Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Construction of Cemented Culture by Destroying Gangatic Civilisation would be dangerous for Uttarakhand By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Construction of Cemented Culture by Destroying Gangatic Civilisation would be dangerous for Uttarakhand

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

The devastation brought in Uttarakhand last year are merely not natural alone. We all know the most beautiful regions of the world can burn furious if nature is not protected. Uttarakhand has some of the breathtaking locations where people not just go for mental and spiritual peace but for adventure too. In the past so many years, our governments have allowed the builder mafias to control our land. Today, the land sharks have taken over most of the places in the hills. As the Pahadis migrate to cities, Punjabi builders in Dehradun and Delhi have bought huge land every where. The operation work everywhere in the same way. You buy land on a little higher price and then sale dream for higher prices again. 

Uttarakhand has seen massive erosion of nature. So many big and small dams are being built on the river Ganga. Old Tehri which was a beautiful and  historical place has disappeared now. Many more Dandis and Kanthis will disappear in future. The Ganga will die without water. The Prime Minister want to develop Ganga in Varanasi but without protecting Ganga in the Himalayas, how will you clean Ganga in Varanasi.

Ganga is most ferosious as well as beautiful when flows in the Hiamalays. It is this culture of Ganga that has made Uttarakhand people different. They are peace loving as Ganga flows during peace but become ferocious if they are humiliated. Pahadi's are peaceful and will revolt only when their mind understand that they have been insulted and humiliated. It happened in 1994 when the hills saw for the first time the curfew in many of the places, in as smaller towns like Mussoorie, Kotdwara and Khatima. Thousands of young men and women came to the street and fought with the police. It was unprecedented and unparrellel in the history of Uttarakhand.

People had lots of hope from the leaders. The question was why we wanted a separate Uttarakhand ? Just because people fought against 27% reservation for OBCs by the Uttarakhand government ? Was that the only subject or the whole identity of Uttarakhand, its natural resources, its sanskriti. After nearly 12 years, it is time to ask the question as what have people got and if they have not got then who is responsible. 

Uttarakhand has developed. There are roads and schools are better organised than Uttar Pradesh. Law and order was never a problem. Tourism grew leap and bound and every body was happy. But there was simmering discontents in the nature. Activists were speaking and warning against uncontrolled deforestation in the name of 'development'. Bahuguna regime and before him the BJP government allowed sucking of the natural resources. The beautiful hills were easily available to the cunning, crafty and corrupt land mafias. The local youths, chamchas of politicians who prefer being 'thekedars' or contractors than a full time job or entrepreneurship work, were informing the people that this was development. When activists like G.K.Aggawala were siting on Dharna against dams on Ganga, the politicians got these activists beaten up. 'We have got the mandate', they said. What do you mean by mendate ? You got vote to govern and give us 'suraj' and swraj. We have not given you vote to destroy our nature, our environment and our culture. Uttarakhand can be and should be called 'Gangtic valley' civilisation and Ganga is the center figure of that. I do not use the Gangtic valley civilization in brahmanical term. Actually, the brahmanical value system has hijacked the civilisation of Ganga which is 'jeevandayini' for all.

If Ganga is killed, India is dead. It is not the highly glamorised brahmanical rituals of Varanasi but the whole fertility that the Ganges gives to India. Our most fertile locations are based on the bank of Ganga. It is this water, the purity of it, that attract millions of people to it. Ganga can not be treated as a money minting river to fetch the needs of big malls in Delhi and Mumbai. Is not it ironical that all the big river flows from Uttarakhand and the same state which send highest number of soldiers to Indian army, suffer for drinking water. The wives of the soldiers who fight our honor in Kashmir, in other parts of the country, have to walk miles and miles for water. Not all the villages have electricity and we have a Tehri dam and see the irony. Uttarakhand became actually victim of the imperialism of highest order. The revenue of Tehri dam goes to Centre and a good percent to Uttar Pradesh ? It dislocated people in Uttarakhand, it destroyed a city but it can not fetch electricity and benefit out of it to the state it is located. What can it be called ?

The Tsunami that destroyed millions of lives has a warning for us all. The mighty Himayalas and Ganges that flows from there remain peaceful as long as your development is not in conflict with it. We must remember that what has been happening in Uttarakhand was not development but destruction. To pamper the brahmanical hierarchy which emanates from Kedarnath and Badrinath, we created false structure, hotels and resorts against the laws of nature and the result was absolute devastation.

Uttarakhand and many states like them has special provisions. Land for outsiders must not be allowed and enviromnetal laws must be made strict. Problems is that these laws are there to be implemented for poor people. If they want to make a house, a hut or a small thing then all of these will create hurdles but when a big land shark from Dehradun or Delhi want to build up huge resort violating all the laws, suddenly that thin environemental line disappear.

It is time for stricter action. Uttarakhand's women like Gaura Devi has put our head high for protecting nature. Now, people must understand that Uttarakhand will remain best if it is left to nature. Please remain what is good there. If people really love Kedarnath they can go in all difficult situations too. You can not build human civilisation of a area which always remained synonymous to nature, by destructive methods. Uttarakhand will always remain a beautiful if it remain true to its origin. Let us not destroy Gangatic civilisation by constructing cemented one which will remain totally artificial and against all the norms of nature. 

If article 370 has protected Kashmir perhaps we need special provision to protect the nature of states like Uttarakhand. There are definitely constitutional provisions but corrupt leaders and equally corrupt bureaucracy and the end result is utter violation of these provisions. The only thing which can make these laws possible and applicable is an enlightened society and strong mass movement. We must remember that Nature's punishment is much harsher and violent than our constitutional provisions and we cant fight nature with artificial methods. We need to protect and respect nature. Uttarkhand's beautiful hills need to be protected as national assets and those thugs who are going to use these for purely commercial purposes must be discouraged as they are not just ruining a city or a village but an entire civilisation based on nature.

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