into them?

It is not the issue of north or south. It is the issue of our cultural corruption. The struggle to protect our environment is not just a government job. In fact, politicians and governments do not have the courage to speak bluntly, as they are in the habit of using these 'religious' events to further their political agenda. Once the politicians have discovered the benefits of our ignorance, they will not make a move to remove it, but our constitutional bodies must work. Our Environment Ministry must act, we must have a river protection department, which must stop people from further polluting them. Faith cannot be an excuse to destroy our environment. Do not blame the farmers of Punjab for the ills of Delhi, have the courage to completely ban crackers and immersion of idols in various water bodies of the country. Reduce vehicular traffic and stop all those 'developmental' activities which are being undertaken at the cost of Nature. No developmental work should be allowed, unless an impartial environmental assessment study is done which approves it. Of course, we know how this is done these days. Modiji is developing a new plan to 'develop' Delhi. The historical buildings might become 'history'. So, further digging and polluting of the city will continue. A green Delhi has been converted into a cemented zone, which will choke it further.

It is time we all understand the dangers of our ignorance and superstitions, which are now threatening our environment. Our 'developmental' module is also helping the corrupt and the cronies and does not deal with the issue of protecting the earth. Can they protect our nature, who want to 'exploit' it? We need to set our priorities right, only then we will be able to protect our right to breathe fresh air. Otherwise, the situation is only going to worsen in future.

Related Articles:

Diwali has been celebrated by Muslims for centuries

Piety and Noise Pollution, The Face Off - India 2005

Toxic Air To Blame For Lung Cancer; No Longer Just A Smoker’s Disease

On The Gangetic Plain, 600 Million Indians Feel Effects Of Air Pollution And Changing Climate

As Nearby States Report 350 Stubble Fires In 7 Days, Delhi Prepares To Deal With Bad Air

 

Who is Responsible for the Current Climate Crisis in Delhi?

Delhi's choking condition is in the news every year, during this period. This year, it broke all the 'box office' records of bad air quality. The Supreme Court 'acted' as a 'concerned' authority. It asked the Delhi and other related governments to 'stop' the 'blame' game. It has given some order and 'decided' that 'enough' is 'enough'.

Enviroment

Arvind Kejriwal blamed the Punjab farmers, while BJP and Congress blamed Arvind Kejriwal, for all that was happening in Delhi, where the air quality is 'good enough' to send you to some 'asthma cure' centers.

Netas are 'protesting' in the streets. Some students’ organisations and other groups, too, are 'protesting' that 'Delhi must be given ‘clean air' (as if you can buy it from Reliance's Big Bazar).

Watching the protesting people, I realised how hypocriticalour politicians as well as the publicare. The question we must ask today is whether Delhi's environmental crisis is because of the farmers burning stubble? Or are farmers being used as a soft target, ignoring the vast construction activities, vehicular pollution and above all, despite all pretensions, our 'festivals', which we glamorise so much. Modern day, commercialised Diwali and other festivals have become the biggest threat to our environment, and, actually, a disaster for our future, if we donot change the mode to celebrate them. There was a time when crackers were burst only on the Diwali day but now the trend has been extended to the Dusshera,Chhuth and other sundry festivals as well as marriage parties, India- Pakistan matches etc.

I am here, in the Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and every year I come to this place, particularly during the festivities of Diwali, to protect myself from the torture that we face in Delhi but here too crackers were burst. Noise pollution was already there, thanks to the temples but on Chhutth day, we saw crackers being burst. Next morning, we saw smog all over but we don’t care. We are hell bent on pleasing our gods, who cannot do anything, but will only help the brahmanical interests.

While flying from Chennai to Gorakhpur, I came via Delhi. I can say that the smog was not limited to the Delhi sky. It had actually spread across the other parts of Northern India, and various satellite images now confirm that. It is painful to see how India's smaller towns, too, are now being choked.

And it will continue as long as our political class, and people at large,do not act. We will destroy our environment, and no God will be able to help India if the people do not act. That is why, I remember Periyar, who was the man who had the courage to speak up against the evils of religion. There were many other reformers, who spoke against these evils, which are among the main reasons for the continuous destruction of our environment. Can we not imagine how much North India was engulfed in darkness on the Diwali day! But once you raise this question, the deliberate thing will be - what about Christmas and Eid? I tell them all that no other festival matches Diwali, in its current form, in the destruction of nature because bursting of crackers is considered to be an essential 'religious' activity. No political leader of today can appeal to the people not to burst crackers, but just greet each other and light diyas. Why cannot the government act against the crackers factories? But it will not, because it will allow things to come from the source and penalise the poor workers.

Our festivals are related to crop harvesting, and I have mentioned it many times, but given the state of nature today, we need to have a serious look at the way we celebrate them. On Holi, we burn so much of wood all over the country. Can anyone imagine burning of wood at a time when it will not be available, even for burning dead bodies. That apart, we destroy our environment.

Chhath has just finished. This festival is called the festival of ‘nature’, but the fact is, these are celebrations of male supremacy. Right from Karwa Chauth to Bhai Dooj and now Chhath, they all are part of our male dominated brahmanical system, but none of the politicians will ever speak against them. None of our 'revolutionaries' will speak. Now, Chhath has been cleverly 'nationalised' through TV channels, and rivers and banks are all filled with hordes of people. The next day, you find only garbage on these banks. Photographs appear, of women worshiping the sun in the highly polluted Yamuna river. I am amazed to see the 'faith' that makes these women, including young girls, to give 'ardhya' to the sun, standing in the hugely toxic water of Yamuna. I am not impressedby their 'faith', but can only pity their ignorance. I am shocked that political leaders and government did not advise people not to go to these dangerously polluted areas in the name of faith. It should have stopped them, but then, it will not because our politicians remain highly hypocritical.

India is destroying its natural resources in the name of faith. Watch our festivals of Durga Puja, Ganesh Puja, and the amount of garbage that is left over after the ceremony. After the festivities are over, we immerse all the idols in rivers and seas. Has anybody asked why this cannot stop? How will we keep our water bodies clean and safe, with such massive levels of rubbish being thrown into them?

It is not the issue of north or south. It is the issue of our cultural corruption. The struggle to protect our environment is not just a government job. In fact, politicians and governments do not have the courage to speak bluntly, as they are in the habit of using these 'religious' events to further their political agenda. Once the politicians have discovered the benefits of our ignorance, they will not make a move to remove it, but our constitutional bodies must work. Our Environment Ministry must act, we must have a river protection department, which must stop people from further polluting them. Faith cannot be an excuse to destroy our environment. Do not blame the farmers of Punjab for the ills of Delhi, have the courage to completely ban crackers and immersion of idols in various water bodies of the country. Reduce vehicular traffic and stop all those 'developmental' activities which are being undertaken at the cost of Nature. No developmental work should be allowed, unless an impartial environmental assessment study is done which approves it. Of course, we know how this is done these days. Modiji is developing a new plan to 'develop' Delhi. The historical buildings might become 'history'. So, further digging and polluting of the city will continue. A green Delhi has been converted into a cemented zone, which will choke it further.

It is time we all understand the dangers of our ignorance and superstitions, which are now threatening our environment. Our 'developmental' module is also helping the corrupt and the cronies and does not deal with the issue of protecting the earth. Can they protect our nature, who want to 'exploit' it? We need to set our priorities right, only then we will be able to protect our right to breathe fresh air. Otherwise, the situation is only going to worsen in future.

Related Articles:

Diwali has been celebrated by Muslims for centuries

Piety and Noise Pollution, The Face Off - India 2005

Toxic Air To Blame For Lung Cancer; No Longer Just A Smoker’s Disease

On The Gangetic Plain, 600 Million Indians Feel Effects Of Air Pollution And Changing Climate

As Nearby States Report 350 Stubble Fires In 7 Days, Delhi Prepares To Deal With Bad Air

 

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26

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10 am onwards

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Theme

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In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
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Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives