Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Friday, January 25, 2008

When will we be a truly "physically healthy and morally decent species"?

Ramachandra Guha's 'India After Gandhi: The History of The World's Largest Democracy' is conducting me through a scholarly voyage inside an independent, 'Unnatural Nation'. As I turn the pages over, I am mindful that my generation is sandwiched between one that was inspired by the likes of Gandhiji and Subramanya Bharati, and another to whom Indian history, whether pre- or post- 1947, is a few pages long every year, or attractively packaged half-hour programs.
When I started to read the book in September, I could not move past the first several sections (on Freedom, on the tragedy of partition, and on the birth of the Republic) without being emotionally touched. After getting used to the style and sequence of the content, I now read with toughts of 'if only...' and 'could have been...' scenarios.
This morning I reached page 223 and read Mira Behn's words of 1949: "The tragedy of today is that educated and moneyed classes are altogether out of touch with the vital fundamentals of existence - our Mother Earth, and the animal and vegetable population which she sustains. This world of Nature's planning is ruthlessly plundered, despoiled and disorganized, by man whenever he gets the chance. By his science and machinery he may get huge returns for a time, but ultimately will come desolation. We have got to study Nature's balance, and develop our lives within her laws, if we are to survive as a physically healthy and morally decent species."
These words were written in the context of ambitious industrialization, dam building, and several other 'concrete' measures aimed at giving an impetus to economic growth.
If at that time even the educated elite didn't find the wisdom to heed those words, where are we headed now? The critisism applies equally well now, to all the world's citizens, as it did then.
I am now proceeding to read why the uniform civil code never came about despite being articled in the Constitution.

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i appreciate that you have some thoughts to share, and are taking the effort to do so.

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