Law and Love Must Work Together to Protect the River Ganga
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Hon’ble Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law and Justice, met in Delhi to discuss protecting the National River Ganga by strong legislative and policy framework. During their discussion, Pujya Swamiji shared several suggestions on encouraged the implementation of laws that have already been passed to protect our natural environment. He said by raising awareness, engaging and educating people about these laws they could be better implemented and enforced.
He also shared that a comprehensive National Ganga Rights Act*, which would be the first Act of Law to fully ensure the rights of the Ganga and all of its tributaries across all states in which they flow, should be implemented at the earliest.
Pujya Swamiji shared about the landmark verdict of the Uttarakhand High Court, which ordered that the Ganga River and its major tributaries such as the River Yamuna and Gangotri glacier, be granted rights equal to that of a human being.He said that similar verdicts need to be enstated, supported and strengthened across India.
Pujya Swamiji said, “Just as we have human rights now its time that we also protect the rights of our environment and our natural world. Law and love must come together to protect the National River Ganga, as well as the glaciers, forests and natural heritage which sustain the river. The River Ganga is not only of national but global significance.”
Pujya Swamiji mentioned that several dedicated Ganga lovers and bhakts such as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanandji (formerly known as Professor Dr GD Agarwalji) were fasting to advocate for the government’s prompt action and due attention should also be given to their suggestions and recommendations.
Hon’ble Union Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed the governments commitment and dedication to the Namami Gange Mission and to do everything in order to revive, restore and rejuvenate the National River. He said if these important suggestions given by Pujya Swamiji could not be discussed in this session of Parliament, it would be definitely be discussed in the next session.
* A draft of The National Ganga Rights Act by Ganga Action Parivar and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance in consultation with renowned experts, including those who helped to draft the Constitutional chapter for the Constitution of Ecuador, which is the first nation to officially grant rights to nature, has been presented to the Hon’ble Minister in the past. The act has been shared and sent to the Government of India.