Friday 25 July 2014

Baba Ramdev must NOT Talk about Degradation of Gaumukh

Written by Anil Singh

Today, Amar Ujala published an article written by Baba Ramdev. The article is written after Baba Ramdev and his 400 disciples' recent expedition to the origins of River Ganga i.e. the Gomukh or Gaumukh.

In the article Baba Ramdev says as to how deeply sad he's after witnessing the receding glaciers at Gaumukh. He's also sad at the degradation of mountains in the Himalayan region. He blames the degradation to the global warming and presence of unfit people all this while at the helm of conservation (Government, officers etc.).  Baba Ramdev believes that the Government and its executive machinery is propagating rumors about the risks involved in Char Dham Yatra, simply to discourage people from visiting the Shrines.

With due respect to Baba , he must not talk about degradation of Gaumukh or Gomukh.

Why? As in the past one decade , more than anyone else , he is responsible for the destruction of Himalayan Ecology.

How? Baba Ramdev began with teaching Yoga and Pranayama (breathing exercises). But after creating a decent following, he quickly set up and expanded to Ayurvedic medicines business. Since Himalayas or Uttarakhand Himalayas contribute for a significant number of the herbs, shrubs and other plant products used in the Ayurvedic medicines, the proliferation of Divya Yog pharmacy in India and World meant a fast depletion of Himalayan Flora. Truck loads of Himalayan plants were and still are being transported to Baba Ram Dev's and other pharmacies. An entire network of harvesters (those who collect the herbs, barks, roots ), middlemen and final buyers (pharmacies) has cropped up in Uttarakhand Hills. These syndicates are not sparing even humble plants like Kilmoda. Every root or shoot in Uttarakhand Hills is being uprooted in the name of a Healthy India. If the Ayurveda pharmacies are not restricted, then better be ready for more degradation.

We are seeing Baba Ramdev's Gaumukh expedition as a pilgrimage. There's another perspective of looking at it. It may be an exercise to educate students on the medicinal flora of the Himalayas. We need to preserve Himalayan flora. And for that we need to stop these Ayurvedic pharmacies from researching the fragile land. After all pharmacies are businesses.

PS: The people must be discouraged from reaching higher stretches of Uttarakhand. Irrespective of the purpose of the visit. These mountains are not meant to take that many foot falls. If the Government is serious about saving Himalayas and its fragile ecosystem, then it must accord a Special Status to Uttarakhand. After all Himalayas are instrumental in Monsoon in the entire North India. That apart the rivers originating from Himalayas are the lifelines for significant part of India. Keeping Himalayas in pristine state means less means of livelihood and employment in Uttarakhand. The Union Government must compensate that with money.


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