Sunday, September 26, 2021

Polluting nature

We should not be surprised at various kinds of natural calamities recurrently befalling us as the time cycle moves without break. For many of these tragedies, scientists and geologists bring forward the laws of cause and effect. After all natural phenomenon does not keep a calendar and man, despite all his ingenuity, knowledge and inquisitive faculty, is not able to make any dependable or even undependable prediction about what course a natural happening might take and what catastrophic consequences it may carry in its womb. Nature is benign and nature is cruel, it is essentially uncontrollable. Man has learnt to live with its vagaries and adapt to a situation in which he is placed. The aborigines of Amazon live a life of their own that has come down to them from generations. This is also visible among the African forest tribes and Australian Bushmen. This is what it is. But man has proved wilder than the wildest nature. It is a long distressful saga to enumerate what atrocities man has committed against nature. How he has destroyed pristine purity of forests, lakes, rivers, streams, valleys, snow-clad peaks, fresh air and the world of vegetation and floriculture, is lamentable and unpardonable. How ironic that the nature which provides man his source for sustenance bountifully wrecks the very source so brutally as if he does not want to live for the next day. Mankind is out for unlimited plunder and destruction of water bodies, forest and mineral wealth, green cover, fresh air, fertile soil even glaciers and wild life. If the process of destruction of nature goes on without check, the earth shall soon lose many attributes that are essential for human, animal and bird life. We are already facing water crisis, deforestation and environmental pollution. Billions of dollars are spent annually to restore nature to its pristine purity. In this respect Western countries have wasted no time in finding preventive measures to destructive sources. Their efforts are focused on preservation and perpetuation. Wanton deforestation has been totally stopped all over Europe, and afforestation has provided green cover to many new locales. In the same way, industrialization is controlled in a manner that it has the minimum impact on environs and ecology. Air pollution has been controlled and cities and towns flourish in clean air and pure water. Why have we not been able to borrow the experience from them and utilise it for our own benefit? The fact is that destruction of ecology and pollution of the air and environment cannot be altogether attributed to the governments. It is the people who are to be held responsible for disrespecting nature. And the story of how our people has been treading its nature is sordid and gloomy and brings only disappointment. How have our people been treating this sanctified object of nature? It is a sad story. We have abused its sanctimony out of sheer ignorance or callousness. Our banks have been denuded of all greenery and forest cover by forest mafia. The water is polluted beyond all limits by turning all nullahs into it that carry the garbage, night soil, litter and refuse of the towns. Rapid increase in population of our towns, particularly Kohima and Dimapur, has become a curse for our river and its arteries. Take the Dhansiri River in Dimapur for instance. It has turned into huge cesspool of garbage dumps that kill the water bodies and fish life. As soon as it enters Dimapur town area, the entire water line is a cesspool of dirt, filth, garbage, polythene stuff and the refuse. No attempt has ever been made to do some drudging and cleansing of the river. This speaks of our callousness and lack of sense of responsibility. Indeed the maximum responsibility for this obnoxious scene has to be shouldered by the people who have no moral, spiritual, historical or aesthetic compulsions to force them not to pollute the water and not to destroy forests, wild life and green cover so that the river retains its pristine purity. The authorities should frame laws according to which harshest punishment will be given to those who tamper with the ecological purity of the river, its beds, banks and adjoining landscape. Perhaps, conscientious civil society can itself take steps to bring awareness among the people of maintaining cleanliness and purity of water and air.