Around 12000 villages of Maharashtra and about 4000 villages of Gujarat are reeling under severe drought which has affected the lives of more than 2 crore people. Is it a natural disaster or manmade disaster?
Our intense greed for self aggrandizement has resulted in massive exploitation of nature. Trees are rampantly cut to pave the way for industrialization, chemical fertilizers are being excessively used to increase the crop yield, industrial wastes are being dumped in the rivers, ground water is getting depleted, water pollution, air pollution, soil erosion, desertification have become the norm.
Unfortunately today instead of accepting our mistake we are just trying to artificially ward off the crisis. Lots have been written and spoken regarding the misuse of water during Holi festival. True, seeing the plight of the millions of people who are suffering for want of water we should explore all means to prevent the wastage of water. But why those words of wisdom should only be reserved for the Holi festival. The liquor industry, the soft drink industries are known to use thousands of liters of water daily. But why nothing is said, written or discussed about such massive misuse of water. Our exploitative mentality and insatiable desires are the root cause of the calamity which we are facing today.
In fact Srimad – Bhagavatam has already predicted the fate of the people of Kali – yuga: - “In the age of Kali, people's minds will always be agitated. They will become emaciated by famine and taxation, my dear King, and will always be disturbed by fear of drought. They will lack adequate clothing, food and drink, will be unable to properly rest or bathe themselves: - Srimad Bhagavatam (12.3.39 – 40)”.
Nature is our mother, she sustains us. All our basic necessities are provided by her for free – food grains, air and water are (or were) available in abundance. We have neither invented these vital substances which give us life nor do we manufacture it. If we do not respect Mother Nature then we will have to pay a heavy price for it. The present crisis which we are facing is not a natural crisis but a man made crisis. As it is verily said there is enough for man’s need but not enough for man’s greed.
Bhagavad – Gita recommends that leading a God centered life (Bhagavad – Gita 3.14) is the only way to ensure that there is proper and regular supply of rain and food grains. Adopting artificial means to deal with droughts may temporarily solve the problem but unless we get into the root of it such disasters will knock us down constantly. Choice is ours; if we are really serious about leading a happy life then we need to orchestrate our lives as per the injunctions of Vedic scriptures.