Spare the sa­cred groves

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - M S NAIR PRES­I­DENT, INSTITUTION OF FORESTERS KER­ALA THIRU­VANAN­THA­PU­RAM

This refers to the ar­ti­cle "Sa­cred flaws" (1-15 Septem­ber, 2015). The con­cerns raised by the tribal com­mu­ni­ties of Odisha against gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence in the man­age­ment of sa­cred groves are valid. Wher­ever they are found in In­dia, sa­cred groves have sur­vived be­cause of the faith of their cus­to­di­ans, usu­ally trib­als. The Odisha gov­ern­ments at­tempt to raise plants around sa­cred groves and rit­u­als of the trib­als who man­age them may not be in con­form­ity with the ba­sic con­cept of sa­cred groves. The trib­als' con­tention that there has been dis­crim­i­na­tion by the au­thor­i­ties to favour min­ing projects has to be con­sid­ered in the right spirit. It is nat­u­ral that any ex­ter­nal in­ter­ven­tion in the af­fairs of sa­cred groves other than ex­tend­ing fi­nan­cial help may di­min­ish the in­ter­est of the cus­to­di­ans. I ex­press my sol­i­dar­ity with the ap­proach of the tribal com­mu­nity.

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