By Mayank Jain:
It was rather startling to hear the prime minister defy the phenomenon of climate change, and let human conscience and our ever changing nature take the blame. Maybe we have started feeling the heat more, and all the scientific equipment that prove the warming up of earth and melting of glaciers are wrong too. I want to believe him, because then we will have a whole lot of time and opportunity to not plant trees but go out in the open and love nature; because, it looks like it is the lack of love and not rapid deforestation in the name of industrial development that has resulted in global warming.
Some wrongs, however, are more wrong than others. One can even believe in the no climate change theory for some deep seated belief in the inherent goodness of humankind, and our ability to correct things by just thinking about them. Rahul Gandhi propounded the ‘state of mind’ theory and if our PM also advocates it, who knows, it might just be true.
Uma Bharti’s statement about human excreta causing floods is, however, beyond the realm of reality and light years away from a connection to science as we know it. Seemingly building on the state of mind and ‘value systems’ approach, she emphasized that it is the human excreta near the Kedarnath shrine that was the ‘underlying cause’ behind the fury of nature.
Her theory is as close to being true as the Mayan prediction about the world ending in 2012, when most were attributing it to the ‘sins’ that we have collectively committed which would have led to doom. Alas, it looks like we are still alive and no river is flooding because of human excreta.
As a Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, she could have easily hid behind the faÃ§ade of jargons like deforestation and soil erosion (which are actual phenomenon, by the way) if she just wanted to sound investigative, but her ‘insights’ about atheists ruining it have gone a little too far. She claimed that despite warnings, atheists settled near the shrine and engaged in activities that proved calamitous.
“However, as time passed, atheists came here, mainly for business purposes. This resulted in nature’s fury at Kedarnath in 2013″, Bharti was quoted as saying.
I happened to be there at the Rishikesh river bank on the morning of August 15 when torrential rains caused the river water to fill up to the brim and it spilled on to the streets without discriminating between atheists, believers, or even ‘unsanitary and unholy’ people whose excreta proved to be no good. I saw uprooted trees flowing in the holy river because soil strength had been compromised due to years of commercialization, and a similar fate was meted out to temples on the banks which were most probably not constructed by atheists of the area.
Rivers flood because we treat mountains as plains and keep building bridges and industries to ‘harvest’ from nature instead of preserving it. Rivers also flood because of unchecked soil erosion and deforestation, but it will take a whole lot of human excreta to raise the water level so high that it spills on the streets.
Fortunately, there is still no proven connection between atheism and its havoc with the nature. But, there is a connection between river flooding and sewage failures, and hence, it might be a good idea to hold the funds for Ganga rejuvenation right now. Uma Bharti wouldn’t want to spend them on actually revitalizing it when all we need to do is ban atheists from going anywhere near the nature.