Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A Living Entity ?

Hindustan Times ( 03 May 2017 ) carries following news report :

“MP all set to declare Narmada river , a living entity “

The Madhya Pradesh government will bring a resolution in the state assembly on Wednesday to have a regulatory framework to declare Narmada river a living entity, the first state in the country to do so.

The officials said the passage of the resolution, which is a foregone conclusion, would be followed by the process to enact a law to declare river a living entity.

That would mean that the government will have to declare a custodian of the river, who can ensure its protection.

The Uttrakhand high court in its judgment in March declared Ganga and Yamuna rivers as living entities and gave them legal rights. The court made state chief secretary as the custodian of the river in the hill state.

The official said declaring a river a living entity had a flip side as anyone can sue the river for causing damage such as during floods. 

The government, on behalf of the river, can also penalise someone for causing pollution or damaging the river’s aquatic life.

“For instance, if a person’s house is damaged in a flood or a life is lost due to it he could also move the court to seek compensation and file a criminal case against the river,” the official said.

That is why, he said , the government was considering what would be the rights of people and what would be the rights of Narmada river if it was declared a living entity.

I just overheard river Narmada , think aloud :

What can I expect to happen to me if I cease to be a “ river “ and become a “ woman “ Narmada ?

Will  I ,

·         Get aborted from the darkness of my mother’s womb ?

·         Get abused in childhood in broad daylight ?

·         Suffer indignity of a “ girl child “ , all my life ?

·         Be deprived of the freedom that my brother enjoys ?

·         Be prevented from using a cell phone or wearing jeans ?

·         Get harassed when not “ harnessed “ to household chores ?

·         Get gang-raped for loving a boy from another caste ?

·         Made to walk naked in my village for eloping with my lover ?

·         Be forced to sit in a corner during menstrual periods ?

·         Be told that it is OK for my drunk husband to beat me ?

·         Be forced to leave my marriage when my husband says “ Talaq , Talaq, Talaq “ ?

·         Be prevented to enter a Mandir / Masjid , to pray for my salvation ?

·         Be expected to commit suicide when my parents cannot pay dowry ?

·         Be required to worship my husband who treats me inhumanly ?

I could not hear the last few words uttered by river Narmada but I suspect these to be :

“ MLAs of MP ,

  Please , leave me alone !

Even in my life as a river , you have heaped upon me enough suffering

Do not make my life worse by calling me , a living “ Mata Narmada “  !

04  May  2017