Indians regard nature as mother and the ancient texts have highlighted the need to maintain a healthy and sustainable relationship between mankind and nature, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.
“The people of India have always believed in the umbilical relationship with nature and we regard her as Mother Nature. Our ancient texts have highlighted the need to maintain a healthy and sustainable relationship between mankind and nature,” Singh said here at the World Environment Conference organised by the National Green Tribunal.
“The Atharvaveda calls it a bounden duty that we must protect the Earth so that life can be sustained. We have defined our relationship with the Earth as ‘mata bhoomi putro aham prithivya’,” he added.
He said the ‘dharma’ of protecting the environment was to sustain and ensure progress and welfare of all.
In this attempt, the ancient texts acted as reinforcing factors between the right to exploit the environment and a duty to conserve it — which is now internationally recognised as the concept of “sustainable development”.
“Nature should not be exploited but nurtured for the wellbeing of the humankind. When nature is in equilibrium, our lives and the world we live in will be in balance,” the Home Minister said.
He said the crisis being faced by the humanity at present has forced people to review the whole gamut of man-nature relationship, more precisely in the light of the developments of the last five decades, and accordingly chalk out the future course of development.
The Home Minister pointed out that even the Constitution of India clearly states that it is the duty of the state to “protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”.
“As the citizen of India, we are duty bound to ‘protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife’,” the minister said.
He said that as a developing country, India has to bear the brunt of climate change even though it has little to do with this phenomenon.
“We in India believe that climate change is the result of emission of greenhouse gases and the resultant global warming that came from the industrial advancement in developed nations, powered by fossil fuel.”
He said, “India has little to do with this phenomenon, but it has to face the consequences.”