Friday, March 18, 2011

A voice of concern


I make this comment after reading my friend Vishwas's post, It's Time We Listened to Jairam on Business Standard's website.

While the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan were not consequences of any human activity, the ecological disasters that have followed, weren’t quite ‘natural’ or unpredictable. The tsunami swept families away but the radioactive discharge from Japan’s damaged nuclear plants threatens not just the survivors but many future generations. Jairam Ramesh, never mind what his political leanings may be, symbolises a voice - the voice of concern. In our quest for development, we fail to understand the need to maintain ecological balance. We scoop out hills, which could contain floods, to make way for roads, tunnels and buildings, we build dams submerging forests and villages and altering the natural courses of rivers, we dig deeper and deeper into the earth to mine ores and drill oilwells, we build nuclear power plants for energy sufficiency and render huge swathes of agricultural land waste, and then we pump out groundwater till the wells run dry. Amidst all the devastation we wreak onto Nature, a few voices shout out, asking us to go slow, or stop before we make our own survival improbable. Ramesh's is one such voice. Listen to him, instead of drowning him out in our chorus chant for development. Listen to him, for it would do us more good than harm.

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