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On World Environment Day, we need to remind ourselves that India does not need SUV driving, AC loving nature lovers

Author: Shashank Singh
Publication: OpIndia.com
Date: June 5, 2021
URL:    https://www.opindia.com/2021/06/world-environment-day-how-activism-is-used-to-prevent-development/ 

Unlike labour unions, environmentalists don’t have to be part of the factory or organisation. Anyone can be an ‘environment lover’ with the help of placards and a social media account.

On this year’s World Environment Day, let us begin our annual lessons on saving the environment with a story.

So it happened that once upon a time, there was a barren land with no human in sight. Soon, a man with an eye for making money chanced upon that piece of land and decided to mint his fortune there. He bought that land and established a manufacturing unit there. That unit gave employment to thousands of people.

After a few months, the owner realised that workers were facing transportation issues, as a consequence of which the productivity was suffering, so to solve the issue, he made provisions for the employees and their families to settle nearby.

As the employees started living there, it gave an avenue for a myriad of other business opportunities to make money. Not too long after, schools came up in the area, hospitals, general stores, saloon, restaurants and many other essential and non essentials businesses came up for the residents as well. In due course of time, that barren piece of land turned into a township.
 
Wealth breeds jealousy and naturally, there were those who were envious of the town’s prosperity. Soon, certain workers with leadership qualities were identified and taught about socialism, human rights and worker rights by the henchmen of the envious.

With allurements such as money, the wanna-be leaders started spreading their influence and soon, the task force unionised. It did not take long for these labour unions to start blackmailing the owners of the unit by threatening general strikes. Eventually, the factory owners lost patience with the whole affair and decided to shut their shop.

Unfortunately, this is the reality of large swathes of areas in India. The jute industry in West Bengal is the perfect example of such. More than a hundred jute mills were closed during the Communist regime and the closures continued with the change in political leadership because it was only the government that changed, unions continued working in full flow.

Unsurprisingly, this is a tactic used by developed countries to keep developing countries embroiled in domestic squabbles and squalor.

Environment, pollution and climate change

 
Developed countries who have made their fortune by destroying the environment wholesale started using environmental protection as a tool to stop developing countries from closing the gap. In many cases, some pseudo environmentalist, on the payrolls of some developed nation, come and tell people that a particular factory is causing them harm and their future generations won’t survive. Suddenly, the same factory, which turned a barren land into a township, became a polluting factor for those living around.

Paid environmental activists, who generally drive SUVs, start protesting in front of factories. Lawyers file PILs from their air conditioned offices to protect the environment. Courts ask factory to shut operations citing health of people living around it. For instance, we can see what happened to the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. After the unit was shut, India became Copper importer (net) within 3 years. Apart from that, thousands lost their jobs.

Recently we saw “Save Aarey” protests by pseudo environmentalists against the proposed metro car shed. Many paid environmentalists reached there in their SUVs. This protest has not only hit the project but has increased its cost as well. A city which has a great influence on the economy of the country was always the main target of people who don’t want India to be developed, be it strikes or the Aarey protests, they always hit this city to prevent it from realising its potential in the name of “Mumbai Spirit”.

Many environment lovers, who celebrate their wedding with crackers, start feeling breathlessness around Dipawali in their air conditioned rooms. Their pets sense Diwali much before they do and start hiding from crackers. Every year around Dipawali, some paid lawyer and environmentalist reach the courts demanding a ban against crackers, which hurts employment of lakhs of people. Only in Tamil Nadu, more than 1 lakh families are sustained cracker industry. The year they wait for Dipawali and when it comes, some court bans their product.
 
During the Central Vista project also, the initial attempt involved using environment as an excuse to stop it. When that didn’t happen, they tried to stop it using Covid. Even so, the Delhi HC refused to stop it. Now they have started looking for some mosque in that area, which could be used to stop the Central Vista project.

Unlike labour unions, environmentalists don’t have to be part of the factory or organisation. Anyone can be an ‘environment lover’ with the help of placards and a social media account. It doesn’t matter if you cant differentiate between Liquid Oxygen and Oxygen gas but if you can write a good message and are willing to work against the development of the nation, then you can always be an environmentalist.

In a country like India, where almost half the citizens got a toilet in the past seven years, environmental reasons should not cause unemployment. There are hundreds of real environmentalists who are working silently without any media attention and are doing great for the nation. But we have to protect our country from these so called environmentalist whose only job is to flash placards, click pictures and make money. We don’t need such environment lovers who ride cycles on world environment day while 3 SUVs are trailing behind him and tens of camera man are leading them on bikes.
 
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