What do forests bear? Soil, water and pure air I Remembering Chipko Andolan II Part One

The picture depicts a women hugging a tree. Chipko movement

Emotions and sentiments are at the core of every human being; they are what bring us together in times of joy and in a crisis. How did the act of embracing a tree, spearhead an ecological movement?

The Chipko movement was started with the intention of protecting and preserving the livelihoods of the agro-pastoral communities in the Himalayan region. For centuries, these communities watched as their forests disappeared — slaughtered by excessive greed and a relentless economic agenda.

A closer look at our philosophy reveals that we were encouraged to respect the intimate connection shared between nature and human-beings. Rabindranath Tagore in his essay, ‘The Religion of Forest’ has rightly pointed out that: “Indian civilization has been distinctive in locating its source of regeneration, material and intellectual, in the forest, not the city. India’s best ideas have come where man was in communion with trees and rivers and lakes, away from the crowds. The peace of the forest has helped the intellectual evolution of man. The culture of the forest has fueled the culture of Indian society”…….

How were these ideas systematically rooted out of our culture and consciousness? Watch this space for part two of this post