RSS-backed organisations have come together to push for quintessentially the Indian thought (Bharatiya darshan) based on interlinking the Panchmahabhoot (the five elements) culminating in an ‘India Declaration’ as part of climate action.
After multiple events — one for each element — from next month, an international conference next year would come out with the ‘India Declaration’ with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) frontal organisations and some central ministries / agencies having tied up for implementing this plan.
At the COP26 at Glasgow in November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced his ‘LIFE – the Lifestyle for Environment’ mantra emphasizing on “discarding mindless and destructive consumption, and promoting mindful and deliberate utilization” as per the traditional Indian nature-friendly living.
The origin for that thought can be traced to a 51-point charter that was released in mid-May in 2016 at Vichar Mahakumbh on the sidelines of the Simhastha Kumbh Mela at Ujjain that year.
“Reducing the high energy consumption lifestyle of the west adding to the carbon budget is the only way forward and it can be countered by the traditional Indian lifestyle that is close to nature and accounts for far lesser carbon footprints,” said a person involved in the process.
Ramesh Jalan, formerly with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is associated with the programme as a facilitator for roping in relevant foreign dignitaries who identify with the Indian thought. aceI have done a lot of work on ‘Integral Humanism’ and sustainable development. I was involved in bringing ‘Integral Humanism’ to the international platform through the UNDP. I had given a talk on this some 4-5 years ago.”
“The year-long deliberations would yield several points for action, some of the concerns that we want to highlight and these would be taken up by the government representatives,” Jalan said, adding: “Not for this year’s COP – to be held in November – but definitely for next year.”
Integral Humanism is a set of thoughts by Deendayal Upadhyay, Jansangh ideologue, that form the bedrock of RSS’ approach, including that towards the environment.
Over all coordination for this almost year long programme would be done by Deendayal Research Institute (DRI), a prime RSS body that promotes ‘Integral Humanism’ as part of a nature friendly solution to much of the modern problems due to industrialization, and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), a body under the Union Ministry of Culture.
“Starting from November-December this year till March 2023, the Sumangal seminars would be held on each of the five Panchmahabhoot aspects with one of the right wing organizations in-charge of that aspect along with one of the central ministries,” Atul Jain, DRI secretary, told IANS.
The ‘Space’ (Aakash tatva) will be taken care of by Vijnana Bharati with the nodal ministry of Department of Science & Technology / Ministry of Earth Sciences. The ‘Earth’ (Prithvi tatva) will be taken care of by Akshay Krishi Parivar of Bhartiya Kisan Union along with the Ministry of Agriculture.
For water (Jal tatva), it is DRI along with the Ministry of Jal Shakti; for air (Vayu tatva), it is Paryavaran Gatividhi along with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoES&CC) while for energy (agni tatva) will be taken care of by Vijnan Bharati along with Power Ministry.
(Nivedita Khandekar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)