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Our selfishness nearly brought Gharials of Gandak River to extinction

Extinction of Gharials in India

Recently an article was published in Down to Earth online journal regarding the success story of conservation of Gharials in Gandak river. This is certainly wonderful news and being an organism with great intellect it’s our duty to keep such conservation projects going on.

Shifting a little away from Down to Earth Gharials and Gandak river. Let’s ponder upon the basic question and the question is what made these Gharials susceptible to extinction?

Why are these creatures on Earth struggling for their survival? At least this should not have happened in Bharat. Yes correct not in Bharat, let’s look at the reason why?

On thinking deeper we find that the reason for extinction/destruction of nature is due to the lack of inclusiveness and expansion of exclusiveness.

Indian culture is inclusive in nature and has lived तत्त्वमसि (tatvamasi) from time immemorial.

Its high time we adopt the same, else cases of extinction and mortality would become an everyday phenomenon.

In this post, I ‘ll talk about Indian culture or  भारतीय दर्शन  (Indic Philosophy) vs western philosophy. As mentioned earlier these two are poles apart and we Indians are stuck on the opposite side and not willing to walk back to our roots.

It is not unfamiliar that western philosophy considers human as the ruler and owner of all the resources of the universe. And this is the reason that since last 200 years after the Industrial Revolution (Mass production and not need-based production) in Europe, Earth has been damaged the most.

An argument can be made here that if we need jobs we need an Industrial revolution and we should be ready to accept its side effects.

But we should not forget that India has shown that industrial production, trade and commerce can be done with the utmost minimal effects on the environment.

Well known Economic Historian Angus Maddison has published a groundbreaking report that India’s share to global trade was more than 23% of total trade since last 2000 years until the  British colonials destroyed it completely.

Underlying philosophy between Indian and Western culture

Amass as much wealth as you can at any cost as we have only one life. This is what the west thinks. In India we believe that take as much as you need, keep your need in check and leave the rest for the coming generation.

Difference is quite clear. The first case leads to uncontrolled commercialization. Every commodity every service is on sale. Earth, water, air, river, seas, mountains, plants, animals, humans everything.

And this is what happened to our rivers and waters. Wells, rivers, ponds, seas have been sacred to us and we never thought to suck money from it.

 We worshipped the waters and creatures and adjusted ourselves so that we all could co-exist without any arrogance of posing intellect.

Gharials of Gandak’s and Dolphin’s of Ganga river were flourishing naturally. They do not need outside intervention to survive even in hostile climates.

Problems raised their head when we built barrages and mega dams mindlessly to suck out the money in the guise of solutions of a couple of human problems.

We forgot that we can create an ecosystem even now by adjusting ourselves a little bit and we co-exist.

Concluding it I would say that we the youth of this nation have to think and make decisions as to which path we shall choose?

Whether we should imitate something blindly hoping that someday we would become a so-called developed nation.

Nations with unsatisfied and depressed society leaving no space for other life forms. Or we should walk the serene and beautiful path which brings all the organism together and make this earth a wonderful place to live.

Do share your views on this post.

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Hello, I am Niraj. I define myself as an amateur photographer, biker and seeker. I like to connect with like-minded friends and share even the tiniest experience raw in nature, ever felt of the place, people or time. I believe life is an endless journey and our actions no matter how small affects this infinite universe in some or other way. So don't stop and keep up your work going.

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