Bhola Singh is dead...
Bhola Singh was a farmer from village Balloh, district Bhatinda, Punjab. He is part of a story with a beginning and an end. But it has no middle. Thus what follows is a fragment. But it is not fiction.
There is never any end to learning. And so, surprises. We have learnt, over 20 years, that environmental governance in India is lackadaisical. Still, the extent of irresponsibility never fails to surprise.
The Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) places in the public domain its analysis of the contents of 12 cold drink brands sold in Delhi. Three bottles of each of the 12 brands were purchased from markets across the city and analysed to see if they contained pesticides.
There was a time in the recently liberalised past when people didn't quite know how to refer to a new product called drinking water. They would say 'bottled water' and 'mineral water' to freely refer to one or the other kind of water, perhaps meaning the same one. It used to be confusing. People were not used to drinking water that had to be bought. People were getting used to paying money to drink water. Paying more money for their water than they did for milk everyday.
KISHAN PAL collects wasps for a living. He feeds them beefliver and chicken to ensure they retain their sting. Farmers make a beeline at Pal's house to buy these tiny cannibals. They are more than willing to pay Rs 500 for each carton of wasps. When let loose on fieldsthese creatures immediately identify their enemies: pink bollworms and stem borers. It takes them no time to devour the eggs of these pests.
WHEN GOD forbade Adam and Eve from eating the apples from the Tree of Knowledgehe probably had environmental interests in mind. But Eve couldn't resist the temptationand neither could Adam. Too bad. The price for their folly is still being paid.