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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cultural Use of Renewable Energy

The month of May is the time for marriages in the Bhil homeland. Almost everyday there are a slew of marriages going on. The centrepiece of these marriages is the night long dancing to the tune of drums and pepariyas or a kind of wind instrument in which girls and boys and men and women enjoy themselves pepped up by the power of mahua liquor. In Gandhwani Tehsil of Dhar district there was a significant difference this time round. Normally the nightlong dancing has to be lighted up with a generator. However, this time solar lanterns were used. This was possible because a new scheme is being implemented there by an NGO in which it has set up a solar photovoltaic panel powered charger in some villages and supplied a local bhil youth in these villages with fifty lanterns. This youth charges rupees four a day as rent from any villagers who would want to use the solar lanterns at night. The scheme is running very well because the earlier scenario wherein people could draw free electricity from the grid has changed drastically. Now the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board has cut off the electricity at the transformer for a village that has a high proportion of defaulters and electricity thieves. So there is a great demand for these solar lanterns. Especially during the examination season that just preceded the marriage season when students cramming found these lanterns to be their saviours. One of the solar lantern entrepreneurs was more enterprising and decided to cash in on the marriage season also. He calculated that the rent of a generator and diesel for one night came to about a thousand rupees. So he offered the a set of twenty lanterns for a total sum of four hundred rupees giving more light at less cost to the client. This was an instant success and so many marriages have been celebrated in the light of solar lanterns this year.

1 comment:

Anubhooti ( Views and News for all) said...

Nice post.Old traditions and new initiatives aiming to improve the life style of local people . These attempts need to be continued and intensified.