Ambitions Blacker than Coal

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

So the Prime Ministers Office is catching stick for coal block allocations. But its not merely how coal was allocated that is the issue, its also the very fact that it is being allocated from forests and other ecosystems without which India has no future.

 As a long time member of the Central Government's environmental expert committees, I have seen first hand how power and politics combines to steal or destroy public property. This tragedy goes beyond mere corruption. The myopia of "condoning" the coal mining at the cost of rivers, lakes, forests and coasts is visible in the shape and form of climate change, an "inconvenient" truth that our Prime Minister's Office turns a blind eye to in its haste to push its GDP ambition at the cost of India's natural capital.

 Tiger Reserves, Reserved Forests, wetlands, grasslands, all are fair game as our nation's soils are sold for the equivalent of glass beads of development. In truth we are seeing a new form of colonisation at play in India today, where this generation is colonising the next. History will not remember us well. Neither for participating in this tragedy, nor for the silence of those who merely watch by the sidelines as the ecological foundation of the subcontinent is assassinated.