Jyoti Sharma, President FORCE posted this in Environment Protection, Jal Rakshak on December 2nd, 2010

Dear Jal Rakshaks

‘Environmental Protection’ is the new buzz word – in policy, text books, corporate manuals, CSR agendas, political manifestos, NGO Objectives……. Anywhere and everywhere….the slogan is – ‘ PROTECT  THE ENVIRONMENT’.

And yet…the ‘Environment’ continues to get a raw deal everywhere–  villages spring up in forests, animals disappear; mining holes appear in ancient mountain ranges, mountains become bare; streams dry up, rivers turn into nullahs; wells give water of all colours & smog envelops us all….

Why this dichotomy ??

Today, as I was interacting with a bright young set of media & communication management students, I found the answer to this apparent contradiction.

It’s all a matter of semantics – our choice of words.

The words ‘Protect the Environment’ – cue off in our brain, the thought “The Environment is under threat of destruction. We must do all we can to protect it – Because We are strong and the environment is weak. We are fair minded strongmen, with a heart of gold – that’s why – even though, WE HAVE CONQUERED IT, We must take good care of the environment.”

…And therein lies our BIG BIG mistake. The environment (read: nature) is NOT weak. It does NOT need to be protected by us. On the contrary WE NEED TO BE PROTECTED from the dangerously quiet wrath of nature.

As a Mother, Nature is infinitely caring, patient, giving….

As an opponent, it is a master strategist, delusion creating, many headed medussa; a ‘meethi chhuri’ and a cold butcher. It will let you poison it, and then feed you back the same poison through its air & water- multiplied manifold. It will let you cage it – only to hit back from a tunnel you never knew existed….

Beware ! We have made ourselves opponents of Nature !

We think of ourselves, not as Nature’s children, but as its Conquerors…. with a  clear mandate –  whip it to extract most out of it and feed it just enough to keep it productive. Torture it, if you wish, just make sure you keep it alive – as a symbol of your ultimate victory.

Wake up – snap out of this delusion ! Look around, see the patterns and recognise how we are, slowly but surely, losing our battle for survival.

Nature does not need your condescending protection.

Jal Rakshaks, let’s try & give mankind a chance to survive. As a start, let’s change the buzz word – from ‘Protect the Environment’ to


In our own interest, let’s learn, and teach all, to respect & care for Nature – our Mother. She loves us, perhaps more than we love ourselves. Let’s try not to snatch away, from the rivers, forests, animals, mountains, air and water; their right to live with freedom, health and dignity.

Let’s Protect ourselves – re-learn to live in harmony with Nature – the Mother – She will protect us.

Jyoti Sharma


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