Swami Sanand’s former name, Professor JD Agarwal, departed from the world only to have a dream of a ‘legal shield’ to protect the Ganges. When ‘issues’ are seen only through the spectacles of vote bank, then how could Swami Sanand’s dream finally be fulfilled? Because the Ganges he was ‘Bhagiratha’ was not a ‘vote bank’. If Ganga was a vote bank, it would have been important in the eyes of Swami Sanand’s government, here he was knocking the governments upside down. In the eyes of big dams, wide roads and development contractors at the cost of nature, he was a big hurdle in the path of development.
The governments of the Center and the state were uncomfortable with their fast on the Ganges, the dams and big construction companies and mining businessmen were also worried. Although governments continued to pay attention to his satyagraha, his voice was unheard. Yet it was the strength of his ‘surrender’ and ‘prana’ that the governments were under great pressure of his movement. This was the reason that the government was not able to reject his main demand for special legislation on the Ganges, nor was he being given any concrete assurance on it.
In this way, Swami Sanand has been on hunger strike on the issue of Ganga four times before. Every time governments kept citing their various schemes and assured to protect the Ganges. Due to their agitation, the government closed many projects under construction on the Ganga, but also canceled a large number of proposed projects, but their main demand for making Ganga conservation law could not be fulfilled.
He was also declared a ‘villain’ on several occasions in Uttarakhand, he also faced public opposition. Despite all this, he did not falter, his confidence did not decrease. And this time it was as if Swami Sanand was determined to struggle till his last breath. He was of the clear view that avidity and cleanliness are necessary to protect the Ganges and this is possible only when a special law is made for it.
Impact Of The Revolt
This voice, which has been vocal for the avidity and cleanliness of the Ganges, is silent at a time when thousands of crores of projects like Namami Gange and programs like Clean Ganga Mission are being conducted in the country. Sanand’s death proves that there is a big ‘bag’ in the government’s plans and programs. If the government’s intention was true, at the age of 85, Swami Sanand would not have died while on hunger for 112 days.
On the death of Swami Sanand, the governments of the Center and the state are in the dock today. Now not only on his death, but also projects like Namami Gange are being run for the salvation of Ganga. The question is because in the Namani Gange project with a budget of thousands of crores, it is not just about the cleanliness and cleanliness of the Ganges, but the cleanliness and cleanliness.
According to environmentalists, the avidity and cleanliness of the Ganges is not possible due to unplanned development in the Himalayan region. Unfortunately what is happening today? Major claims and promises are being made about the conservation of Ganga. On the one hand, thousands of crores of rupees are being spent in the name of cleaning the Ganges like water, while on the other hand, a large scale unplanned construction work is going on in the Himalayan region. Despite knowing that by tying the rivers, she will one day take a fiery form. They will be weakened by the cutting of the mountains. Still big dams are being proposed on the rivers, thousands of trees are being sacrificed in the name of All Weather Road.
One important aspect to note is that there is a tremendous contradiction in the government’s plans and reality. Another Namami Gange project calls for intensive plantation in the catchment area of the Ganges, on the other hand thousands of trees of protected species are sacrificed in the name of All Weather Road. Sensitive areas are declared for protection of environment and ecology, but the master plan for development there is not prepared. The model of government development in sensitive areas is that roads are being built by cutting mountains, construction work is being done with cement and concrete. The cutting of trees is going on and there is preparation to tie up rivers in big dam projects like Pancheshwar.
Actually, this government model of development was a matter of concern for Swami Sanand. Swami Sanand continued to oppose this model, according to him, due to the unplanned development in the Himalayan region, the Gangetic plains will also be affected. Swami Sanand believed that it is necessary to save the Ganges for Himalayan conservation, it is necessary to keep it clean. He was not just a saint holding a ocher or associated with a particular ideology. He did not just sing the melody of the Ganges and the environment. Ganga’s defense was a campaign for him, with which he was associated with the soul. Being an engineer and environmentalist, he was knowledgeable about the technical aspects and was an advocate of Ganga’s avidity on the same basis.
Swami Sanand’s thinking for the cleanliness of the Ganges can also be gauged from the fact that he had already donated his body to AIIMS Rishikesh. He was opposed to the construction of dams on the Ganges, according to him, the construction of dams ends the avidity. He also demanded that all the dams being built on the Ganga should be stopped.
In the last decade, he took five fasts for Ganga. His agitation for the protection of Ganga and its associated areas had the effect that a decision had to be taken in Uttarakhand to close projects worth about 7000 crores. The Lohari Nagpala, Bhairaghati and Pala Maneri projects had to be closed despite spending around Rs 1000 crore. Not only this, the area from Gangotri to Uttarkashi was also declared as eco-sensitive zone. Swami Sanand U
Prof. GD Agarwal also faced heavy opposition for this reason, but he stood firm on the campaign launched for the protection of Ganga.
Attitude of governments
Now some thing also about governments. If the governments can decide to stop all the projects on the logic of Swami Sanand then why not make laws to protect the Ganga permanently? Actually, the intention of the government has always been doubtful on this issue, Swami Sanand was also questioning the government’s intention for 112 days. Why should there be any doubt about the intention of the government?
The government is giving the slogan of Ganga protection, but it does not seem to be more than a cleanliness drive. The government is looking at the Ganges from the Himalayas to the plains with one perspective. If the question is really about the avidity and cleanliness of the Ganges, then it is important to protect the Ganges from its origin. And this is possible only when a law is brought for the protection of Ganga and its tributaries. Now the question is why the government is insensitive about Ganga Act? It is not that the government does not understand its need, now even the court has issued several orders for the obstruction and defense of the Ganga many times. But governments neither make laws nor execute court orders.
Actually there is pressure on governments, this pressure is only on the use of resources for revenue and development projects. Apart from this, there is also the question of the interests of big corporate houses and construction companies. Probably under this pressure, the government kept ignoring Swami Sanand, ignoring him. Now the question is, will Swami Sanand’s dream remain incomplete?
The reactions coming after the death of Swami Sanand, it is clear that the struggle of Ganga Act has been strengthened further. Environmentalists react deeply to Sanand’s death, questions are being raised on the government’s sensitivity. If the governments feel that with the death of Swami Sanand, the demand for Ganga Act has ended, then the governments are in misunderstanding. The series of sacrifices for Ganga has started, first Nigamananda and now Swami Sanand. Governments are irresponsible due to Ganga not being a ‘vote bank’, but it is certain that this sacrifice of Ganga sons will one day show its color.