Skip to main content

Himalayan disasters: ISRO working on moon; it's time to see what's happening on earth

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 

#ISRO is working on moon but it is time to look what is happening on the earth, the only planet so far where we can live and enjoy life so far. Important to protect it even if we find some chances or possibilities of living on other planet nothing will be better than earth. Let us  seriously look at the policies of our governments for the #himalayan regions such as #uttarakhand and #himachalpradesh which are facing the brutal assault due to heavy rains and landslide. This year has proved to be disastrous for both these states as loss of lives, livelihood at unprecedented scale has happened in both Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Ofcourse, Himachal Pradesh has faced the worst but things in Uttarakhand too are extremely worrying and dangerous. 
One must appreciate the Himachal Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh continuously leading from the front., visiting places, meeting people without the VIP fuss which is visible elsewhere. Many of the state governments have supported Himachal Pradesh but the central government or the BJP ruled states have remained silent on the matter. It is shameful. Himachal Pradesh need every one's support at the moment.
'Experts' are calling these incidents as 'climate crisis' but the fact is these are 'experts' made disaster. I wont call it 'man made' because common person is excluded in the entire decision making processes in our country, in our states in all the decision making process which affect his or her life. Our pretentions about being 'democracy' or 'mother of democracy' are high but the fact is whether Centre or states, the government consider its bureaucrats as bosses and panacea to all issues, they are the 'experts' who know everything and who can decide about the fate of a people who have been living in these regions for centuries. The  problems with the people is that they too got carried away in the narrative of 'vikas' or 'development' by the crooked political class and any one who opposed it was called 'vikas virodhi' or anti development. 
Himachal Pradesh was the first one in the race of 'development'. All the hills became abode of the five star hoteliers  who were minting money and moving beyond Simla and Manali into more mountain areas. Four lane roads had already made various mountain regions fragile but more than that it is the pressure of unplanned urbanisation that is killing. A visit to Simla or any other urban market region can prove this how the Himalayan region has been exploited but us all.
Uttarakhand is paying a bigger price. It was nowhere in picture before the state came into being. There were not many institutions except a few in Dehradun. As part of Uttar Pradesh state, people of the plains who were posted in the hills rarely went for their work and posting in the hills were always termed as punishment posts. The two well known hill stations were Mussoorie and Nainital. Very few people would go up in the hills but after the new state came into being the 'developmental' propaganda reached high and all those who were speaking about sustainability and environmental protection were hounded and wiped out socially and politically.
Uttarakhand faced the biggest disaster in the year 2013 which is called Kedarnath Disaster killing thousands of people and destroying infrastructure worth crores of rupees. Rather than learning from it, the government went on to claim to 'rebuild' the state. Now, this rebuilding done by the ruling BJP is nothing but rebranding the state with the Hindutva agenda. So four lane high way was thought over. Uttarakhand had the potential of Hydro Power projects hence at every 10 kilometers we had big dams. Not to remain satisfied with these two, the government also announced the railway line from Rishikesh to Karnprayag. The Chardham Yatra was so hyped that millions of people are travelling to religious tourism despite the known facts that most of the places in the hills dont even have infrastructure for 500 people. How will Kedarnath cope with lakhs of pilgrims but not even 500 people can stay there for a night ? And remember, it is a place on glacier but then it was promoted so heavily that people thronged despite all the warning. The Heli services made money and so were the other people engaged in the tourism process but all this damaged the eco system.
Anyone who is familiar to Joshimath Badrinath High way would vouch why the mountains are being cut to made the way for the pilgrims. During the last few years, we have seen what has happened in the region. The calamity at the Rishiganga-Dhauliganga junction near Raini village and the subsequent wash out of the Vishnuprayag Dhauliganga Hydro Power Project in February 2021  is an example that we will never learn our lesson. What has happened in Joshimath was already there in village Raini when people asked for it. Committed activists such as Atul Sati  Joshimath who went to the High Court with other activists were penalised by the court. Now the court asked us to show as what is our degree of being a 'social activist. Those working for people got punished and penalised. The state hound them and now the courts too are only stamping the seal of approval on the what the state is doing. Where does one go for justice?
This year I travelled to Yamunotri as well as in the Tons Valley and can say that the things were worst. In no place did I found the high way complete. The conditions in Yamunotri were looking worst. On the very first day of the Chardham yatra which began from Yamunotri, I came down. The landslide process had started from the very first day. Things are dangerous but the government does not bother. In May, I was in the Dharchula-Pithauragarh region visiting the Kali river valley and saw with great pain the things there. We are not only damaging mountains but also rivers for our greed. The beautiful valley which is sensitive has now become more fragile and landslide an order of the day. The risk on the lives who wanted to go for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra was tremendous. It does not want to take any action as spreading religious tourism has been on its agenda. The only one thing it has done committedly is to create a crowd of devotees who dont ask question about new schools, medical colleges, engineering colleges when our youths are satisfied with temple hopping where is the need to ask other questions that concern our life and death.
The religious tourists have least botheration about local sentiments. They need all the luxuries of life. Look at the videos on YouTube and facebook. Most of them are just insanely producing the irrational religious propaganda. Watching our youth becoming enslaved to religion is painful because they dont even follow the path of reasoning but become part of a crowd.
Uttarakhand is in serious crisis. #chardhamyatra continue to bring lakhs of pilgrims and  and in the Sawan month which is July,  you have the Kanwar yatra which was unknown in the Uttarakhand but now youths from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi throng in large number, has brought more pain to the people and infrastructure of the state. Initially, it was just Hardwar but now they want to go up with their noisy vehicles. They can hit at any one and go scot free. A kanwariya in todays time has more power than poor space scientist or our jawans serving us on the border. Kanwariyas today are bigger than our 'freedom fighters' as the governments have ensured that the police which is already over loaded with its work is put in the service of Kanwariyas. A question often asked why our space scientists hailing from Kerala and Tamilnadu ? Why nothing much coming from the north ? The answer lies in our priorities. If the state is promoting religion and superstition in the name of identity and culture then we will never be able to appreciate the beauty of nature and how to preserve it.
Those who are blinded by God can never understand the pains of the people in the Himalayan region. They protect our borders. They work under deeply difficult circumstances. The high ways are not made for them but for the tourists. In the villages, people still go walking and yet when we go from the plains, we made loads of comments as if people know nothing.
The state will not act. The state apparatus will never admit that it is due to its faulty policies people of the Himalayan regions are paying huge price. It is time people should wake up and fight to protect their region. The Supreme Court must take note of it. Please stop this mindless cutting of mountains and attempt to control our rivers. The flow of Ganges in Rishikesh or the power of river Byas at Mandi only tell us the story that don't try to control our rivers, don't test their patience, don't occupy their spaces as once they decide, they will all destroy everything you build so laboriously. Stop mindless construction in the Himalayas. Regulate tourist flow particularly the religious tourism in the Himalayas to save it from further disasters.
*Human. rights defender



Only 15% businesses provide employees real-time sustainability dashboards: Study

Kyndryl in collaboration with Microsoft has released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm, finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data. A Kyndryl note: *** Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, in collaboration with Microsoft , today released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm , finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

देशव्यापी ग्रामीण भारत बंध में उतरे मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी, किया केंद्र सरकार का विरोध

हरसिंग जमरे, भिखला सोलंकी, रतन अलावे द्वारा* 15 और 16 फरवरी को निमाड के बड़वानी, खरगोन और बुरहानपुर में जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन के नेतृत्व में आदिवासी महिला-पुरुषों ग्रामीण भारत बंद में रैली एवं विरोध प्रदर्शन किया । प्रधान मंत्री द्वारा 2014 में फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने का वादा किया गया था, 2016 में किसानों की आय दुगना करने का वादा किया गया था । आज, फसलों का दाम नहीं बढ़ रहा है, लेकिन खेती में खर्च बढ़ता जा रहा है! खाद, बीज और दवाइयों का दाम, तीन-चार गुना बढ़ चुका है! किसानों को लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने के बजाए, खेती को कंपनियों के हवाले करने के लिए 3 काले कृषि कानून लाए गए । 3 काले कानून वापस लेते समय प्रधान मंत्री ने फिर वादा किया था कि फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव की कानूनी गारंटी के लिए कानून बनाएँगे, लेकिन वो भी झूठ निकला! आज जब देश के किसान दिल्ली में आपको अपना वादा याद दिलाने आए है, तब आप उनका रास्ता रोक रहें है, उनके साथ मारपीट कर उन पर आँसू गैस फेंक रहें हैं, उन पर छर्रों से फायरिंग कर रहें है! देश को खिलाने वाला किसान खुद भूखा रहे, क्या यही विकास है?

Tamil Nadu brahmins are at cross roads, their future scenario remains uncertain

By NS Venkataraman*  For over 70 years now, brahmin community in Tamil Nadu have been abused, insulted and even physically attacked on some occasions by those who claimed that they were part of the so called dravidian movement. However, brahmin community silently and helplessly ducked under pressure and showed no signs of resistance or fight back.

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

How Mahakavi Sri Sri defined political and cultural metamorphosis of Telugu society

By Harsh Thakor  Srirangam Srinivasarao, popularly known as Sri Sri, or called Mahakavi (The Great Poet), held a reputation like no other Telugu poet. Today, on June 15th, we commemorate his 40th death anniversary. Sri Sri transcended heights in revolutionary creativity or exploration, unparalleled, in Telegu poetry, giving it a new dimension. His poems projected the theme or plight of the oppressed people at a scale, rarely penetrated by poets, giving revolutionary poetry it’s soul.

1982-83 Bombay textile strike played major role in shaping working class movement

By Harsh Thakor  On January 18th, 1982 the working class movement commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Textile Workers Strike that lasted for 18 months, till July 1983. It was landmark event that played a major role in shaping the working class movement. With more than 2.5 lakh workers from 65 textile mills joining in this strike for almost two years, this strike became one of the most significant strikes in terms of scale and duration All democrats should applaud the mill workers’ united battle, and their unflinching resilience an death defying courage continues to serve as a model for contemporary working-class movements. Many middle class persons harboured opinions that the Textile workers were pampered or were a labour aristocracy, ignorant of how they were denied wages to provide for basic necessities. The Great Bombay Textile Strike is notably one of the most defining movements in the working class struggles in Post-independent India. Bombay’s textile industry flourished in

India may be fastest growing economy, but it is one of the most unequal countries

By Vikas Parasram Meshram  The economic disparity gap continues to widen with economic disparity.  A large portion of the population is dispossessed, while the poor continue to get poorer. They struggle to earn a minimum wage and access quality education and health care, suffering disinvestment from persistently low incomes. These widening gaps and growing inequalities have the greatest impact on women and children.  The Oxfam International report is known to have expressed concern that, on the one hand, the wealth of some people in the world is increasing at a rocket speed.  And the number of rich people is constantly increasing. As a result, the income of the common man is increasing very little, while the wealth of the rich class has increased manifold.  Not only in India but in many other countries of the world, the gap of economic inequality is continuously widening. Oxfam International in its annual report on economic inequality at the World Economic Forum meeting last month, sai

Adapting to edge: Urban and coastal climate resilience - fostering collaborative alliances

By Enid Dsouza  Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) India hosted a workshop on ‘Adapting to the Edge: Urban and Coastal Climate Resilience’ as part of the Climate Action Workshop Series in New Delhi. The workshop brought together experts, practitioners, government bodies, CSR leaders to initiate dialogues on fostering nature-based solutions for a climate-resilient future.

Israel's merciless bombing of Rafah faced huge protests across the globe

By Harsh Thakor*  With the numbers of the murdered in Gaza surpassing 28,000 people, Israel mercilessly conducted bombing to prepare for a genocidal attack on the displaced people in Rafah. Peoples of the world keep rose up like a spark turning into a prairie fire.