Years ago, India’s first Prime Minister, wrote…
Years ago, India’s first Prime Minister, wrote Ganga to me is the symbol of India’s memorable past which has been flowing into the present and continues to flow towards the ocean of the future.” What does that future hold?
As I begin the long trip home from two weeks on the, my mind is still whirring with questions, ruminations, possible outcomes for and possible solutions to the monumental challenges facing this river. It is the spiritual lifeblood for some 1 billion, and the physical lifeblood for 400 million Hindus, and others – not to mention amazing flora and fauna, much of them threatened) – who live within its watershed. It is deeply revered, and it is being loved to death.
Perhaps that love, that deep, age-old reverence for Ma – the very same reverence and love which has helped bestow such horror on the river – will, in the end, be her salvation. Can that love of Ganga the goddess be transitioned into equal love for Ganga the physical? Only time will tell, but time is growing short. As famed environmentalist Sunita Narain told @pedromcbride and me: “If we don’t act soon, our generation in India will be one of dead rivers.” Ganga is not the only river in India, but it’s fate is similar to that of others throughout the subcontinent, and if Ganga is not respected, cleaned, cared for, and loved in her physical form as much as she is in her spiritual one, there is little hope. As Dr. Vandana Shivaji said: “If Ganga dies, India dies.” One thing is for sure: Ganga is in trouble. Ganga needs help, and needs it desperately. It is a beautiful river with a rich past and a hopeful future. I, like Baba Tintang pictured here on the banks in, have my hands clasped in prayer for a positive turn @eddiebauer