WHENEVER a dictionary of green terms is written, even if it is in English, it will contain at least one Hindi word. And that word is Chipko.

The idea that people are prepared to hug trees to save them from being felled excited and enthused so many people across the country, that it built the foundation for a nationwide environmental concern and a whole generation of home-grown environmentalists. Given the fact that there was a powerful environmental concern growing in the West, there would have been, sooner or later, a fallout of this Western phenomenon in India. But this country did not have to wait for it. Chipko had a deep intellectual impact and helped to resolve the conflict between the concepts of development and environmental protection, without which the environment concern could not have come to enjoy a reasonably widespread acceptance in a poor, developing country.

Whereas Indira Gandhi had told the 1972 Stockholm Conference in no uncertain terms that “poverty is the biggest polluter“, Chipko told Indians and the rest of the world that it is the poor who suffer the most when the environment degrades. They depend on their immediate environment for their daily survival. And, therefore, they have a vested interest in its management on a more sustainable basis.

Chipko has been the subject of hundreds of articles, numerous films and quite a few books. Various aspects of the movement have been highlighted, including the nature of the environmentalism of the poor; the interest and role of women in environment movements; the demand for community control over natural resources, and the role of the state in dispossessing the poor from their resource base. All of this has been most inspiring and will continue to be a beacon in the days ahead.

Twenty years after the start of the movement,It seems that in all the writings on Chipko, what was neglected is that which the local participants of Chipko most wanted. The recent interviews show that for them Chipko was an assertion of local people’s rights over their resources, but in a very developmental context, though, of course, the nature of development they were seeking was integrated with environmental concerns.

But with the conservationist element receiving greater emphasis, a gulf widened between the local reality and the national and international perceptions. And, it now appears, this expanding gulf finally began to alienate many of the youth who came into the movement hoping for radical political change. A few of them even started a Ped Kato Andolan — the very antithesis of the perception of the Chipko Movement — when the centrally controlled Forest Conservation Act began being an obstruction to the construction of village roads, ropeways, bridges and electric poles in the region.

But, looked at in another way, both actions amount to the same local concern: the right of local communities to decide how they should manage and use their resource base. The state has, meanwhile, used the growing environmental concern to centralise environmental management without any concern for devolution of environmental rights and obligations. Not surprisingly, even women from the legendary villages of Reni and Doongri-Paitoli, now ask: Hamen kya mila (what have we got)?

Chipko as it stands today :-

Share is Caring, Choose Your Platform!

Recent Posts

  • Darknet

    Definition:

    Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.

    The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.

    Examples:

    Examples of darknet markets include Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Dream Market, which were all shut down by law enforcement agencies in recent years.

    These marketplaces operate similarly to e-commerce websites, with vendors selling various illegal goods and services, such as drugs, counterfeit documents, and hacking tools, and buyers paying with cryptocurrency for their purchases.

    Pros :

    • Anonymity: Darknet allows users to communicate and transact with each other anonymously. Users can maintain their privacy and avoid being tracked by law enforcement agencies or other entities.
    • Access to Information: The darknet provides access to information and resources that may be otherwise unavailable or censored on the regular internet. This can include political or sensitive information that is not allowed to be disseminated through other channels.
    • Freedom of Speech: The darknet can be a platform for free speech, as users are able to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retribution.
    • Secure Communication: Darknet sites are encrypted, which means that communication between users is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
    •  

    Cons:

    • Illegal Activities: Many darknet sites are associated with illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services. Such activities can attract criminals and expose users to serious legal risks.
    • Scams: The darknet is a hotbed for scams, with many fake vendors and websites that aim to steal users’ personal information and cryptocurrency. The lack of regulation and oversight on the darknet means that users must be cautious when conducting transactions.
    • Security Risks: The use of the darknet can expose users to malware and other security risks, as many sites are not properly secured or monitored. Users may also be vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks.
    • Stigma: The association of the darknet with illegal activities has created a stigma that may deter some users from using it for legitimate purposes.