27 February 2017
A one day national seminar on the “Concept of Environment in Indian Culture and
Literature” was organized by International Centre for Biomonitoring & Ecotoxicology
(ICBE), Thakar Dei Mehra Foundation and Hindi Department of Panjab University (PU) at
PU today. Over 200 Scholars, Academicians, Environmentalist, Social Workers and
students participated in the seminar.
The keynote speaker, Sh. Banwari, ex-editor of Jansatta, said, “We have a very rich
tradition in Indian culture and literature which promotes and integrates sensitivity
towards environment in our day-to-day life. The advent of western consumerism has
delinked us from our roots and we should strive to make Indian philosophical
thoughts as the core value of our development.”
Dr. Ashok Kumar, HoD of Hindi Department emphasized that the link between
environment and Indian literature is deep-rooted and is a part of our psyche.
Social activist Hemant Goswami said that the role culture and literature plays in
environment protection can easily be gauged by looking at the forest cover of India
and Pakistan, which is separated by only 700 years. “In 1947, the forest cover of
Pakistan was over 30% but due to lack of concern for environment in the Islamic
culture, literature and tradition today Pakistan has less than 3% forest cover
compared to 23% of India. We have a tradition of worshipping rivers, plants, trees,
earth, nature, etc. and this becomes a part of our subconscious mind.” Goswami also
mentioned that we should also consider the role of tools and technology too in
changing form of literature. Motion pictures, Television, Social media, etc. are
giving a new meaning and dimension to literature, which was not always good.
Dr. Sukhdev Kundu, Chairman of ICBE said that the purpose of this day-long seminar
was to explore and highlight the important role and contribution of arts, literature
and non-science streams of study in environmental protection and awareness.
Shri Umendra Dutt of Kheti Virasat Mission; Dr. R. C. Mishra, ADGP – Haryana; Dr.
Sanjay Kaushik, Director ICSSR; Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta; Prof. Baijnath Prasad also
addressed the gathering. Research scholars also presented their research linking
culture, environment and environment.