In the aftermath of the Himalayan tsunami in Uttarakhand, the government is now expecting epidemic like cholera. Doctors’ team is ready to fly to Uttarakhand. Little research has been done on the water of tributaries of the Ganga like Bhagirathi and Alakananda, but in lower parts like Prayag and Kashi, the water of the Ganga has miraculous healing quality. Famous scientist Prof. Ernest Hanbury Hankins carried out research around last decade of eighteenth century on the water of the divine river Ganga.
His research was interesting! He found that ‘vibrio choleri’, the virus causing the epidemic cholera, dies out within three hours when treated with the water of the Ganga. The results were published in Annales De Institute Pasteur, No 10, pg 511-523 in the year 1896. Earlier, such types of researches were performed by different researchers on a number of rivers in Europe and America. Prof. Krylov earlier recorded that vibrio choleri lived for nearly 568 days in water of the Russian river Volga, Prof. Smitowich reported that it lives for several months in the wells of Russia. Japanese scientist Yano found that the vibrio remained alive in sterilized water for 245 days! But, Prof. Hankin’s research was a complete surprise as he reported that the vibrio in no case lives more than three hours in the water of the river Ganga!
The British government in India invited Prof. Felix D’Herelle, who was nominated for Nobel Prize eight times during his life, to study cholera. It was 1927. He was accompanied by Dr. Malone, from McGill University, and Dr. Lahiri. He repeated the experiment of Prof. Hankin extensively in terms of time and number of samples. He found that not only vibrio choleri but also B. Coli, which causes dysentery, dies out within four hours when comes in contact with the water of the river Ganga! His findings were published in Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Vol 1(4), pg 195-219. From Prof. Felix to Prof. C S. Nautial many researchers studied the virus/bacteriophage nature of the water of the Ganga and published the results in different high impact journals.
Research on water crystal unfolded a new dimension in this regard. Prof. Masaru Emoto found that the water of the river Zamzam has interesting nature of killing virus/bacteria unlike other French rivers like the Laurdes! It was found that more the bright points in water crystal better the healing nature of water. The results were published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol 10(1), pg 19-21 in the year 2004. Aqua Viva Laboratory, Switzerland, studied the water crystal nature of the river Ganga, near Tehri dam and found that it has more bright points than that of Zamzam water! So, the water of Ganga is not like other normal water, i.e. the Volga or the Amazon, rather it is something special. Again, research group at Aqua Viva Laboratory found that the bright points before Tehri dam is much more than that after Tehri dam. That means dams affect the quality of water, especially the Ganga, which has healing property.
The history of the global fare Maha Kumbha Mela is associated with the story of creation of amrit (the divine nectar) and vish (poison). The water of the river Ganga is like amrit, which is capable of providing a disease-free long and healthy life, as laboratory experiments revealed in recent days. Hence, it is a necessity not only for the four million people of the eleven states situated on the Ganga- Jamuna doab but also for every India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari irrespective of their religion and language. It is our national need. The Ganga was declared the national river in the year 2009. Perhaps, it is the only river that has got such a status. But, we the advocate of mechanical life theory are turning the divine nectar into deadly poison through our passion of making heavy industries. The breakthrough research of Prof. Awadhesh Kumar Rai of Allahabad University is worth noting in this context. Industrial waste, which is thrown into the river Ganga not only contaminates water to cause disease but also the food. He studied the crops and vegetables grown near Kanpur industrial area using an advance technology like laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). His group studied crops like rice, mustache and tomato and found that in the food material traces of poisonous metal like lead, strontium and chromium were found. The poisonous metals in the industrial waste make food poison. However, effects of industrial pollution on water crystal are yet to be studied.
Nature created amrit and we are making it a deadly poison. There is a popular saying “Mano to hein Ganga Mata, Na mano to behta pani”.
So, industrial pollution is the major threat to the river Ganga, so also chain of dams. Government in a democratic society like us must check industrialisation along the banks of river Ganga and adopt eco-friendly swadeshi and small-scale industry. Respecting the treaty with Ganga Mahasabha (1915) it should leave the idea of changing the basic structure of the Ganga and facilitate free flowing of water of the river Ganga.
There is a complaint from different quarters of intellectuals that Hindu pilgrims are polluting the river Ganga. Ramon Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh recollects his child days. Once he went to Prayag (Allahabad) with his grandmother. When he was going to jump into the river Ganga, his grandmother shouted, “Ruk, ja jangal ho ke a, phir Ganga mein nahaega” (Stop, after attending the call of nature, enter into river Ganga to take a bath) (Ref. Nadikuch, pg. 39). Retd. Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court, Justice Giridhar Malviya used to tell that when he was a child, elder members of his family used to tell him and his friends, “Take bath at home before leaving for Ganga for morning bath. Are you going to enter into the Ganga with sweat and saliva?”
How is it possible that Hindu society, which has such a respect for river Ganga, can pollute the holy water by throwing flowers to dead body into it? When were these shameful traditions started? History is silent about it. But, stories thrown here and there can have the answer. About 150 years ago, the British government had decided to connect a polluted Ramanala to the river Ganga (Ramanala was a newly constructed waste material disposal channel at that time.). Strong resistance was put under the leadership of Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and the government retreated from its stand. But, as the religious and political demography changed along the banks of the Ganga, not only city wastes but also several industrial disposal channels fell into it. There is a little hope that a corrupt government shall ever care for river Ganga, since its very nature is proved in Ganga action plan. So, lets’ take an oath to save the Ganga, let’s sing Nirmal Ganga, aviral Ganga.
By Gourishankar Sahoo