Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kashmir: economics and stone pelting politics

Kashmir is the latest flavor of the media. Everyone talks of the various political players in that field, India, Pakistan, China,Afghanistan, China, the hindus, muslims, buddhists, terrorists, mujahideens, seperatists, moderates, the Muftis, the Abullahs, the mullahs, the pandits, the Valley, Jammu, Ladakh etc etc etc.
There is total silence over the key issue: not politics, not religion but economics.
Kashmir does not allow non Kashmiris to own property there...a constitutional oxy moron. Just imagine the chaos if the same principle were to be made applicable in all the states of India or if Kashmiris were to be banned from purchase of property in the rest of the country!
Bair haal, the issue of this piece is the economics of Kashmir. Its much vaunted handicrafts and tourist trades have yet to be resurrected after the terrorist/separatist imbroiglios. And agriculture remains nascent.
For the aam aadmi, a good part of his rozi roti comes from providing goods and services to the Armed Forces and allied services which are being targeted as unwanted in the troubled state.
Is it not obvious that this is what is actually making the mare run in Kashmir --- at least until the property owners will shift focus and buckle down to industry to usher in adequate income and job generation to keep the youth out of unnecessary violence.
In a terror, violence infested state? Question of the chicken and egg here, Siree!!
What do the Political analysts have to say about this angle?

In passing, stone throwing is old hat in Ahmedabad. For decades, piles of stones have lived on strategic terraces in the Old City, well worn with use and identifiable by owners and their neighbors who come out to collect their missiles after every riot; often they sling stones to each other shotuing " this one is yours, bhai."
Stone pelting was a form of protest patented even in Palestine, where the young warriors covered their faces to avoid being recognised by the official machinery. This trend has become rampant in the Valley, faces covered to avoid identification.
Are they hiding from the terrorists or the law keeping machinery to avoid being picked up by either side? or to be recognised as Mercengary Soldiers of the Stones, whose stone slinging skills are up for sale to the political player who has organised the mischeif of the day?
How about a campaign to bring Laluji back into the Railways...is keeping a stormy petrel in absentia more important than a maverick ally who brings in trains on time and shows a profit from it too?
After almost two years plus, I travelled in a train again.....it was a terrible experience for one who had gotten used to better. I remembered with more than some affection the young men who used to clean up the compartment, visible and adequate hygiene in the bathrooms and fresh bed clothes.
This time, the Gujarat Mail was dirty, the Deccan Express tremendously and olfractorily unbearable. In its chair car, when the table was taken down for breakfast, the accumalated filth on the back of the chair in front destroyed breakfast appetite.
Whatever happened to the routine baths given to trains at the end of each run. I wondered.
Is defeating the Reds in Kolkatta's Writers' building more important than efficiency in the largest Railway network in the world?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Positive India anyone?

It is indeed sad times for Indian democracy and its Fourth Estate that the electronic media is hardput to find a single positive story to report in its daily 24/7 news reports.
News is full of scoundrels and scalywags, rapes, murders, scandals etc etc. Very often cricket and film stars take precedence over even the Prime Minister, while scandals dogging the stars, cricket and films and netas hog the headlines all day long.
It makes one wonder:
DOES NOTHING POSITIVE HAPPEN IN INDIA ANY MORE? Is no one doing anything to improve anything in this vast country of ours, touted to be the next Super Power in the world? Why is that kept under such close wraps that the media is unable to see it and report about it?
Whatever happened to INDIA SHINING?

Friday, July 02, 2010

BURKHAS AND BANDH GOBIS

As the burkha controversy deepens with more and more European nations cracking down, it is perhaps time to stand back and take stock.
There is no doubt, a security angle which cannot be ignored. A voluminous coverall with socks and sandals, gloves on the arms and only eyes visible, if the wearer has not worn goggles, it is impossible to differentiate between a male or a female, which is scary in these times of random terrorism, where weapons are whipped out and targets are often innocent civilians.
On the integration front, the recent upsurge in burkha wearers had an equal impact.
Take the example of Ahmedabad, replicated no doubt in dozens of other cities across India. Once upon a time, it was difficult to differentiate Hindu women from Muslim ones in Ahmedabad. If the latter were more prone to wearing flashy silver and gold in their garments, the same held true of many other communities such as the Marwaris and Punjabis, so one was never quite sure. All of a sudden, after the petro dollars start to fuel Islamic identity and later terrorism, Muslim women became much more ‘visible’ than ever before…clad in custom made burkhas, they stood out in crowded bazaars and malls and theatres etc.
In England and across the channel in all parts of Europe, media frenzy accompanying random terrorists attacks after the spectacular 9/11 in New York, whatever may be the actual antecedents of that disaster, wearers of burkhas began to be looked at with suspicion. Was terrorism the only reason?
Not at all. Economics and history are both there. History reveals that when Islam broke out of its Mecca-Medina confines, it roamed east right upto China and west across North Africa, through Spain to the south of France. There are still large Muslim communities in what was earlier Yugoslavia (now split into several states), and in the southeastern republics of the erstwhile USSR.
When Europe fought back with the Crusades, Islam was pushed out of Spain on one side and Turkey on the other. Despite the grandeur of the Turkish Caliphate at time, modern Turkey has since aspired for a European status, rather than the Asian reality its geography binds it to.
Then followed the Colonial rush, when the European nations played ducks and drakes with most of the known world at that time, to further their individual economic interests. Their retreat a fter World War II triggered off emigration drives which saw large populaces of Muslims thrive in France, Germany, Italy, England and other countries. Many of them integrated into the local populations, despite insular tendencies. But some stubbornly clung to their old customs and costumes. Many more did so when the world began to react with horror against terrorism. Is it any wonder that the local populaces are concerned and wary of the new found identity crisis of their emigrants? More so, when they have been putting into place bans on all religious symbols in public spaces for sometime now.
Spain, that stolidly Roman Catholic country infamous for its centuries back Inquisition past, saw Antonio Hardez Gill, the chief of the Cortez remove the crucifix from his office as soon as he took office after the death of the Franco dictatorship which has used religion as its prop for decades. Belgium and France did not see much debate over decisions to ban burkhas in public spaces, but the issue is raging hotly in England as unemployment figures surge and more emigrants take up the low paid jobs and rise up the scale, watched enviously by what is otherwise termed ‘white trash’. That is where economics comes to play a role in the rising antipathy against emigrants, since they have taken pains not to merge with the locals. The question raised is "if we can do away with our religious symbols, why should we allow any others?'
What of India where burkhas have been around for centuries? We amended Hindu laws, but leave those of the Muslims strictly alone to fester in medieval existences. Hindu marriage, divorce, dowry, inheritane and other laws have seen radical changes. But that is all. Laws of other religions have been eft tothe respective populaces to handle.
On the other hand, the very Hindu Bindi has been transformed into an enviable fashion emblem and the burkha transformed into our own version, popularly called ‘ bandh gobi’ (cabbage). Women tie their dupattas or stoles to cover the head and the lower face as shields against tanning and to protect their complexions. The tying is a complex affair but young women quickly become adept at it. With the summer heat persisting till the end of June already, it is a wonder that no entrepreneur has brought out a ready stitched version of the ‘bandh gobi’. Perhaps the burkha as a coverall has its uses. The complexions of the women of the countries where it is regularly worn are peach, cream and roses, the stuff of fairy tales and Mills&Boon, which others would give an arm and a leg for!!

WHERE ARE THE HUMANITIES TODAY?

Educationists are facing a dire shortage of teachers of humanities subjects, leaving one wondering whether no one has actually studied in the arts stream in the recent past.
WHY?
This is not a very recent phenomenon. It started some decades ago when careers in medicine and engineering were considered the be–all of life; hence an emphasis on the sciences. Those who did not make it into medical or engineering colleges fell back on the B.Sc degree for physics and math, etc., for a teaching career; even law as a last resort.
Such was the pull of the scientific world that there was this all out campaign to drag every possible stream of studies into the Science category, with the application of so-called scientific methods of chart-making, experimentation and statistical compilations etc . Those subjects not amenable to such tactics were ridiculed, labeled ‘out of fashion’.
When the load of B.Sc graduates was found to be unemployable, at a time when the economy with surging forward with banks, financial institutions and MNCs becoming big employers, the focus shifted to the B.Com degree. Very soon, as the IT bandwagon rolled in, it was the turn of the MCAs and the MBAs, vying for space with the revered IITs and IIMs.
In all this the poor BA was relegated totally into the background, banished from many a college, even humanities from schools or contemptuously referred to as the dumping ground of the dullards and dunces. Is it any wonder that kids chose to fail repeatedly in science or commerce, rather than shift to arts?
With no takers for the streams that the humanities had to offer, there was a rapidly diminishing supply of teachers who could infuse life into the subjects which had been labeled out of circulation for non scientific associations.
But are the Arts or Humanities only such?
Is history merely a collection of kings, their battles and dates?
Is geography a collection of data on rivers and mountains, climate and crops?
Are economic theories only dry as dust matter to be rendered into a science with the infusion of stats, charts and scientific what not?
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE ILLUSTRATION OF THE INTRINSIC LINKS BETWEEN ALL THESE SUBJECTS THAT CONSTITUTE LIBERAL STUDIES OR HUMANITIES/ARTS?
= links between geography and economics of a region and their combined impact on history
= links between sociology and history of the region and the impact on local psychologies
= physiology hygiene and the impact of the janata’s medical knowledge on medical and pharma lobbies
= the impact of all this on global studies and world views.
Why does no teacher ever dig out examples from world history and Indian history to illustrate global trends which would entice students to take humanities seriously?
Taking a local example: The geography of Kutch, with its salt pans, semi desert and the Banni grasslands make for the economics of salt making and animal husbandry, an emphasis on handicrafts to compensate for poor farming conditions, the grasslands of Banni and the money order economy from emigrants who make good elsewhere; the effects of two earthquakes on the earlier flourishing economy of that region
Alongside this the realization of the predominance of handicrafts in poor regions e.g. Kutch, Afghanistan, Andhra, Persia. The last two have changed with discovery of oil. Earlier economies revolved around the reliance of women’s crafts and animal husbandry.
Around the world, river plains of the world are often cradles of culture and advanced civilizations, especially in the socalled Old World: witness France and the Siene, Tiberius and Rome, Danube and East Europe, Iraq and the Tigris, India’s Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra amongst others, Siagon on the Meking etc. The other side of the coin in the Americas, where the Incas flourished in mountain fastnesses . Why?
Islands provide a range of studies from Australia vs New Zealand, Mauritius, West Indies, East Indies, Canary Islands, Fiji, Hawai, UK. There are many relevant issues of history, colonialism, labor plantations and migrants, mixed bloods, subservient economies, tourism……
Africa north: the Muslim sweep through Spain right upto the south of France, reversed by colonialism, now reverse Islamic hostility and the invasion of Muslim immigrants into Europe which is causing so much heart burn.
South Africa was a European melting pot and apartheid-country and the effects of that on the sociology, economics and history of the southern half of the continent.
West Africa, despite its natural riches, or may be, because of them is a land of floundering banana republics and political hot spots.
Central Africa’s Congo and Angola also can bring home the links between geography, economics and history to students, to revive interest in the liberal arts, given its link to global economies and the present day economic climate which encompassed the world as a Global Village.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ours is an economy based on recycling....has been since Time Immemorial perhaps. Can any of us not recall the friendly neighborhood pastiwalla taking away loads every month, the give aways to servants et all, the turning of leftovers into a paratha or a pulao?
But now...the times, they are changing. Instead of handing down clothes to servants and putting the rest into a box for the annual collection drives for flood affected and disaster driven refugees, today's mems' response to the collection drives is to send driverji into the market to purchase a load of cheap clothes and bedsheets etc......"how will it look ( to my husband's boss' wife...or whoever) if I take my old bedsheets to the collection center?"
Regular hand-me-downs of expensive outfits then spoil their own servants silly and cause frequent railings against servants getting bloated egos.
The disaster affected have gotten so used to getting brand new stuffs, I am told, many reject used clothes, or old towels and sturdy floor cushion covers which could do duty to save soft bottoms from the hard floor of the refugee camps in municipal schools or wherever.
Even as professional pasti wallas find newer and newer ways of recycling, it goes out of fashion at the household level where instead of newspaper in the waste box, plastic bags are used because it is so convenient to just take out the plastic bag and chuck it out!!
At others levels, necessity is still the mother of invention. I read recently that cassettes are being purchased to use the zinc in them for polishing leather, while in many parts of north India, old washing machines do duty to churn butter out of milk and make lassi; a typewriter puts old people to sleep in a Goan old age home, old buses are converted into chic restaurants, juice cans are painted to do duty as pencil or lamp holders and in many villages, discarded cycle tyres are converted into sturdy sandals and slippers.
Anyone cares to add to this little list?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Honor killings are the latest flavor of the season, just as once it was rape and earlier dowry death. Hardly does a young couple taste their married togetherness then the noses ("naak") of the male relatives gets longer and itchier and wham, bang, off with their heads, it goes.
Why this extreme reaction to the most natural phenomena in the world? what are these gotras and castes after all? when did women become chattels to be used as bargaining counters by the male of the species? How did this spree of honor killing become part of our revered ancient culture?
Chanakya's Arthshastra lists a bare handful of castes; few of them are original ones, the rest are the result of cross-castre marriages. From then on, through the writings of travelers like Huian Tsang, Alburni and others, plus our own venerable books and histories, down to British enumerators, the number of so-called castes has burgeoned into thousands of names of new castes created by intermarriage between persons of different castes.
Let me give an example:
I am a Sindhi lady married to a Punjabi. When they were kids, my children used to call themselves Panglo-sindhis, which was a take-off on Anglo-Indians. My eldest daughter, offspring of a Sindhi-Punjabi marriage married a young man who was offspring of a Parsi-Sindhi marriage. Obviously both belong to socalled 'new' castes and their offspring form a brand new caste again.. we call them either kitchdi or cocktail.
There is more to come. My son married a woman of Jain-sindhi roots, again a new caste? and their kids? another new caste?
That is exactly the four original castes multiplied thousands of times over and now we fight over the castes and actually kill off our young people for loving each other. Turning all religious texts to nought as they preach that one should spread love, not hate.
Nevertheless, honor killing just became even more dangerous when the long noses of the lady's relatives insisted that not only should the married couple be murdered, but that the killing should extend to the person who helped them! where will it all end?
Is our socalled civilised society going to rise up against this as they did in the case of Jessica Lall and others?

Bhopal Bleeding Hearts

Perhaps the oil slick in the US came at the wrong time. Or perhaps the wrong time was that of the final judgement in the Bhopal Gas Leak case which had malingered for 26 years.
For it revived the spirits of the Bhopal Bleeding Hearts with a loud bang. The debate over the quantum of compensation has sparkled all over again, with an eye on the figures that the Obama administration is demanding from BP.
No, I do not have anything against our own affected Indians getting some more money to pay for the woes that Union Carbide so callously struck into them.
My plea is for those vociferous bleeding hearts to please do some sincere checking: amongst the lists of affected and beneficiaries are any number of persons who just happened to be out of Bhopal that fatal night, but are listed residents. To this day, pensions are drawn by some residents of the affected areas, perhaps, just perhaps depriving those who were actually affected....a situation akin to the names of big shots showing up in the lists of residents and owners in Mumbai's Dharavi slum.

Was Draupadi gori?

This morning's papers splashed the news that the maker of the highly acclaimed RAJNEETI has decided to put together an international cast, led probably by Anjelina Jolie for a film on Draupadi, the long haired woman who is the pivot of the epic Mahabharat.
When will we get over our fascination for the gori chamri of Western women?
Correct me someone if I am wrong, but I do remember reading that Draupadi was of a wheatish complexion, more "sawli" than "gori-chitti".
Perhaps the film could work better with a dusky Indian actress, and we have many acclaimed ones with such a skin tone, and let the international look be provided by some of the Hollywood hunks who may be made over to look like some of the Kauravas and Pandvas; they were of north Indian origin and in those days, closer to the supposedly Aryan, Caucasian look.
But aha, the charms of the foreign actresses have overtaken Bollywood of late, haven't they?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blockading Peace

I read the fast and furious headlines generated by the attempt to break the Israeli blockage of Gaza within days of finishing the re-reading of a book I had last read when in school, Leon Uris’s masterpiece “Exodus.” His descriptions of the heartbreaking Israeli attempts to break through the British blockade of the same region 60 years ago were yet vivid in my mind as I pondered over the irony of what seemed virtually a scene-by-scene action replay, this time with the Isrealis as the blockaders of a hemmed in Palestinian populace, caught between economic oppression of their own leaders and the reluctance of Isreal to accept them in jobs without security against terrorism.
It was soon after the birth of Jesus Christ and the unrest following his preachings that the Jews were scattered throughout the then known world, awaiting a Messiah who would lead them back home. Unlike the peaceful assimilation they enjoyed in India, across Europe and Russia, Jews had, over the centuries been victim of ferocious pograms aimed at deciminating their numbers; for whenever they were allowed peace, their native talents blossomed into masters of business and finance, arts and culture, philosophy and teaching, which invited envy of native populaces. The crescendo came during the second World War when Hitler aspired to eliminate all the Jews of the world in the infamous gas chambers of his concentration camps.
Back in the late 1940s at the end of the War, it was British perfidy and double dealing, its desperation to retain its hold on oilfields which prompted it to diabolic measures to prevent the landing of the tragic survivors of Hitler’s concentration camps in Israel, to settlements purchased with dollars sent by American Jews to resettle their embattled brethren. The settlements had been started by early emigrant settlers who had poured their blood, sweat, toil and tears into the deserts to make them bloom, watched in amazement by the Palestinians who had for centuries left the deserts barren. It is this blooming desert which is being coveted by all who never worked to make their share of the desert bloom.
After first encouraging the Isrealis, the British then reengaged to foil entry of the survivors, packing off successive waves of boatloads to Cyprus and elsewhere, house in refugee camps which were in fact concentration camps minus the gas chambers perhaps. Don’t we Indians know all about British tactics of divide and rule and exit after partitions?
That was what happened with British cartographers drawing straight lines on maps to create ‘nations’ willy nilly and leave behind chaotic messes for them to stir forever after, India, Germany, West Asia, Cyprus, Ireland et all. Perhaps the greater tragedy lay in the native leadership.
India was lucky in its sagacious Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and others, who surmounted the bloody tragedy of Partition to rouse the refugees out of their stupor ASAP and encourage them to resume their lives, trading or working anywhere, to get out of the refugee camps at the earliest. There were hosts of animosities, heart rending tragedies and memories of unfortunates left behind, snatched by marauders, leaving sores in millions of hearts. But the result of the ‘get on with life’ motto is there for all to see, the entrepreneurial magic of the Sindhis and the Punjabis, much of which has fuelled the middleclass magic that is a base for the economic miracle of today’s India.
On the other hand, the Muslims who went to Pakistan are even today Mojahirs, outsiders even in the fairly stable Punjab and Sindh, while the rest of Pakistan and its northwest are dissolving into a myriad tribal entities constantly at war with each other and those around them, encouraged by the Taliban, the ISI etc. This troubled Pakistan is an arrow aimed at Afghanistan’s myriad tribal identities harking back to the pre-Mughal era of tribalism. Beyond Afghanistan, the arrow goes through the old tribal heartland of Central Asia, erstwhile members of the USSR and today republics of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and others which can boast of the most fabulous blue tiled mosques and minarets but lack the stolid democratic infrastructure to keep at bay either intra tribal mischief or that of the superpowers, past and dying and eyeing their oil and other mineral resources and ready markets.
In West Asia too, where is that sagacious leadership to overcome the hawks in each camp? The Palestinians have, for the past sixty years, funded their camps with petro dollars, feeding nursery children guns and violence rhetoric instead of nursery rhymes and peace; they have laid bare to international media every broken home, every baby dead from a bomb or a missile. How come we never see similar pictures of damage and death in Israel racked by Palestinian bombs and missiles? It cannot be that they are never fired, for otherwise on what are the billions of dollars being spent if not arms and ammunitions, for the populace does not look wealthy enough to have enjoyed those massive donated fortunes fuelled into Palestinian coffers over the last six decades?
Sandwiched between maverick leaderships in Palestine and Pakistan, fuelled by hate and hostility and petrodollars and the US ones, what can one hope for West Asia in the near future? India too has cause for worry. Our ties with those lands are as ancient as our civilizations and our population too carries a massive number of Muslims, more than in many of those countries or several of them put together. When is the old Islam of peace and prosperity and wisdom going to prevail?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Milk price hikes

Amul is first off the block again. Barely had the finance minister made his announcements and Amul announced a price hike for milk and its other products, to give the farmer their dues in anticipation of price hikes in other inputs.
Now there are many of us who want to include our rural countrymen in India's march forward, but at the cost of the daily cup of milk for our own kids? the way Amul has been raising prices at the drop of the hat, the cost has shot to almost double and finding place in monthly budgets of the ordinary, aam aadmi is difficult.
It's either cutbacks on milk or other essentials. Or choices between who should have milk, kids, mothers or senior citizens? or back to the dudhwala and his watered down milk? Doesn't Amul, in any case, "take the shakti out of the milk?"
A friend had sent me an email which I had flipped at that time. Now I wonder why I didn't pay more attention. In an internation survey of breast cancer, it was found that Chinese women have the lowest fatalities. The cause was pinned down to the near absence of milk and milk products from their diet.
With Amul on an eternal rampage, should we start following that example?
In any case, Amul long ago put the farmers' cooperative image on the backburner to give the front burners to political bargaining like any respectable profiteering MNC.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Males Running Scared?

For centuries, it was women who were trodden down by men; and how they reveled in it. in the past less than half a century, women have been moving forward faster than men and breaking glass ceilings by the dozen. And lo and behold, the guys have gotten such a complex they are demanding a 'level playing field'. Why separate awards for best actor and best actress, they ask? Why not just one Best Actor award? So threatened already?
Why not make it just one Best Actress Award then?
In the current trend of young actresses preferring to be known as Actor, my query is:
Why do you fight shy of your feminity and the word Actress? Will the use of the word Actor in any way minimize gender discrimination or the predators of the casting couches?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Food for the Soul

Music and laughter have, down the centuries, been touted as "Food for the Soul".
But our Indian reality TV in search of elusive TRPs have transmorfed them into evil of the worst order:
Sangeet Ka Mahasangram, Laughter Challenges etc etc.
Why must we wreck the food for the soul? Can no one think of more peaceable and sweeter sounding titles for such shows?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mumbai Taxis Row

In the stand off over Mumbai taxis driver by Marathi Manoos and U P Bhaiyyas, one is left wondering how much of the row is actually a battle over a possible hike in hafta rates from the taxi wallahs!! No wonder every neta worth his name is pitching into the battle

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

THE LATEST GLOBAL PHENOMENON

After the Cold War, Cancer, Aids, Osama, one of the latest global Phenomena floating around, blowing vast amounts of hot and cold air is Environmentalism.
Like all other earlier Global Phenomena, there is of course enormous amounts of money to be made from this Cause by various lobbies. India too is off the mark pretty quick, quite overlooking the fact that our so-called “Great Indian Heritage” has, for eons, propagated environmentalism in the form of innumerable rituals and festivals, apart from the fact that our economy has eternally been pegged on Recycling in any and every form, from the raddiwalla to age old customs of homemade ghee etc etc etc.
All the hot air blowing over whether or not the Himalayan glaciers are melting or not and if they are, at what rate at they melting overlooks one key issue: that this is all perhaps part and parcel of the inevitable evolution of Planet Earth.
Since early school years, we have been taught about evolution. Nowhere did the books mention that that evolution has been stopped after the last of the Ice Ages. Yet nowhere in the reams of print being devoted to environmental disaster issues does one find any mention of the possibility of currently visible environmental changes being perhaps on account of Evolution.
What after all is the central issue of environmentalism? Is it the environment as we have grown up knowing it, to be preserved at all costs, irrespective of the preservation of Man, or of factors of the ongoing evolution of the Earth?
Any change in temperature, in atmospheric dust etc has environmentalists up in arms, spewing as much brim and fire as the volcanoes which spew out the heat of the Earth and its womb’s dust.
Contradicting the doomsayers, studies have indicated that the periodic spewing of fire and dust into the atmosphere by volcanoes has a positive fall out in that it forms a heat screen against the rays of the Sun. Age old solidified broken down volcanic material form some prized farmlands.
Environmentalists make a great hue and cry about various development projects to be located in what are termed “ecologically sensitive areas”. Would such experts kindly demarcate on a map of the world the areas which are NOT ecologically sensitive and can safely house any new development projects with its inevitable pollution and consumption of natural resources?
Meanwhile it devolves on each of us to conserve the environment with simple changes in lifestyle to minimize wastage of natural resources. For:
We are birds of the same nest,
We may wear different skins,
We may speak different languages,
We may believe in different religions,
We may belong to different cultures,
Yet we share the same home – our Earth.
For man can live individually
But can survive only collectively
Born on the same planet
Covered by the same skies
Gazing at the same stars
Breathing the same air
We must learn to happily progress together
Or miserably perish together.

------From the Atharva Veda