Justice accords ‘human’ ness to Divine rivers Ganga and Yamuna after Man’s inhuman treatment


Justice for Ganga and Jamuna

Redemption Time for Yamuna and Ganga. The Uttarakhand High Court has taken a cue from the New Zealand government. A few days back, the government of New Zealand did something unprecedented in recent human history. It accorded the Whanganui river, legal status as an entity under Law. A tribe of Maoris had been fighting for this for more than a century.

District Magistrate asked to removed encroachments within 72 hours

Based on a PIL filed by Mohammed Salim, a resident of Haridwar, the Uttarakhand High Court has given direction to the authorities. The HC has asked the District Magistrate of Dehra Dun to remove the encroachment from the Shakti canal of the Ganga within 72 hours. The DM could be suspended, for non compliance.

Various Causes of Degradation of the Rivers

There are many reasons for riverine pollution. Each of them by itself has a lot of attendant issues / challenges.  Stopping the causes and reversing the effects of pollution and making the rivers more pristine is not easy. But the judgement is a very good first step.

Untreated sewerage (including human and factory waste),  Deforestation (causing soil erosion), ‘fertilizer agriculture’ leading to seepage of chemicals (in the name of pesticides and herbicides) into the soil and water systems, are a few leading causes of river pollution. In the case of rivers like the Ganga, even corpses  are thrown in (in the hope of redemption from all sins)    

Parents nominated for the divine offspring

The Director of the Namami Gange Project, The Chief Secretary and Advocate General of Uttarakhand Stante have been termed as ‘parents’ of these rivers to enable them to represent the cause of these ‘wards’.

Yamuna’s Heroes

The Justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh have thus played the part of Lord Krishna of the Mahabharatha. Krishna, in one of his miracles drove away the fearsome serpent Kaliya and his family from the Yamuna. Kaliya had made the waters around him very poisonous for human and animal life.    

In Ending  

Maybe the time has come for us to grant all our natural resources like the Ganga and the Yamuna, ‘legal status’ and official guardians as well. The earlier, the better, for the sake of all our Goddesses!

Related Reading

Report on the Judgement