21 February 2018

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03/22/2017 INDIA

The Ganges is a "living being." Raghuvanshi: historic decision, pulls wool from eyes of Hindu nationalists

The High Court of Uttarakhand equates the waters of the sacred river for Hindus to a human being. The goal is to reduce the pollution caused by industrialization and urbanization. Indian activist: "The Hindu radicals use pollution to come to power." The courts must also take action for Dalits who live on the river banks.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - An Indian court ruled that the waters of the Ganges and its main tributary Yamuna, considered sacred by over a billion Hindus, be treated as "living human entity." According to judges of Uttarakhand High Court, this means they will have "the legal status of the person with all the rights, duties and responsibilities that come with it."

The decision comes after years of attempts to purify polluted water from industrial processes, urbanization and spillage of pesticides used in agriculture. Speaking to AsiaNews Lenin Raghuvanshi, a prominent activist and Executive Director of Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (Pvchr) in Varanasi, says: "It is a historic decision. For years, Hindu radical forces have come to power by using the issue of pollution of the Ganges. But their policies are just smoke and mirrors. "

According to the activist, the ruling is noteworthy more so for the "Dalits who live along the shores" of polluted rivers. "With this decision – he adds - we have raised the question about the government's political will to resolve the problem of pollution once and for all. So its deceptive tactics in removing waste and improve the livelihood of the marginalized who live on the banks are highlighted. "

Judges Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh said that the new legal status "will help preserve and conserve water from pollution ". For this they ordered the creation of a supervisory body, the Ganga Management Board, within three months. The court stated that "the rivers are essential for half of India's population, their health and their well-being. From time immemorial they provide physical and spiritual nourishment ". The ruling comes after a number of complaints against Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments, accused of not cooperating with the federal government in an effort to eliminate pollution from waterways and protect plant and animal species that inhabit them.

It must be emphasized, refers Raghuvanshi, that "Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh are ruled by the Hindu nationalist party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)". In the last election, the political movement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a landslide, with 325 seats out of a total of 403. "It is important - he concludes - that now the court also intervene for the life and dignity of Dalits ". 

See also

10/07/2017 10:37:00 INDIA
Supreme Court: Ganges 'not a living being'

The judges overturn a ruling by the Upper Court of Uttarakhand. The river is highly polluted by industrial waste, urbanization, pesticides. The new legal status threatened to make the river responsible for flood damage.

14/07/2017 10:01:00 INDIA
Environmental court bans dumping of trash and bodies in the Ganges

The ordinance applies to within 500 meters of the shore. You cannot build within 100 meters. Fines of up to 680 euros for those who break the rules. The leather-making industries in Uttar Pradesh will need to be moved. Ban on setting corpses afloat in river as per Hindus funerary tradition

11/03/2017 15:22:00 INDIA
Modi wins in Uttar Pradesh

Vote counting began this morning. The latest update indicates he won 305 seats out of 403. The election is a referendum on the prime minister's policies, following demonetisation. Christian leader expresses concern about the aggressive policies of the Hindu nationalists.

14/01/2013 INDIA
India, 10 million pilgrims expected for the beginning of the Kumbh Mela
For 55 days, more than 100 million Hindus will bathe in the holy waters of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Sarawati. The Kumbh Mela falls every 12 years and is one of the most important Hindu festivals. Hygiene alarm: the high rate of pollution of waterways, the authorities have set up field hospitals and toilets.

03/09/2009 INDIA
Air tragedy in Andhra Pradesh: Governor Reddy, defender of Christian Dalits, dies
Christian politician among the ranks of Congress, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was known for his battles in favour of the marginalized. The bishop of Hyderabad: "I lost a friend" who "never feared declaring his faith" and “never discriminated on the basis of caste or creed."

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