For starters, “The Western Ghats is the home for about 50 million people belonging to the Six States of the Country. It is the source of water for the entire Peninsular India, and also influences the monsoons. The life supporting and biodiversity rich ecosystems of Western Ghats are threatened today due to habitat pressures.” Government of India setup an ecology expert panel and then a working group to come up with recommendations to protect the Western Ghats ecosystem. The recommendations report intended to be ” a starting point in a long and what could be an eventful odyssey to understand the man-environmental relations through the eyes of Western Ghats which in the view of its Creator can be a gift or a curse depending on how we judge and act..” was given a go-ahead by GOI but has met with widespread protests across the state of Kerala.
Read Full Report: Kasturi Rangan Panel Report in PDF – Kasturirangan-Report-HLWG
For non-starters, if you are in favor of implementing Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan’s recommendations in full, you do not need to read the report. If you think Swamy’s report is not green enough and Gadgil recommendations is the greenest green, you do not need to read the report. If you think the implementation of Kasturirangan report by the imperial government in Delhi is heavy handed and requires more deliberations and clarity, or if you are generally pissed off with how federalism works in India, you need to read this report. Because everyone from Asianet news reader Vinu to the honorable high court of this land will ask you whether you have read the report. The green people (which surprisingly now includesgreen MLA Hibi Eden and Idukki M.P.), are generally assumed to be of higher intellect and are not expected to the answer the question.
Read Chapter 6: The Paradigm for Sustainable and Inclusive Development and the Framework for Governance Kasturirangan-Report-Chapter 6
Gadgil points out the imperialist nature of the report in open letter to Kasturirangan – “Your report shockingly dismisses our constitutionally guaranteed democratic devolution of decision making powers, remarking that local communities can have no role in economic decisions……India’s cultural landscape harbours many valuable elements of biodiversity. Fully 75% of the population of Lion-tailed Macaque, a monkey species confined to the Western Ghats, thrives in the cultural landscape of tea gardens. I live in the city of Pune and ….Through the night I hear peacocks calling, and when I get up and go to the terrace I see them dancing. It is our people, rooted in India’s strong cultural traditions of respect for nature, who have venerated and protected the sacred groves, the *Ficus *trees, the monkeys and the peafowl.” Read.
Binu from the Ghats questions the incredible arrogance of the elite – “I belong to a city where a metro rail is being planned. I did not see many people getting into streets protesting it. Why? It is not that there was no property issues. But people were compensated REASONABLY. If crores can be spend as compensation for a mere railway project in a City, then why is it that nobody is talking about it in such a big project in the Rural area? Again, when a project is planned in the city, appropriate consultations were done before going ahead with it, and people, realizing the importance of the project supported willingly.” Blog Link
Sebin Abraham Jacob disagrees with the protests, but gives some semblance of balance missing in tv discussions – Malayal.am
Pinarayi Vijayan writes a well argued case on why the left thinks different – CPIM
Harish Vasudevan simplifies the Gadgil-Rangan comparison, good comments section – Blog link