Trained to draw, make shapes and sizes, calculate areas and create aesthetics, I slowly and steadily was drawn towards making "words" to speak for myself. Wise words impress and inspire and some have everlasting impact. Words matter and not mouths. Even a fool has a mouth. Drawing helped in imagination, innovation and idea framing. Architecture helped in forming 3-D perspective of diversity of life. That is why I treat article writing as building a building. Every write up is a building in itself. The broad spectrum of my writing is humanism and environment. Everything revolves around it- be it peace & prosperity, disaster & development, religion & relationships, critics & creation, facts & Fiction, politics & pollution, heritage & history, Crisis & Conflict etc. Reading thoughtfully cum passionately, thinking creatively cum critically and writing positively cum analytically is the basic prism through which my world view is formed.
The saying "We have been taught how to fly in the air like a bird, swim in the sea like a fish but we don't know how to walk on earth" by an unknown has made a permanent mark on the hard disc of my head. This saying although said by an unknown makes more sense than all the known sayings put together. It conveys that despite the fact man has reached to highest order of scientific and technological development but is yet short of basic concepts of humanism. What I desire to have is environment friendly humans and human friendly environment. Rest will all follow in line. It is because humans are Viceroys of the creator while as no other living being is. Other living organisms are also on the mercy of man. As such, man is the main problem and a solution too. Ultimately human being is the focus of the universe. He can degrade or upgrade the environment. The degradation can always be harmful while as up gradation can be either- fruitful or harmful.
It seems most of the times, as in our societies, that politics is life in itself. Political blunders can have serious repercussions for times ahead and can directly affect us and future progeny. Politics by itself like religion or science is not bad; instead its misuse by politicians is not only ugly but disastrous too. I am, therefore, convinced, as Charles De Gaulle Said, "Politics is too serious a matter to be left to politicians". I am not a politician rather I am political only in writing. I am apolitical and have no leanings towards any politician/ political party.
When environment is degrading day by day and environmental pollution is at the peak, then what use is of politics, if it does not take care of environmental improvement? In our part of the world, both political pollution and environmental degradation are taking heavy toll and these two run side by side. The need of the hour is to safeguard environment and make not only people aware of sustainability of biosphere but even politicians too need to tune to this aspect of life threatening issue, the earlier the better. Our politicians need a will to help save the environment. Unless and until, politicians in a democratic country are not well aware of environmental problems, policies and their solutions to mitigate the dangers of environmental pollution, nothing will go in the right direction. All policies/programs and schemes/projects have to be environment friendly and user friendly. Out of all three- social/cultural, economic and environmental sustainability, the last has be the priority without any compromise.
Let's assume that people and politicians are well off but there is no regard for human rights and these are violated in broad daylight. Innocent people are being killed by gangsters, gunmen, religious fanatics and domestic violence takes extreme shape. Similarly women are raped or forced into prostitution and teenage girls coerced into flesh trade. Men get into madness and lose balance in order to rape and murder. If this is the scenario, then what is the fun of having better physical environment? Excellent environment includes high social order. Similarly if innocent and common or poor/marginal people are denied their basic and fundamental rights like education, Jobs, healthcare, social security, then this sort of arrangement goes against humanity. Similarly if malnutrition and poverty is a phenomenon, then everyone curses government. However, there is no good or bad government. It is Good governance or bad governance. Good governance is enhanced by being aware of basic human rights, social & spatial justice to all, transparency in action, redressal of public grievances, environmental efficiency for sustainable development, use of technology for efficiency and time, energy & cost saving, total quality control assurances and mechanism of delivery system.
Lastly, let's say that everything is all right in terms of politics and environment as per people's desires but suddenly a disaster befalls- be it earthquake, floods or any other natural /man-made disaster. Life can go upside down and what purpose politics or environment shall serve then? Therefore if we are to survive as a nation/community, we have to take disasters into account and formulate policies/programmes for mitigation. Identification of vulnerable areas, risk factors and mitigation measures for overall planning is a must. Knowing that no place is disaster free whether natural or man-made, therefore every place/location/region requires some sort of pre-disaster preparedness and post-disaster rehabilitation.
It is with these above sensitive thoughts/perceptions particularly humanism and environment in a broader spectrum that tempt me to write. Can all of us be human friendly and eco-friendly? Yes, of course, we need to. The earlier we understand, the better it is.
The writer is a city planner and public policy analyst with background education in urban Planning & policy development, architecture & heritage, disaster management & sustainable development and human rights apart from urban sociology & public affairs.