Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Saving water Again

The wheat sowing season is about to begin. In recent years growing wheat in the western Madhya Pradesh region has become a headache. Primarily because electricity for running the motors to pump up water from rivers, streams, wells and tube wells has become increasingly scarce. Moreover the cost of chemical fertilisers needed for growing hybrid varieties of wheat too has gone up as has the amount to be applied. Thus often the crop suffers towards the end near harvesting time due to lack of enough water. The Wheat Research Station in Indore has addressed this problem and developed a dry land variety of wheat that requires just one watering in the beginning at the sowing time and gives an yield of about 30 quintals per hectare. Even though this is less than the 55 quintals per hectare that the hybrid variety gives it still turns out to be more profitable because of the savings in electricity and pesticide costs. What is even more commendable about this dry land wheat is that saves on scarce water resources. However, as is usual in a government agency the Wheat Research Station has not bothered to popularise this wheat and so it has not spread among the farmers.
This year we have launched a campaign to rope in more and more farmers to sow this wheat so that it spreads over a large area and provides both economic and environmental succour to the adivasis of the region.

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