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Improving Environment needs Election Attention

Improving the Environment Needs Urgent Election Attention: Opposition need a cleaner and more  spiritually based mindset over politically ignorant platitudes in going green Many Indian city dwellers, in particular and beyond decry the horrendous, suffocating air quality and sweltering heat, the latter due in part to climate change aggravated by emissions. Pollution levels are  even […]

Improving the Environment Needs Urgent Election Attention: Opposition need a cleaner and more  spiritually based mindset over politically ignorant platitudes in going green
Many Indian city dwellers, in particular and beyond decry the horrendous, suffocating air quality and sweltering heat, the latter due in part to climate change aggravated by emissions. Pollution levels are  even some of the worst in the world, reaching the ranking of maximum 5  of the deep red-purple as reported in many international news reports on India. This acts as discernible friction on maximizing the “Incredible India”, incredibly positive story and global tourist campaign, very successfully backed by Delhi.

That being said, specifically and more importantly, residents, even in or near the capitol of representatives who govern the nation, are finding that this situation is affecting respiratory health, most worrisome for young infants, the elderly and asthmatics.This is clearly what no one wants, not by tourists and business people either who create jobs from their useful contributions. Certainly, the vehicle exhaust and various burnings need to be mitigated with little delay. This includes providing real viable long-term solutions, better discussed in all the current important election campaigning.

While the Narendra Modi-led government has an overall stellar record, more headway is understood as needed, and will be made on the environment.This is not unique to India which should not be lectured by the West, which has done so on climate change, but forgetting that countries lIke Trudeau’s Canada have some of the highest per capita, greenhouse gas emissions in the world. . And the total consumption levels in the West are far from meeting the goals of responsible consumption, set out by the United Nations strategies such as in Agenda 21, many nations signed onto. In fact, even in so-called advanced Switzerland, seniors there took their government to the European Court of Human Rights, with Bern recently found guilty of breaking their legal commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thereby, badly impacting elderly health due to resulting heat waves, as the charge goes. Then, the West finger points and wants to chastise highly, countries in the Global South for having poor environmental records. This is hardly an act of generating global solidarity and inclusiveness, concepts of a one holistic Earth, one entire family-like belief the Indian PM has been brilliantly promoting. And the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad went as far to say that the West wanted to prevent the South from properly developing and becoming economically independent and prosperous by shoving unfairly an excessive and costly  environmental burden onto developing countries.This was referred to as eco-(green) imperialism, another kind of western-type “colonialism” and hegemony? Rather, “Made in India” green solutions, even borrowing on important and useful sustainable solutions from the wisdom of elders to ancestors, including positive spiritually-based thinking can make India a much better place environmentally?

So, focussing within India, let us start with the BJP platform, Chapter 14 in their main green policy statement.The Times of India reflects on it by stating, “The BJP, which released its 69-page election manifesto... has dedicated three pages to environment and climate issues under the section “Modi Ki Guarantee for Sustainable Bharat”, coming a long way from just a paragraph on “environment” in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections.” Indeed, in the chapter, the party states, “BJP believes in the traditional Indian position that Nature is sacred. The Atharva Veda sets out the principle that Nature is the mother of humans and that humans owe a responsibility to maintain the ecological balance.”  This reflects that the government significantly recognizes the deep spiritual and traditional basis to having the right mindset as an important starting point on sustainable development. Indian culture looks rightfully to harmonic balance, including with Nature through applying such stated values in the BJP manifesto or would be benefitted by their  wider appreciation.

For some globalists, who prefer to be societal polarizers and undermine the concept of Bharat and inclusiveness, they may overly focus on a discriminatory approach and tone about  the Hindu source of  these ideas. That is rather than embracing  their wide application and often universality to many religions. They should not be forgetting the huge and positive impact also of many Hindu-based ideas on all Indians and national culture, without discrimination against any legal religion. Such an approach is pro-green inclusive.

Remember, indigenous (tribal) women in places in developing countries like Peru (with applications to Indian farmers’ situations), no doubt are expanding and building on their positive traditional  knowledge. That includes potato farming, for example by sourcing  biodiversity protecting ideas, handed down by their grandmothers and in turn from their grandmother’s. This goes all the way back, well before  the time the European’s (e.g. Spanish Conquistadors) invasions trying to wipe out, essentially their culture and these important, sustainable agricultural ways. Instead of certain Indian Opposition leaders pushing too hard their outside ideas and often western imposed concepts, might they learn from the tribes themselves about their own many solutions from within. And support enhancement of their practices as the Peru example shows including inherent women empowerment where it exists? But that might be too much for the “prestigiously” western educated, “ We know best” by those “globalist” elite member even or wannabes who  ignorantly see Indian farmers as simple, clueless peasants without a wealth of sustainable agricultural knowledge to the benefit of the climate and pollution reduction. Farmers should unit  against such feudal dynastic arrogance, electorally.

Now, for the Congress party. How indeed does their green policy statement start out? According to Frontline, Congress does not give an wide-reaching, throughout India for an all Indians related approach and policy. According to the same source, in the section, ‹Reversing the Damage› the Congress states that, «The BJP government has passed many ‹anti-people laws› including those related to the environment and forests, without proper parliamentary scrutiny and debate.» In other words, instead of trying to change to, or reinforce positive environmental mindsets widely as in practice, Congress seems to use the environment as part of its wedge campaign to make the pro-inclusive, populist Mod-led government look minority insensitive and authoritarian. It is an old excessive refrain by Congress that could come from certain Washington Human rights interests and reports distorting India's image.

Both parties, however need to get more specific, be it on pushing  EVs to natural to propane  gas powered vehicles  and encouraging responsible supporting helpful foreign assistance. That is like Israel»s leading project approved by Delhi to have a million trees planted in the country which would help cool cities and all communities and provide more oxygen and cleaner air. Let us learn more from and about the positive specifics  that will save more Indians, everywhere  from poor health and positively add to the Incredible India story, worldwide. Treating all Indians to be talked top down that they need less Modi-led government to go green is the pinnacle of political and spiritual ignorance that all Indians, not only tribes and farmers need less of, period.

Peter Dash, an educator, ‘lectures’ on the environment. He is a graduate of the forestry faculty of UBC, Vancouver.  He was a lead researcher on Canada›s  international  environmental image.

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