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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The illogical argument for Dry HOLI...

There is nothing worse than giving a "Symbolic response to a serious problem". If global warming is the issue then "Earth Hour" is the symbolic response. The substantive action involves "Reduce - Shrink - Reuse - Recycle". 

Ask yourself if you can buy a smaller car or use public transport or reduce the usage of plastics? The answer from a majority of us is a firm NO for the above questions. If that's the case then let’s not pretend concern and sensitivity to ecology with symbolic responses. Without reducing the carbon footprint, without shrinking our actual requirements if we believe switching off lights once a year would solve our problems then even the gods can't save us.

If there is a terrorist attack having a candle light march is one of the symbolic responses we have mastered. There has been a campaign to encourage DRY HOLI without any wastage of water in certain media houses. I have been part of some of the discussion groups in Twitter and blogs on this topic. In some of the groups it takes a communal angle but I want to focus on some facts which many of us are not aware of.

Do you know?"

1. It takes 2487 gallons of water (one gallon is 3.75L approx.) to produce a 40g chocolate.
2. It takes about 1800 gallons of water to make a jeans pant.
3. It takes about 7 litres of water make one litre of beer.
4. It takes about 10 litres of water to make one litre of petrol.

More interesting facts on high water consumption is seen in this link:

It is very important to be ecologically prudent and conserve water, but we should not give a symbolic response for a serious problem. There can be nothing worse than that. 

Let us see few more examples:

1. It takes about 40000 litres of water to manufacture one car. If you fill 50 litres of Petrol every month then we use 500 litres / month and 6000 litres / annum of water. Have we stopped buying cars?

2. It takes about 45.4 litres to manufacture a computer chip. If you work for a telecom company or bank with 1000 employees, the data center equipment and personal computing requirements would consume upwards of 500000 computer chips. That's about 22.7 million litres. This is just to create and not sustain it. If we assume it’s the same amount of water Consumption is required to sustain it for 3 years then we are taking about 45 million litres being used for every 3 years. Should we stop all the data centers and personal computing usages?

Responses to water conservation and ecological protection have to be individual, community and government levels. I can suggest the following ways to conserve water at an individual and community levels which are substantive actions instead of symbolic responses.

1. How about foregoing washing our cars for 1 day a week periodically?
2. How about closing the swimming pool for few days this summer to conserve water?
3. How about a free maintenance on all the leaky pipes in your apartment complex?
4. How about installing water levelers with auto switch off in all the pipe outlets.
5. Well, how about cutting consumption of chocolates, wine, hamburgers, meat etc...
6. How about buying less cars, jeans etc...

And the list can go on.

At a macro level we have seen governments like Delhi drained INR 1700+ Cr for cleaning rivers yet have achieved nothing. Subsequent governments in Maharastra has systematically looted to the extent of INR 70000 Cr on irrigation projects and delivered nothing. In the same measure governments like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu have successfully improved water management and increased the ground water levels in the last decade.

"Pluralistic uniqueness is nature's own manifestation..." Nature manifests itself in innumerable ways - colors, shades and hues. Each one of us is the product of this manifestation. If nature did not wanted us to be so, it would not have created and sustained us.

Each of us is inalienable and inseparable part of the cosmic whole, linked to the unmanifested interconnections. We should just don't talk of tolerance and acceptance, but move beyond and celebrate the pluralistic uniqueness.

For me, HOLI is a very colorful festival that highlights the pluralistic manifestation of nature that every color and hue we see essentially asks a child to celebrate that plurality. It cuts across age, gender, caste and creed and one of the socially inclusive festivals that we can ever see across the world. Look at the joy on every child’s face celebrating this festival.

Let’s celebrate the plurality in the individuality and do that when you see the colors of different hues and shade on a HOLI day. Let’s celebrate HOLI with full JOSH.

Happy HOLI to all my friends and relativesJ ...

Happy reading!