Sunday Musings

Over the holi long weekend, I was in Ludhiana, my birth place. We were driving down a road, which I used to take while cycling to school. The road has now been widened, and is much better but the majestic eucalyptus trees, that shaded me in hot summer months, are now all gone. In the maddening rush for wide roads, huge number of trees are being chopped down, not just in Punjab, but in other states as well. It does not make me sad as that is what the countrymen want. Wide roads. Everyone wants that, and politicians too realize the need of their vote bank. Trees don't vote. Where once they grew from a sapling to a an adult tree, they are now just being seen as a road block, an eyesore.
And who will speak on their behalf? The moment you try to speak against this shameless atrocity you would be branded as an anti development, activist. As if speaking for a bunch of trees is such a huge sin. The felling of roadside trees also does not affect the NGO types as well, who have much larger jungles to protect. The governments do try, at least on paper to offset loss on environment, by claiming to plant new trees somewhere else. But does that really serve the purpose?

Think about the times when you were stuck in a traffic jam. How many times it was because of an irresponsible driver or shoddy roads? Just so that we like our own people so much that we don't find any fault in them, we slaughter the trees who won't react.

Here is to every tree that's being uprooted for the fancies of people demanding wider roads. R.I.P.


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