“The true spirit of development did not reach the villages even after 60 years of Independence because the country followed the faulty western way of development. This is the reason we failed to achieve the expected goals of progress,? said RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan.
He was speaking at a two-day meet held to discuss the threats to the Himalayas and the Ganga in Haridwar recently. Shri Sudarshan said the country was forced to give up the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi for development and adopted the Nehru'swest-oriented approach, which proved a blunder. He said the blind imitation of the West in every walk of life has resulted in disastrous results in the Himalayas and the Ganga. ?It has been very unfortunate for the country to follow the West. Gandhiji first wanted total development of villages, while Pt. Nehru, contrary to the Gandhian policy, started development from cities. It led to uncontrolled exploitation of the nature. The threats to the Himalayas and the Ganga are the result of this exploitation of nature,? he said.
He said today there is an atmosphere of violence in every nook and corner of the world over jal (water) zameen (land) and jungle (forest). It cannot be resolved unless the world changes its pattern of development. He said the rural system of our country was vivid but it was ruined by the blind imitation of the West. The British ruined our rural management system and the country after Independence too followed it. He regretted that the saints today are compelled to start agitations for the safety of the Ganga, which is the soul of the country. He said it is essential for the betterment of the country that the development of villages should be done according to the Vedic traditions. He said in the whole world Bharat is known for the holy Ganga. ?Not only the Hindus, but the people of all faiths in the entire world accepted the holiness of the Ganga, which is the only sacred river of the country whose water is pure and full of medicinal qualities. It is our identity. It is our duty to protect it from pollution. The flow of the Ganga has been hindered by the construction of the Tehri Dam, which is itself a danger to the country,? he exhorted. The RSS Sarsanghachalak said the RSS accepts all the resolutions passed at the meet and these resolutions will be presented in the next meeting of the Sangh.
Shankaracharaya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati said the blind and thoughtless pace of development has destroyed the Hindu values of life. ?If the development does not add itself to the spiritual awakening of the country, it will lose its importance and meaning. All the deeds in this country are accomplished with the aim at gaining moksha (salvation) and kalyan (welfare), but unfortunately today every custom related to our ancient culture is being mocked. The constant flow of the Ganga must be made compulsory. The Ganga is the soul of Hindus. History stands on its banks and saints of the country will have to come forward for its safety,? he added.
The two-day meeting held at the newly constructed Bhimgoda Ghat in Haridwar also passed several resolutions demanding renaming of the Mount Everest as Sagamatha. A total of 13 resolutions were passed in the meeting demanding prevention of setting up of industries on the banks of the Ganga, establishment of petrol producing industries from the waste of plastic in the cities and towns located in the banks of the Ganga, prevention of drains and gutters into the Ganga, implication of 1916 British agreement with Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, etc. It was also decided to fight for the safety of the Ganga. Rashtriya Ganga Mukti Abhiyan Samanvaya Samiti was also formed on the occasion.
Shri Umesh Kumar who came from Thailand said people living abroad have inexpressible reverence for the Ganga in their hearts. In Mauritius, people have preserved the Ganga water in a Ganga pond, which was brought 400 years ago. Dr Meghnath Saha, and Dr Narendra Mohan expressed their concern over increasing pollution in the Ganga and the Himalayas and said the water level of rivers is decreasing day by day because of the global warming. Water scientist Shri Suresh Wardhari Sinha, former minister in Uttaranchal Government Shri Mohan Singh Rawat ?Gaonwasi? and Swami Kamalanand expressed the need of safety for the Himalayas and the Ganga.
Shri Indresh Kumar, Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Member of RSS said the efforts of the saints to protect the Himalayas and the Ganga would certainly bring a change. He said the degradation and damming up of the Ganga and the environmental damage in the Himalayas are part of all round degeneration of communal relations and social conditions.
Pejawar Swami Shri Vishveshteerth said we needed to become Bhagirath for the safety of the ancient Hindu culture. Only the unity of Hindus can face the crisis, which has fallen on the Himalayas and the Ganga. Stressing on the significance of the Ganga, cow, Vedas, dharma and Bharatmata for the preservation of Hindu culture, he added that the Ganga is a symbol of Hindu culture and safety of the holy river is the safety of Hindu culture.
Swami Avadheshanand Giri called upon the Hindus to be united to get the Ganga rid of the Tehri Dam. For this purpose, co-operation of all scientists, intellectuals, social reformers, saints and heads of various institutions will have to be sought. Prof. Omprakash Singhal of Mahatma Gandhi Vidyapeeth, Kashi also spoke on the occasion. Swami Avimukteshwaranand, Acharaya Jagdishmuni, Swami Yatindranand Giri, Swami Jnananand Giri, Aacharya Mahamandaleshwar, Ramakrishnanand, Prof. Kamla Pandey, Prof. Ravindra Pathak, Mahamandaleshwar Swami Hansraj, Former Union Minister Shri Rajeev Pratap Rudi also addressed the meet.