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5 historic reasons why India should be pioneer of environmental movement

India TV News Desk 05 Jun 2015, 14:22:11 PM IST
India TV News Desk

"Take care of the earth and she will take care of you."- Anonymous

The World today is celebrating Environment Day all across the globe. This year the theme decided by UN is "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.", which is an effort to raise awareness to save our planet. On this day, every year several environment related issues are raised and discussed, but when it try to implement it, things seem to turn out sour.

India being the fastest growing country in the world is addressing environmental issues internationally. Interestingly, ancient history of India proves that environment and its preservation has always been a foremost concern for erstwhile kingdoms and rulers of India. There are several historic moments that prove that India has always been progressive about saving planet earth.

 Scroll down and read about environmental regulations adopted in India way before anyone else did:

1. Yajnavalkya Smriti prohibited the cutting of trees and also prescribed punishment for such acts. It is suggested that this Indian text on statecraft have been written before the 5th century AD and yet, it mentioned the importance of tree plantation.

2. Conservation of environment started from Mauryan Period. According to Kautalya's Arthashastra written in that era, the authorities emphasises on the need of forest administration. This ancient treatise is considered one of the best documents on statecraft, military strategy, and economic policy and having mentioned forest administration, it shows how important a forest can be for any successful kingdom.

3. Emperor Ashoka went a step further and expressed his view on welfare of environment and biodiversity on a pillar. The pillar has various quotes emphasising on environment protection carved on it.  

4. The Britishers government ruling India also had several law related to environment. The earliest one was Act of 1853 and the Oriental Gas Company Act of 1857. The Indian Penal Code of 1860, imposed fine on anyone who fouls the water of public entity (spring or reservoirs).

British India also enacted laws aimed at controlling air pollution. Bengal Smoke Nuisance Act of 1905 and the Bombay Smoke Nuisance Act of 1912 were two of them.

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5. Chipko movement was one of the most popular initiatives by India related to environment. It hogged limelight from all across the globe. Started in 1970, it was a non-violent movement has one goal- protection and conservation of trees.It aimed to protect forests from being destroyed. The villagers used to hug the trees and protect them from wood cutters from cutting them.

Despite being one of the most proactive countries to talk about environmental issues, we are still lacking behind at the ground level.

We have about two hundred laws dealing with environmental protection both before and after independence in India but the issues like water, air, noise pollution, draught situation and global warming as a whole are still big matters of concern for this country.

Until and unless individual efforts are invested, no regulation, no law and no fear of punishment can bring about any change in India.