Search This Blog

Monday, March 26, 2018

Chipko movement is Google doodle of the day

Most days start with our search on Google on Bancroft’s sandpaper episode or something else .. .. .. today read that - originally expected to last just two years, NASA’s long-running Marsbound Curiosity rover has just passed its 2000-solar day mark on the surface of the fourth planet and is still running strong. The 1982-pound solar-powered Curiosity landed on Mars in August of 2012 and has been exploring ever since. Although the craft has traversed less than 12 miles of the surface of Mars, it has made remarkable discoveries, including offering proof that the red planet potentially supported life in eons past.

Before  ~ it is another attractive Google doodle (with Indian connection) that captured eyes. Prosopis cineraria is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is the state tree of Rajasthan and Telangana in India. A large and well-known example of the species is the Tree of Life in Bahrain – approximately 400 years old and growing in a desert devoid of any obvious sources of water. It is also the national tree of the United Arab Emirates.

Google today celebrates the 45th  anniversary of Chipko Movement through a doodle. Chipko Movement refers to a non-violent movement for conservation of forest. Started in the 1970s, Chipko Movement got its name from the way people embraced the trees to protect them from being cut. The Chipko Movement followed Gandhian philosophy of peaceful resistance and was an uprising against the people destroying ecological balance.   Sunderlal Bahuguna, a noted environmentalist  initiated the Chipko Movement.  The movement slogan was : "Embrace the trees and Save them from being felled; The property of our hills, Save them from being looted."

On 25 March 1974, the day the lumbermen were to cut the trees, the men of the Reni village and DGSS workers were in Chamoli, diverted by state government and contractors to a fictional compensation payment site, while back home labourers arrived by the truckload to start logging operations. A local girl, on seeing them, rushed to inform Gaura Devi, the head of the village Mahila Mangal Dal, at Reni village.  Gaura Devi led 27 of the village women to the site and confronted the loggers. When all talking failed, and the loggers started to shout and abuse the women, threatening them with guns, the women resorted to hugging the trees to stop them from being felled. This went on into late hours. The women kept an all-night vigil guarding their trees from the cutters until a few of them relented and left the village. The next day, when the men and leaders returned, the news of the movement spread to the neighbouring Laata and others villages including Henwalghati, and more people joined in. Eventually, only after a four-day stand-off, the contractors left.

Chipko type movement dates back to 1730 AD when in khejarli village of Rajasthan, 363 people sacrificed their lives to save khejri trees. Today, beyond the eco-socialism hue, it is being seen increasingly as an ecofeminism movement. In 1987, the Chipko movement was awarded the Right Livelihood Award.
Prosopis cineraria ~  is better known to us as : Khejri or "Loong Tree"; Janty; Vanni (Tamil); Jammi (Telugu); and Sami. 

In the epic Mahabaratha, during their exile Pandavas had to spend a year without revealing their identities.  This period was spent on Virada desam.  This is explained in detail in Virada parvam of Mahabaratha.  On Vijayadasami day which coincided with completion of their one year in exile,  in the war to protect Virada kingdom, Arjuna took back his bows and arrows hitherto hidden in a ‘vanni tree’. On Vijaya Dasami day at Thiruvallikkeni, ‘vanni mara parvettai’ is enacted every year.   This now-a-days  is symbolically celebrated at the entrance of the temple itself ; in olden days [till a decade ago]  this act called ‘paarvettai’ took place in Vasantha bungalow situate in Venkatrangam Street.  Now that picturesque bungalow and the mantap are no longer there. At the entrance of the temple, leaves of vanni  are  symbolically placed and the Lord comes near the tree ~ after aarathi, couple of  leaves get plucked by the battar representing the Perumal. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Mar 2018.

No comments:

Post a Comment