Today is the World Water Day. On this day I wanted to write something about water and environment. And then I realized that I could not write better than what my wife – Jyoti – had written on environmental protection sometime back on her NGO’s website – she works in the area of water conservation and runs a NGO called FORCE – Forum For Organised Resource Conservation & Enhancement.
So I have flicked this article from her blog and published here.
I don’t know about the Google wrath, but I know that this is what I feel and would like to talk about today.
So here it is with just a little bit of my own modifications here and there:
‘Environmental Protection’ is the new buzz word – in policy, text books, corporate manuals, CSR agendas, political manifestos, NGO Objectives……. Anywhere and everywhere….the slogan is – ‘PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT’.
And yet…the ‘Environment’ continues to get a raw deal everywhere – villages spring up in forests, animals disappear; mining holes appear in ancient mountain ranges, mountains become bare; streams dry up, rivers turn into nullahs; wells give water of all colours & smog envelops us all….
Why this dichotomy ??
Sometime back, as I was interacting with a bright young set of media & communication management students, I found the answer to this apparent contradiction.
It’s all a matter of semantics – our choice of words.
The words ‘Protect the Environment’ – cue off in our brain, the thought “The Environment is under threat of destruction. We must do all we can to protect it – Because We are strong and the environment is weak. We are fair minded strongmen, with a heart of gold – that’s why – even though, WE HAVE CONQUERED IT, We must take good care of the environment.”
…And therein lies our BIG BIG mistake. The environment (read: nature) is NOT weak. It does NOT need to be protected by us. On the contrary WE NEED TO BE PROTECTED from the dangerously quiet wrath of nature.
As a Mother, Nature is infinitely caring, patient, giving….
As an opponent, it is a master strategist, delusion creating, many headed medussa; a ‘meethi chhuri’ (sweet knife) and a cold butcher. It will let you poison it, and then feed you back the same poison through its air & water- multiplied manifold. It will let you cage it – only to hit back from a tunnel you never knew existed….
In fact I would go so far as to say that Hell hath no fury like the nature scorned! (my contribution to the article)
Beware ! We have made ourselves opponents of Nature!
We think of ourselves, not as Nature’s children, but as its Conquerors…. with a clear mandate - whip it to extract most out of it and feed it just enough to keep it productive. Torture it, if you wish, just make sure you keep it alive – as a symbol of your ultimate victory.
Wake up – snap out of this delusion! Look around, see the patterns and recognise how we are, slowly but surely, losing our battle for survival.
Nature does not need your condescending protection.
Let’s try & give mankind a chance to survive. As a start, let’s change the buzz word – from ‘Protect the Environment’ to
‘PROTECT MANKIND FROM MANKIND’.
In our own interest, let’s learn, and teach all, to respect & care for Nature – our Mother. She loves us, perhaps more than we love ourselves. Let’s try not to snatch away, from the rivers, forests, animals, mountains, air and water; their right to live with freedom, health and dignity.
Let’s protect ourselves – re-learn to live in harmony with Nature – the Mother – She will protect us.
What do you think? I would like to have your comments and answers to the following questions:
1. Do you think that the environment needs our protection?
2. If yes, how can we protect it?
3. If no, then what do we need to do to protect ourselves from the nature’s wrath.