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.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Starting From Our Home

The best thing about our house in Indore is its greenery. There are shrubs, creepers and trees that keep the house covered and cool. In this way we save on the energy we need for cooling in summer. On rare occasions we have to put on the fan and we have no air coolers and air conditioners. The house is so cross ventilated that most of the time there is a cool breeze blowing through it. It is well lighted also and requires artificial lighting only at night. The only big energy guzzler in our house is the refrigerator which consumes one unit of electricity per day. Another unit is consumed on an average daily for lighting and cooling needs. We cut all the plants from time to time so that they are always growing and sequestering carbon in the process. Thus climate change mitigation starts for us from our home. The bonus that we get is in the form of various birds that nest in the trees and creepers and on the water tank on top of the house. There is a brood of pigeons on top of the water tank under the shade we have constructed for it. Recently a pair of common tailor birds built a nest on the trunk of our guava tree as shown below

Then started a cat and bird game. There is a cat in our colony which darts in and out of our house in search goodies to eat. Sometimes it succeeds in polishing off our milk or curds when we are not alert. Now it spotted the nest of the birds and despite all our efforts was able to eat two of the four chicks that were born to the nesting couple. The chicks that survived were very cute and we managed to get a picture of one of them about to test its wings in flight shown below -

Mitigating climate change and maintaining bio-diversity is not such a difficult thing. All that is required is a commitment to pursue these goals. A commitment to environmentalism.


anish said...

just today i was again reading an earlier post about your house. now the birds have given you their sustainability certificate :) i was planning to read energy and equity by ivan illich. just in the first para, he has problematized the issue so well:
It has recently become fashionable to insist on an impending energy crisis. This euphemistic term conceals a contradiction and consecrates an illusion. It masks the contradiction implicit in the joint pursuit of equity and industrial growth. It safeguards the illusion that machine power can indefinitely take the place of manpower. To resolve this contradiction and dispel this illusion, it is urgent to clarify the reality that the language of crisis obscures: high quanta of energy degrade social relations just as inevitably as they destroy the physical milieu.

Rahul Banerjee said...

high energy use is related to the skewed holding of property. social relations have already been degraded by inequality in property holdings and high energy use aggravates this. it is socially more fashionable to move round in cars instead of on foot. anyway the bright side of things is that this hypocrisy is increasingly being faced with a backlash from nature. while it is comparatively easier to subdue protests against economic and social inequality it is much more difficult to control the environmental backlash.