(Translation of a contribution in Punjabi by Manjinder Sembhi, Tajpur, a small village in Punjab, India)
When the world came into being, we humans confronted animals, birds, rivers, and natural calamities. As human society and its behaviour evolved, we took control of the freely roaming animals and began using them to cultivate land and to rear them to eat.
Having learnt how animals behaved, we started to domesticate and manipulate them for our own profit and pleasure. We tamed even the most powerful elephant to fight for us and drag thick logs. We made the ferocious bear to dance at our signal. In no time we became the master and owner of all life and large parts of the Earth. Alas we did not properly learn to protected it.
Masses of Eco-exterminators
We continued to advance on this mysterious path without knowing where it would lead us. Our unquenchable desire continued to amass more fodder to feed. To satisfy our greed we have devastated forests – the foremost abode of nature. We have built opulent residences and set up polluting industries. Innumerable and entire species of animals and plants have disappeared because we have stolen their natural habitat. Human beings have become the supreme eco-exterminator such has never existed before. Our passion for I-ness has disconnected us from the rules of nature and our actions have gone astray. We are truly BHG, Bacterium homo grǣdigus, the cause of Earth’s sickness.
Several fellow humans have tried to amend the ways of BHG, silently, frankly, unselfishly, prophetically, and candidly. But most of them tended to focus their efforts on fellow humans pointing out what is good for them.Their responsibility towards safeguarding nature remained marginalized. Some gathered millions of followers round them. Others acquired much power and unwittingly increased the human potential to exploit nature. Others manipulated the masses with the express objective of conquering and ruling over the entire world. Very few have been effective pro-Earth and eco-lovers. The sorry state of the natural world arises from the history of human governments that function on fragmenting and destroying the unity of nature. Greed shapes societies. Humans leave trails of destruction wherever they go.
Where are the nicer wholesome BHG, the genuine Earth-lovers? They are struggling to cure sick Earth. Will they be able to mollify the virulent I-ness gene of BHG?
I am convinced that even if a tiny fraction of what we have been doing for human beings had been allotted to nature, a genuine bliss would have pervaded, and Earth would not have fallen sick.