Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Green Puzzle

By Sabyesachi Bharti

Book review

The Green Puzzle: Missing links in India’s Crusade to Sustain Environment, by veteran research based public policy analyst of long standing Dr. N. Bhaskara Rao,  is very timely book to remind the challenges and opportunities before India . As COP 26 concludes with India stand out, this book suggests a framework towards India showcasing a model to sustain climate change.

By dedicating the book to two women, Gaurav Devi and Vimla Bahuguna, prime movers of 1973 Chipko movement which stands out as a turning point in India s environmental pursuit, it reminds that current economic model based on GDP growth is no way to go about addressing the climate crisis.

A senior principal chief conservator of forests, P. Raghuveer, has a passionate ‘Foreword’ and sets a preamble to the book.  Interestingly in a second ‘Foreword,’ a 16 year old girl from Hyderabad International School, calls for a generational  change approach and suggests a future tax on things that adversely affect the environment.

The book ends with a hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the best position today to bring much needed Big Bang Break in the country’s crusade and suggests his focussed appeal with seven specific sequential initiatives to put the crusade on higher pedestal. The book brings out an onslaught as if environment is being liberated!!

Unconcerned of consequences?

The Green Puzzle offers a candid analysis of the fifty year efforts and after a threadbare discussion calls for a paradigm shift from one of a Ministry lead to people and heritage centric approach for a sustained saga. It reminds traditions and values of conservation as bedrock for a happier future.

If India has kept up with its promises at home and abroad on environmental performance, why year after year india is being shown adversely in the last decade in the global index and even described as “fourth worst”?  The book contends that such a situation has arisen because environment is being viewed as a concern of a Ministry when it is one of every one, not just of the Govt. The book suggests that climate change has to be concern of every ministry, every institute and civil society, community and individual. It reminds that despite rhetoric by leaders environment continues to be viewed as a stumbling block.

Dr, Bhaskara Rao calls for a National Policy reiterating a resolve and commitment of 130 crore people and oversight of civil society if forests, mines. rivers, and natural resources have to remain public and confine to regulations on environmental impact. Only a policy resolve on unregulated consumerism could save and retrieve the country from a declining trend. Which is not possible without restraint on lifestyle phenomena sweeping the country’s young today.

The book published by AuthorsUpfront is expected to be released by mid November 2021. To all those who are following the deliberations of COP 26,Glasgow, this book offers a ray of hope and light in the tunnel by taking to a new framework of our own instead of going mostly by global agenda.
(The author has been an environmental campaigner focusing on Himalayan States)

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