‘Indira had a passion for ecology’
Jairam Ramesh was speaking at the launch of the Marathi version of ‘Indira Gandhi: A Life In Nature’
Pune: “Despite being a great political leader and daughter of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi shared a deep passion for conservation of ecology. She developed her passion for ecology in Pune, which later paved the way to many positive decisions taken by her concerning environment,” said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. He was speaking at the launch of the Marathi version of ‘Indira Gandhi: A Life In Nature’ titled ‘Nisargyatri - Indira Gandhi’, published by the Sakal Media Group on Tuesday.
At the launch event, Madhav Gokhale, Assistant Editor at Sakal Media Group who translated this book into Marathi, Madhav Gadgil, renowned environmentalist, Shriram Pawar, Editor-Director of Sakal Media Group along with Ramesh were present on the dias.
While speaking about the book and its translated version, Ramesh said, “The book speaks about how Indira Gandhi, who was earlier known as Priyadarshini Nehru (the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru), developed her passion for ecology after coming to Poona in May 1931 at the age of 14.” Ramesh shared that while the book’s Marathi version has 50 per cent of his thinking and 50 per cent of Gokhale’s perception of the book.
He added, “As a naturalist, Indira Gandhi entered politics with an aim to make positive changes for preservation of ecology. She was also the only head of government, other than the host prime minister, to speak at the first-ever United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in June 1972. During her tenure, she had started wildlife conservation programme like Project Tiger and many other lesser known initiatives like protection of crocodiles, lions, cranes, bustards, flamingos, deer and other endangered species. She has also single-handedly pushed through two laws: one for the protection of wildlife and another for the conservation of forests. Also, today’s laws for dealing with water and air pollution were enacted during her tenure.”
Ramesh mentioned that Gadgil played a very important role in decision-making for Indira Gandhi regarding various environmental issues.
Gokhale said, “I thought of translating this book when I got a chance to travel with Jairam Ramesh for two days. And those two days was a learning experience for me, as I got an opportunity to listen to many stories from Ramesh about his book. When I came back, I discussed the idea of translating this book with Shriram Pawar and then we decided to publish this book in Marathi language.”
Gadgil said, “I strongly disbelieve that civic body should be involved in conserving and protecting the environment, as people should be made aware and given more knowledge about ecology and they should be the ones to take care of the environment.”