Article by: Gaurav Kumar
Yesterday, Supreme court ordered for ban on crackers in Delhi. It is a welcome step. Last year wind velocity became very low and due to fog the smoke from crackers got converted into smog. The disaster didn’t just stop here, due to burning of crops in Haryana and Punjab intensity of smoke increased in Delhi and due to very slow wind speed, the poisonous smog kept circulating for 3 days. It was a disaster, bound to happen sooner or later. I saw many intellectuals welcoming this SC order and posting how much they care for nature and how they will prevent a disaster from happening during Diwali. Isn’t that the most beautiful thing we will ever expect from our countrymen? I feel so happy watching, how much they love and care for nature.
Being born in Bihar and having relatives in villages, I have seen mother nature very closely. You get to see the happiness in the eyes of a farmer during sowing season, the care during the subsequent months and then the labour they put in for harvesting the crops. In case the monsoon is not good, farmer has to spend on watering the crops too. In case there is pest attack, most of his crops get destroyed. All the crop insurance schemes look beautiful on paper only, but on the ground we see very little effectiveness. What happens next? The farmer loses his money, gets under debt. Now comes some cultural traditions. We have societal pressure and obligation too. Even if you are poor, you have to feed the whole village, provide dowry, donate to the Brahmins. Even if someone dies, his family members have to feed the village otherwise, soul will never meet its destiny and will never find peace. The innocent farmer loses everything in these practices. Later commits suicide. You might be wondering, Why I am writing this. Let me continue. The problem with the society is they fake humanity. Media shows graphs, suicide statistics and a sad farmer’s photo with it. Opposition attacks the government in power, the people in power defend saying this happens every year, the data is less compared to previous regime. We share 1-2 posts on Facebook and criticise the system. What happens next is, government adds a “Kisan cess” of 0.5% in our VAT. Now all our sympathies are gone. How are we going to eat Pizza with so much tax is the next question. The truth is nobody cares for farmers. We are so habituated with listening to farmer’s suicide that we just see the numbers now. We only care for the graphs and data associated with it. Ask for yourself how many times have you stopped at a news-channel broadcasting news of a farmer suicide. We put a tip of 100 rupees easily for a waiter, but the moment a farmer says he will sell his brinjal for 20 rupees a kg, you lose cool and start bargaining for 3-5 rupees. Even if a brinjal is slightly defective in looks, we move on for the best piece available. If a farmer uses pesticides you get the perfectly looking brinjal you always wanted, but we write long articles, why pesticides should be banned, how they are polluting the environment and why organic farming should be promoted. My suggestion is close your eyes, look through the eyes of a farmer and how he feels throughout his life. The only thing constant is the hope that next year will be probably better than this year.
I am a big fan of Bhagwat Geeta. That’s the best book I have ever read in my life. It’s not a book, it’s the way of life. It changes your perception and contains all your answers which kept you awake at nights. Yesterday, I saw a Facebook post appreciating humans and how we humans must care for mother nature and protect the beautiful nature which god gifted to us. Protecting mother nature will be return gift to god. In a nutshell it said, Don’t use crackers on Diwali.
Being born in a vegetarian family, we have different set of values and rules to follow. I had a huge “crush” on eggs since my childhood. Whenever I went to market with my mom, I always wanted to buy egg. It looked so beautiful. I loved the shape so much that I just wanted to keep it in my home, but my mom never allowed even touching them. It sounds funny, but the truth is truth.
The first incident which shocked me happened when I was 8-10 years old. Returning home from the vegetable market, there were few fish shops on the way. They kept many varieties of fishes. Waiting for the customers, they kept fishes on the ground. Fishes were not dead. They tried to breathe through gills, but couldn’t. After some time, fish seemed to be dead. When no customer arrived, the shopkeeper kept the fish in a container having some water. The fish moved its fins and breath again. It moved its body and seemed as if it got it’s life back. I became so happy looking at this. But this smile was short-lived. A customer came and the shopkeeper took the fish out of the water and instantly cut it into pieces. I was standing there watching this. After being cut into pieces also, the fish body wriggled continuously. The body was cut with so much force that some drops of blood came on my foot. I was scared. It seemed as if the fish asked me to save her life, but I couldn’t do anything. Think, What the fish would have been thinking during dying moments, What wrong I have done with you to deserve this? Think about the pain it suffered when a knife cuts her throat with so much force. Can You feel the pain, if the same knife is used on our throats? No, because we are humans. Only humans need to be happy. Right?
I have seen animals being cut by throats and then put in a container to die. It wriggles for 15-20 minutes. The sound of the bruised body hitting the container decreases as the time passes. Sometimes, When there is huge demand, animal’s throat is cut and then body is submerged in hot boiling water. the body calms down within seconds. We buy our meat and come back happily.
Now look through my perspective. Poultry farming lacks basic facilities. Their main aim is maximizing profit. If you enter a poultry farm, you will see chicks hardly have space to move their feet. the hybrid chicks are modified to increase meat content. They become heavy in weeks and can’t even move their feet. When you go to a meat seller, look at the chicken who are to be slaughtered. When the butcher puts his hand inside the net to get another chicken, every chicken gets back with the fear of being slaughtered. They know what is going to happen next. They cry with fear and plead to be left alone. But we all have seen what happens next.
All the animals are slaughtered like this only. In case of big animals like cows, they are beaten and kept hungry for days. They are taken to the slaughterhouses in trucks in which they can’t even move their feet or even sit for a moment. They are kept standing in the same position for days. Later they fight for life, but they have to give up.
Can anyone imagine the suffering and pain felt by them. They don’t get the love of their mother, they are separated since birth and killed for our happiness and food.
I mentioned Bhagwat Geeta in the above paragraphs because, it’s the most sacred book for Hindus. Every word written is assumed to be said by Lord Krishna itself.
He says, love every soul on earth, never ever hurt any soul. The same soul is inside me, you and every creature you see on this earth. If the other soul is not hurting you why to hurt it back? Until you have love for each soul, regardless of the species, you can’t get salvation. Even after thousands of birth, you will be looking for the answers.
When people discuss how we are destroying nature by burning crackers, we are just considering less than 0.0001% of the nature. It is good to preserve nature, but why we forget and ignore the other souls being hurt continuously by humans? Does mother nature belongs to humans only? Does the betterment of human life means betterment of nature? Who gave us the right to relate nature’s purity with the comfort of human life?
We recklessly do fishing in oceans. Even the most beautiful creatures like whales are hunted. The sea species which do us no harm are killed for food even though we can have plant substitutes for them. Even snakes are killed for their venom, we take animals habitat and build cities. Some people say animals are born to be killed and to be eaten as food. So who gave us the right to decide that? Who gave us the right to decide that the goat should be killed, but not a deer. Some argue that their population won’t get controlled if we stop eating them. Everyone knows simple economic principle, the law of supply and demand. If we stop demanding, their farms will close.
I am not saying everyone should become vegetarian. My point is nature is not about comfort of humans. on one hand we cut millions of hectares of tress, destroy great barrier reefs, destroy the ocean life by polluting them with billions of tonnes of plastics, destroyed the ocean and river ecosystem by reckless overfishing, pollute rivers, ponds with blood of slaughtered animals during Eid, pollute atmosphere during new year celebrations. We have pollutions even during death rituals.
The truth is we are hypocrites. We don’t care about any other soul. Our mind works and thinks till our comfort level. We have a feeling that if humans are happy, it’s more than enough. Nature is not just about humans. Nature is about all species. Out of trillions of trillions of organisms present, we humans might be less than 0.00000001%.
We have lost humanity a long ago. We are dead inside to feel the pain of other souls.