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The Chipko Movement in India
Gandhi’s life and works have been a continuous source of inspiration to different movements as you would observe in this course. Today the environmental issues have taken a center-stage in many parts of the world. In this area of global concern too, Gandhi’s footprints are evident. In fact, Gandhi is now being considered as one of the earliest environmentalists and especially since the onset of the Chipko Movement in the Garhwal Himalayan region. As Guha rightly observed, ‘Ever since Mahatma Gandhi has been the usually acknowledged and occasionally unacknowledged patron saint of the environmental movement’ (A.Raghuramaraju, p.223). Gandhi’s concern has primarily centered on the Western model of development and its negative implications if a country like India chose to adopt the model. As had already been observed in one of the earlier Units, Gandhi warned against making India like England and America as it would amount to enormous exploitation. The Chipko movement, which finds its origins in the protests against commercial exploitation of the forests by the contractors in connivance with the forest officials, is a landmark environmental movement in India, marked by the adoption of Gandhian mode of protest.
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