Nature Vs Religion: Who Is Paying In This Tug Of War

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Hello Everyone, In our last post we have covered the topic of climate change. While I was not writing any further posts I did studied about the pollution and various factors causing pollution. After completing all my study I came to one conclusion and thought to cover this via another post. The topic of my this post would be little bit confusing to my readers as it is hard to find connection between nature and religion but in today’s world it is a harsh reality that religion is somewhere responsible for degrading condition of Nature. The estimated age of Earth is considered to be 4.5 Billion years while the oldest religion that is know to Human Kind evolved some 6000 Years Ago. The impact of Religion on earth was negligible but in last 100 years it has impacted the ecosystem balance drastically. If one can see the growth of Human population in last 100 years one can conclude that Human population has increased drastically in last 100 years. To cater the need of growing population large number of trees were already chopped off. There are many factors that contribute to the pollution of environment today, but now the impact of religion can’t be ignored.

Level of Pollution in Ganges River
Level of Pollution in Ganges River

Lets take the example of Ganges River. Ganges River is one of the most important river in North India and millions of Indians living along its basin consider it as Mother and Goddess. While it is considered as Goddess in Hindu Religion a survey conducted in the year 2008 stated that River Ganges was one of the most polluted river in the world. The level of dissolved oxygen and Biological Oxygen Demand was not meeting the standard criteria required for bathing and drinking in river. Although there are many factors that contribute to the pollution of Ganges River, the religious gathering also plays a vital role in the pollution of Ganges River. The river hosts 2 Kumbh Mela which are considered as biggest gathering on earth and million of waste generated during this gathering is directly dumped in River Ganges. According to the official estimate given by Uttar Pradesh Government of India nearly 100 million people bathed in the water of Ganges River during the February Month of 2013. Now you all can imagine the amount of waste generated only in one month into the rive. The Ganges river passes through another holy town of Varanasi. The City of Varanasi is know for burning of dead bodies. It is believed that if a body is cremated in the City of Varanasi, the soul will not follow the continuous cycle of Birth and Death and instead it will achieve salvation. To achieve salvation thousands of Dead bodies are burned at the Ghats of Varanasi every year and the left out and their floral offerings are thrown into Ganges River. These all factors contribute heavily to the pollution of Ganges River and and why it is difficult to control because government can’t implement law to prohibit people from doing these activities in River. Government can prohibit the industries from discharging their waste water into river but it can’t stop one from dumping waste into river as it would be direct conflict with ones religion and beliefs.

Streets of Dhaka with blood after the celebration of Eid Festivala
Streets of Dhaka with blood after the celebration of Eid Festivala

Another news that gained widespread attention last year was when the local river in Bangladesh turned into red due to slaughtering of Animals during the festival of Eid. The news was first reported on 13th September when slaughtering of animals was followed by huge rain in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. During the festival of Eid nearly 1 million animals were slaughtered in the the city of Dhaka alone. One can estimate the number of Animals being killed in the entire country and in the entire world. To be honest it was the rain that showed that how much blood is flown into river otherwise all the blood generated from slaughtering the animals would have been passed into river silently. The above two examples are are just few of the examples that we witness every day in our life. The religious fanatics say we can’t interfere in their religion and I too agree with that but then they also don;’t have enough facility they should not pollute the environment.

Many followers for Hinduism debate that the among many facts about Hinduism, one fact is that Hinduism teaches its followers to love the environment. In Hinduism Cow is considered as Mother but what I find amusing is that their logic applies only to defend their religion. Once their purpose is complete they forgot how much they are polluting the environment. Taking the case of Islam the people following Islam counter your facts violently. According to them if you are pointing out mistake or if there is any chances of improvement they won’t accept it saying its a direct attack on their religion and they won’t tolerate. One more thing while covering the pollution caused to environment via religion we have covered only two religion i.e. Hinduism and Islam and therefore people reading this post might conclude that I am against one religion while at the same time I am promoting another religion. So let me clarify all my readers here, I am first concerned about the environment and earth and then I can think of any religion. if we don’t have earth and the nature we won;t have any place to follow the rituals proposed by different religion. In last 20 years the Shiachin Glacier has shrink by 35% and the Gangorti Glacier by 20% Going by this rate we won’t be have any fresh water source on earth in coming 100 years. If humanity gets extinct from Earth so does the religion. So we all must understand that to while practicing our religion we should also take care of our Nature.