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.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Buck Does not Stop

There was a meeting in our residential layout today. We were discussing how to solve our drainage problem. Our layout is sparsely built up with about only 25% of all the plots having constructed buildings. Yet the amount of liquid waste generated is so much that it is overflowing from the two community septic tanks that have been built and festering in the open in the area of the plots that are still empty. Matters have been compounded by the fact that the drainage water from a neighbouring colony to flows into our colony. Representations had been made to the Indore Municipal Corporation to do something about disposing of this drainage water. The Corporation staff came and surveyed the whole situation and then said that we would have to pay for the laying of sewers to carry the water out of the colony as the Corporation did not have funds to do this. The meeting had been called to discuss this response from the Corporation.
A minor functionary of the political party in power, the Bharatiya Janata Party, came to the meeting and declared at the outset that we would have to give bribes if we wanted the Corporation to do our work. He said that even though the national leader of his party Shri L.K. Advani had taken out a Rath Yatra to campaign against corruption the reality was that in this country nothing got done without bribing. He said that the Municipal Commissioner and Mayor would not take bribes directly but it would be routed to them by the lower level officials. After having made things crystal clear to us he said that it was our problem and if we wanted to solve it then we would have to do as he said. When some people protested that the expense would be too heavy then he said that we should dispose of all the waste water in our colony itself and not bother the Corporation. This of course did not go down well with our colony members.
I too have been saying the same thing to our colony members for quite some time now and citing the example of our own house from which not a single drop of water whether storm or waste escapes as it is all treated and recharged into the ground. There is enough open space in the form of two gardens in our colony and it is possible to treat and recharge all the water in our colony and also the water coming from the nearby colony at a lesser expense than that required for laying a sewer line. However, none of our colony members are prepared for this alternative and are trying to get the Corporation to cart out all the water.
This inability on the part of well to do people to take care of their own waste water and the tendency to pass on the buck on to some one else is the bane of water management and it becomes a serious problem in urban areas. In fact recharging and reuse of waste and storm water aids in the reduction of the load on water supply systems also. Unfortunately this kind of environmental sense does not prevail even today when the problems of waste water disposal and water supply have assumed such serious proportions that it is becoming well nigh impossible for Municipal bodies to tackle them.

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