Mushtaq Hurra

Plight of the planet

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Before the creation of Adam, Almighty Allah, created this universe. And He chose the planet earth for Adam as his abode. Unlike other planets and heavenly bodies, Allah adorned this planet with tall evergreen trees, lofty mountain peaks covered with snow, velvety meadows, beautiful brooks, prismatic gardens, different landscapes, chromatic flowers, different resources and infinite species to welcome His Caliph on the planet.

Allah didn’t stop here. He bestowed this planet with the necessities of life like air, water, food and a moderate temperature. Thus, the planet earth is the most unique and unparalleled heavenly body in the whole universe which is habitable, which can support and sustain different forms of life.

After the creation of Adam, Almighty Allah handed over the reigns of this planet into his hands. With the passage of time, the progeny of Adam grew in number. Different castes, clans, races, regions, countries and states emerged in the world. Man took full control of the planet, and the mother earth provided him with every necessity of life. But, knowingly and unknowingly, the man overexploited the planet for his vested interests. Sometimes, he bruised its bosom with an atomic bomb, sometimes industrial waste pierced its heart, sometimes high decibel sounds deafened its ears and sometimes poisonous gases suffocated its chest.

As the king of all creations ( Ashraf-ul-Makhlooqaat),  man was an epitome of compassion, love, sympathy and simplicity. Despite having no degrees and academic credentials to his name, man was consciously and unconsciously laden with environmental sense. Our ancestors were true visionaries given their care for the earth and its environment. Our fourteenth century Sufi poet, Hazrat Shaikh Noorudin has beautifully remarked about the importance of environment, “Ann Poshi Teli, Yeli Wan Poshi  ( Food is subservient to plants )”. This saying is so famous in our Valley that it is widely used in our homes by our parents and elders. Our grandparents would call the planet earth as ‘Mouj Zameen’ (mother earth). They knew that the planet is extremely vital for our existence.

But, the degree-holding modern ignorants, slaughtered the mother earth to earn all the wealth in one go, just like that fool of our folktales who killed the goose that laid golden egg in greed to get all the gold at once.  Mother nature was feeding us like its off-springs, but we fiddled with its natural systems to unbalance the ecological equilibrium which is imperative for our survival.

Particularly, with the onset of the industrial revolution, man went after material comforts and luxuries at the cost of the planet and its environment. The ambitious and insensitive outlook of man degraded and deteriorated the different components of environment, viz atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere .

Growing global environmental crises have sent shivers down the spine of thinking class across the globe. Our environment has already gone through enough irreparable and irreversible loss. Many protocols and treaties have been signed from time to time to save the planet and its environment from further deterioration but the situation in worsening with each passing day.

Allah will no longer send angels from the skies to protect and preserve our own assets which are inevitable for our existence. He has bestowed us with rationale and logic. We should open our eyes to the dangers of axing our own feet.

Many individuals and organisations have been concerned and apprehensive about the future of life on the planet. If the increasing pollution levels are not checked in time, the mother earth will stop yielding us the necessities of life. During the last one century, different initiatives have been kick-started to save and safeguard the planet. Such an initiative was started in United States of America on 22nd April, 1970, when some 20 million people of America took to streets and roads, to protest against the environmental degradation. Since then, 22nd April is celebrated annually as the Earth Day.

Very recently, we have had the golden jubilee celebrations of the day. This year’s theme is climate action. Though the celebrations were restricted and meagre due to the COVID 19 pandemic, but the message is loud and clear that we have to stop the over-exploitation of different resources on the planet.  We have to be more thoughtful and careful than ever before.  This day, reminds us to treat our planet as our mother, and it will treat us as its progeny.

Any further fiddling with it will cost us huge. The impact of overexploitation of the planet is quite visible in our part of the globe. Our horticulture and agriculture is in doldrums. Our own valley is witnessing drastic climatic conditions such as scanty or excessive rainfall, droughts, hotter summers, colder winters, frequent cloudbursts, etc…. The horticultural production is decreasing. As per the data available on the official website of Director Horticulture Kashmir, the horticultural production during 2017-18 in Kashmir valley was 2176895 metric tons while as the production decreased by 11159 metric tons during 2018-19. The gross production during 2018-19 was recorded 2161736 metric tons. It means that we have jeopardized our economy as well as our existence.

The planet is not only a source of air and water but it ensures the stability of our economy and prosperity as well. And I don’t need to write about the plight of our water-bodies. Kashmir was once known for its sweet and crystal clear waters but now, we crave for clean and pure drinking water. I know it better than anybody else because during the twenty first century, my village sans pure drinking water. We are forced to drink the impure and unfiltered water of river Jhelum. Even water purifiers stop working in our homes because the sedimentation level in this water is extremely high.

When we as the custodians of the planet failed to protect and preserve it, Allah came to its rescue. The COVID 19 pandemic has forced the world to impose a prolonged lockdown. Emission of deadly gases into the atmosphere has considerably decreased because all the factories and automobiles and aeroplanes have ceased to move. No high decibel sounds of vehicles, trains and airplanes are heard. Mother nature is probably healing the planet because Ibni-Adam (Adam’s children) has inflicted lots of injuries on its body.

(The writer is a t. He can be reached at [email protected])

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