(Ashee Sharma): While ‘woke’ environmentalists of the world wax eloquent about environment/wildlife, ever wonder why is it that the ones who actually ‘do’ and die for these causes are always devout Hindus. This is when every other day we can find one or the other Hindu tradition being maligned and Hindus demonised for single-handedly ‘destroying the environment’.
From ‘Chipko Andolan’, to ‘Vrindavan Conservation Project’ to the Bishnoi community’s struggle to get justice for the Blackbuck killed by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, all major environmental movements in India to date have been rooted in Hinduism.
The list of people who died or are fasting unto death for the Ganga includes Swami Atmabodhanand, Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand (GD Agrawal), Gopal Das, Baba Naganath Yogeshwar, Swami Nigamanand, and more.
However, this list excludes the names of the so-called ‘violent Hindu fundamentalist/vigilantes’ who died saving cows from the beef mafia, because, for ‘woke’ environmentalists cows are not part of the environment! According to a report in The New Indian Express, “cow smuggling racket is worth $5 billion a year in India.
Bovines are sold for slaughter in ‘khattals’ – Bangladeshi cattle markets – where the demand for Indian beef is high. It’s a highly lucrative trade for the smugglers from both sides of the border. During Eid, Indian cows that fetch 30,000 (Rs24,000) to 45,000 takas (Rs36,000) in Bangladesh go up to two lakh takas (Rs1.6 lakh).”
The struggle of Vrindavan’s saint community to protect the environment and other heritage of Braj is well known. The bloody struggle has claimed many lives in the past couple of decades due to the land mafia that is rapid urbanising the Dham by exploiting people’s materialistic desires and greed. The fact that we have lost the knowledge and devotion which made us experience ourselves as one with nature, further aids the fulfillment of their agenda.
At the Green Conclave organised by Friends of Vrindavan/Vrindavan Today, Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami ji highlighted a fact that many either deliberately chose to ignore or perhaps they are blinkered to not see, hear and think beyond narratives. He said, “sacred rivers which were protected by Hindus for centuries were poisoned and desecrated when we became a ‘secular’ nation/people, and ‘Devi’ Ganga and Yamuna became water bodies”.
Puri Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswatiji Maharaj, in one of his talks, said that it was a deliberate attempt by Congress/Nehru to desecrate the ‘Maan-bindus’, the pride of Hindus, chief among them being the sacred rivers.
And ‘modern western science’ was an accomplice in this secular project of murdering the dignity and faith of Hindus in the name of ‘Nehruvian scientific temperament’. As if before the west (or Nehru) enlightened Indians/Hindus, they survived and evolved to the present state without any ‘science’!
Considering the present situation, one can infer that no amount of science or activism will be able to save the environment, because, like religion, both science and activism tell us that environment is the ‘other’. Then they teach us to play God, the whimsical God, who is licensed to exploit that ‘other’ (until the balance gets tipped) then compelled to ‘save it’ for its own survival.
However, it doesn’t work that way, because ‘There is no other’, and this tenet of Hinduism drives the devout to a life of asceticism (as opposed to the lavish lives of professional activists) and such extreme sacrifices.