We are in the last decade of an extra -ordinarily eventful twentieth century. The worldhas seen spectacular political, social, cultural, economic and scientific progress during this century. But this progress has been monopolized by the chosen few at the unbelievably and indescribably large cost of the majority of mankind. The most disconcerting manifestation of this lop sided progress has been our planet’s ravaged ecology.
A good environmental sense has been one of the fundamental features of ancient philosophy. However, during the last few decades global circumstances have forced our country into a situation where it is becoming increasingly difficult to practice a life style that does not push this planet towards doom. During the last ten years, there has been a gratifying resurgence of this good environmental sense in this country. The most important aspect of this growing environmental consciousness in this country is its permeation at the establishment as also the people’s level. It is imperative that environmental consciousness becomes a pre-occupation with our people as no amount of government intervention can reverse ecological collapse. I see clear signs of that happening in India. Against this backdrop, we now have a system of environmental checks and balances fully in place. There is enough institutional, legislative and political strength to combine with a responsive citizenry to produce a practicable environmental culture. In Constitutional terms too, India has enough guarantees to protect its ecological systems. Since the inception of this Ministry, we have evolved enough to be able to chart out a life, which is happy without compromising the environment. There is a sizeable number of people who can rein in an indiscriminate establishment. In fact, we are now working towards a unique compatibility between the Development and the Environment.
We have our great past to draw from to create an equally great future. I see this environmentally degraded present only as an aberration for an enlightened civilization.
What you will read in the following pages are some of the specific means through which we propose to attain the goals of an environmentally wise society.