The seamless rhythm of nature unwinding over millennia is suddenly being disturbed during the last few decades. The Akhil Bharaiya Karyakari Mandal expresses its deep concern over the serious global environmental crisis as evident from increasing water scarcity, air pollution, continuous erosion of forests and bio-diversity which is the outcome of growing worldwide consumerism and unrestrained consumption of natural resources.

This imbalance in the nature’s cycle is the direct result of the western individualistic worldview based on tenets like ‘struggle for existence’ and ‘exploitation of nature’. It is this worldview that has resulted in developed countries with only 16% of world population emitting more than half of total Carbon Dioxide emissions. With a mere 4% of world population the USA alone is responsible for 25% of CO2 emissions. The resultant rise in global temperature is expected to be anywhere between 2.5º F – 10º F in the twenty first century as against 0.7º F to 1.4º F in the twentieth century. Destruction of bio-diversity, depletion of ozone layer, increasing epidemics and melting of polar ice which may lead to the rise in sea levels from 0.2 – 1.5 meters inundating large chunks of land areas are some of the serious threats on the horizon as a result of this global warming.

In our country too, the same flawed lifestyle is leading to imbalance in the nature’s cycle. Today, the forest cover in Bharat is about 20% in place of mandated 33%. 80% of the diseases in Bharat are the direct outcome of polluted drinking water and lack of hygiene because over 75% of the population is forced to use polluted drinking water. Every year, half of the districts in the country are affected either by drought or floods. Continually depleting groundwater levels, increasing temperatures in summer, thousands of acres of agriculture land becoming saline and toxic due to uncontrolled use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are some of the warning signals. No ebb is in sight to the diseases caused by unabated air pollution, sound pollution and water pollution due to industries in Metro cities and the menace of growing hazardous waste generated from thermocoal and plastic because of the 'Use and throw ' culture.

The present worldview is at the root of this global environmental crisis. Unless the reductionist and mechanistic worldview is negated, no solution will be in sight. Lifestyle based on 'Tena Tyaktena Bhunjeethah' (restrained consumption) coupled with a holistic and integral worldview is the necessity of the day. The ABKM is of the considered opinion that the Hindu worldview of integrated approach to humans, ecology and living creatures, gratitude towards ‘Panchamahabhootas’ (five universal elements viz Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space), belief in the concept of ‘Mother Earth’ and conservation of Water-Soil-Forests and the wildlife is crucial for a balanced ecology and nature. This worldview is being accepted globally also.

The ABKM is of the opinion that a positive initiative from policy makers and the society is essential for this. Articles 48A and 51A of our Constitution mandate both the citizens and State to protect environment, water sources and wildlife as their duty. In this context, it is pertinent to note that obstructing the flow of a river – a major source of water – severely endangers the environment.
Customs like worshipping of rivers and trees in our tradition are the manifestation of our holistic worldview. Martyrdom of Imartidevi along with 363 people to oppose cutting of trees in Rajasthan about 370 years back is its living testimony. Efforts for environmental protection like the Chipko movement of independent Bharat and present ‘Vruksha – Laksha’ movement in Karnataka are worthy of emulation.

The ABKM appeals to the central and state governments to

Take appropriate measures for preservation and development of water resources in the country.
Conserve soil by the restoration of natural and organic farming through the use of organic manure.
Make special plans for preservation of ecology of Himalayas and other mountain ranges.
Develop various alternative energy sources.
Take stringent measures against industries polluting water and air and take steps to put an end to the pollution in all the rivers like Ganga and Yamuna.
To ensure continuous flow of river Ganga while implementing any project.

Appropriate policy based on community participation should be adopted in all such issues related to environment and development keeping in mind our social and cultural values. So also no unjust and inappropriate international treaty on such issues should be accepted.

The ABKM appeals to all the citizens including swayamsevaks that instead of depending on the government alone they should voluntarily initiate measures for water conservation, minimal use of plastic and electricity, afforestation etc. Care should be taken to ensure that no pollution or ecological imbalance is caused due to our customs. Let us contribute in this awareness campaign through our own example and collaborating with various initiatives of environment protection in the country.

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