Thursday, 6 August 2020

Rivers: Lifeline Of Every Religion

Updated: November 10, 2012 1:51 pm

This is the festival time and every Indian has just celebrated the Navaratra and worshipped the Mother Durga to bless the human society. We all pray to Shakti Mata to eliminate all evils from the earth. Also we all pledge to root out demonic powers from within us. That’s why there is the tradition of burning the effigy of Ravana. In India, almost everywhere, the effigy of Ravana is burnt by the politicians, who are mostly involved neck deep in corruption and are replete with demonic qualities. History has given different place to Ram and Ravana. So one expects that with the beginning of the auspicious month of Kartik, which starts from October 30 this year, our respected leaders, who govern this great nation, would take a pledge to emulate the path of Rajdharma for restoring Ramrajya in Bharat. In India, average politicians are mentally befogged owing to sensory overindulgence and are incapable of understanding the difference between right and wrong actions. They spend on body, mind and soul, feeling no real physical, mental or spiritual pleasure. Time has come the evil politicians, who slides precipitously into misery-making actions in the darkness of their befuddled mind, should initiate good changes in life, at least for the sake of our country. The moral scale of many politicians in our country has gone down to drains if one gauzes their merits. It is a shame on us to have gone down to that level, as we had a rich tradition of patriotism and nationalism. The country is moving directionless in the absence of Sarathi, i.e. Lord Krishna the charioteer of Arjuna. And it is hard to find Lord Krishna to guide us as we all are not following the path of Dharma. Let’s pledge to follow the path of Dharma and expose those who tend to stick the path of Adharma.

This week we have done a cover story to save the river Baitarani in the state of Odisha. India has a vast network of sacred places, rivers, mountains, trees, plants and cities. The sacredness of the land of India gives a sense of unity to this country of so many religions, cultures, races and languages. In India, people live with a system, where everything is related to everything else. Our scriptures exhort us to preserve environment and ecological balance. In the Bhagwat Gita, sloka 20, chapter 10, Lord Krishna says: “I am the self seated in the heart of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the very end of all beings. All beings are therefore treated alike.” In Hinduism, the rhythm of life is dictated by water and Hindus hold rivers with a great reverence. In Hindu tradition, puja starts with purifying the place by sprinkling the water from auspicious rivers and by chanting the mantra Gangecha Yamune chaiva Godavari Saraswathi Narmade

Sindhu Kaveri jalesmin sannidhim kuru (In this water, I invoke the presence of holy waters from the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri). Rivers are one such gift that is considered highly sacred throughout the length and breadth of the country, primarily because these mighty rivers have perennially been a source of livelihood to millions of Indians living in areas lying along their courses. All the rivers in India are worshipped in the form of Goddess, i.e. Shakti. It seems the Odisha government is hell bent on destroying all the rivers, forests and natural resources of Odisha in the name of industrilisation. Industrilization is no doubt a welcome step, but not at the cost of human life and civilization. If one goes into the details of the industrial scenario in Odisha, then one sees a dismal situation in compare to other states. During the tenure of Naveen Patnaik, no major industry has been established in Odisha. Instead, in the name of industrialisation, social unrest has taken place due to poor governance and faulty industrial policy of the state government. More than 25 major industrial groups showed their interest and signed MoUs with the state government, but in vain. It is seen that major groups such as TATA, Posco, Jindals, Vedanta, etc, all have acquired hundreds of acres of prime land but nothing is coming out of them. In the case of Baitarani river, the government has allowed two major companies–BRPL and Essar Group–to use the river water for transportation of iron ores, flouting all the legalities of forest act. Secondly, lakhs of people in Odisha depend on Baitarani water for irrigation purposes and also the Baitarani river has got immense spiritual importance in the state of Odisha. How can the state government divert the river water for industrial use that is meant for farmers’ use? Not only the Baitarani, the state government has allowed to use the Mahanadi water for industrial use, which is the lifeline of Odisha. When the central government is planning to connect the rivers in a major way for irrigation purposes, the Naveen government is focussing on a reverse direction. Owing to regressive planning on part of the state government, the mines and minerals of the state have been looted by the mafias in a systematic way in past 60 years. It is high time the state government resisted from diverting river waters for industrial use and devised a pro-people growth-oriented industrial policy so that investors would be coming to the state in a beeline like that in Gujarat.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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