Last updated: November 17, 2019
Impacts and Causes of Chipko Andolan
- “The Chipko movement in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, is based on Gandhian principles of non-cooperation and non-violence.
- It is an ecological movement in a spiritual form but with a materialist base.
- While the leaders of the movement are male, its strength is in its women followers.
- The movement has at present split in two parts, one led by Sunderlal Bahuguna, stressing the ecological and conservationist aspects, and the other led by Chandi Prasad Bhatt, stressing the importance of the local economy and local needs.
- The paper makes reference to the communal management of resources and the importance of people’s participation in resource management but does not provide any empirical detail.”
- Chipko movement, also called Chipko Andolan, nonviolent social and ecological movement by rural villagers, particularly women, in India in the 1970s, aimed at protecting trees and forests slated for government-backed logging.
- The year was 1970 when the Chipko movement became one of the very first widespread movements in the country that resisted the excessive cutting of the trees and destruction of the forests.
- The word ‘Chipko’ means ‘embrace’, as the villagers hugged the trees that prevented the loggers from cutting them.
- In 1973, the first Chipko movement took place in a village called Mandal.
- The villagers had needed access to a small number of trees but were denied the same.
- It angered them when the same government sanctioned the cutting of trees on a much larger area.
- Led by Chandi Prasad Bhatt, the villagers hugged the trees to prevent deforestation. Finally, the government canceled the permit.
- In 1974, the government had announced to auction off around 2000 trees located near the village Reni in Uttarakhand.
- Men and women gathered in a peaceful assembly to protest against this decision.
- Gaura Devi, the head of the Mahila Mangal Dal, led a group of 27 women to the location and started hugging the trees when the loggers did not back down.
- This continued through the night and the loggers eventually left, as they were not able to do anything.
- This incident’s report soon went up to the then Chief Minister, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna.
- He set up a committee to look into the matter and eventually ruled in favor of the villagers.
- As this event had overwhelming female participation, it began to emerge as a movement by women for forest rights.
- Such people followed the Gandhian principles and practiced Satyagraha as well.
Starting of Chipko Andolan: –
- The Chipko movement or Chipko Andolan is a social movement that practiced the methods of satyagraha and non-violent resistance.
- The first Chipko action took place in the village of Mandal in the Alaknanda Valley and over the next five years spread to many districts of the Himalayas in Uttar Pradesh.
- This was first started by Amrita Devi while protesting against the King’s men to cut the tree.
- The modern Chipko movement began in the early 1970s in the Garhwal Division Himalayas of Uttarakhand.
- It spread to Uttar Pradesh with a growing awareness of rapid deforestation.
- The landmark event in this struggle took place on March,26,1974.
- Their actions inspired hundreds of such actions at the grassroots level throughout the region.
- By the 1980s the movement had spread throughout India.
- This led to the formulation of people-sensitive forest policy, which put a stop to the Clearcutting open felling of trees in regions as far as a Vindhya Range Vindhyas and the Western Ghats.
- This movement was further led by Chandani Prasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna.
- The main aim of this movement was to protect the trees of the forests from being cut.
- It was basically a forest Conservation movement.
Impact of the Chipko Movement: –
- At the time the movement was in progress, the environment also became an agenda in the politics of the Center.
- Given the movement, the Central Government made the Forest Protection Act.
- Under this Act, it is to protect the forests and to bring the environment alive.
- It was the Chipko movement that in 1980, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi made a bill in which Himalayan areas were banned for 15 years for cutting forests.
- Afterward, the Chipko movement spread to the states of East, Central, and South of India.
Chipko Movement – The Need for Today
- It is no secret that we have managed to damage the environment.
- In the past 30 years, over 24,000 industrial projects have caused deforestation and logging on a massive scale.
- This is going to affect air quality and ultimately, choke all urban people.
- Today, we need environmental activists who will stop the unnecessary cutting of trees just to facilitate projects and feed money-hungry people.
Context of Chipko movement in environmental protection: –
- The “Chipko Movement” or the “Chipko Andolan” was first initiated in India in 1970.
- Interestingly, this movement was launched by villagers who strongly felt the need to protect their trees and forests.
- At that time, the government had ordered for large-scale deforestation and logging.
- This order had worried and angered the villagers who did not want to destroy their environment.
- Launched first in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district in 1973, this movement soon spread to the entire Himalayan region.
- Literally, “Chipko” means “to hug” or “to embrace.” In this non-violent movement, the activists would hug the trees and refuse to budge until the loggers backed off. This helped prevent the trees from being cut.
Chipko Andolan in Khejdali Village: –
- At that time, The Mughal Samrath of Dehli and The king of Jodhpur was – Ajeet Singh.
- The king of Jodhpur – Ajeet Singh have desires to have a Historical monument but when there was a need for Raw material for building it, it seems that there was a lot of jungle everywhere.
- After some time, Someone gave him an idea and shows the greenery and good conditions of Khejdali village.
- At the spot, King Ajeet Singh send their servants to cut the trees and clean the place, but due to the rainy season, most of the male villagers were accumulated there.
- When the servants start to cut the trees, One of the women, named – Shrimati Amrita Devi along with her three daughters- Aashu bai, Ratni Bai and Bhagu bai requested the servants not to cut the trees as it was against their religion.
So, Amrita Devi Says that: –
” Vaam Liya daag lage tukdo Devi na Daan,
Sar saathe rukh rahe to bhi sasto jaan”
- It means that, if the head will be cut and the tree is still alive then it will be a low-cost deal.
- Amrita Devi gets stick to a tree to save their religion.
- Due to the strike, Amrita Devi and her three innocent girls got to stick to the trees, but the staff cut the trees and as well as the head and body of them also.
- After listening to this sad news, The “GRAMIN VISHNOI SAMAJ” got together. They prevent the trees from cutting down and took an oath to die for protecting the religion.
- In order to save a green tree, 363 have been martyred there. All those belonged to the VISHNOI caste. When the king of jodhpur heard this news.
- He came to the village and took back his words for cutting down the trees and also give his words that in future no green trees will be cut down.
- During the 15th century in Rajasthan, The victim of the great sacrifice of the khejdali village, The founder of the VISHNOI PANTH ” Sant Jambhoji” wish working.
- He made 29 rules of virtue, out of which three environmental and nature conservation ties are very important, which are as follows: –
- Do not cut the green trees.
- Be kind to all Beings.
- Take proper care of domestic animals.
- Thus, It can be said that the VISHNOI Society is the conductor of our cultural heritage, social values, and traditions.
Chipko Andolan in Raini Village: –
- The incident created a panic in the Chipko movement that occurred in the Raini Village of the border district of Chamoli ( Uttrakhand ) in March 1974.
- At the time of absence of men, Under the leadership of Shrimati Gaura Devi, The other women also saved the forest from the heavy destruction in Raini village.p
- The government had raided in the village on March 1974, for cutting the trees. Against the cutting of trees, Under the leadership of Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Shri Govind Singh Rawat and Shrimati Gaura Devi, and the women mangal parties and many children pledged they are to protect the forest.
- On 26 March 1974, of the man of the Raini Village had gone to Chamoli with reference to Bhoomi Compensation. Only women and children were there in the village.
- On the day, the staff of the forest department attacks on Raini village with cutting tree war.
: – After the Indo-China war in 1962,
- The government was acquiring land for military purposes including roads. This acquired land was also included, but the villagers were not compensated for their land.
- Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt had made it very clear that the tree cutters will have to face the Chipko Andolan.
- A week later, It was announced by the government that during the 1962 war, The land which was acquired by the government for their use, they will give them back to the people of Chamoli.
- The labor along with his staff of the forest department was on the way to Raini village, A little girl recognized that they are coming to cut the trees so she informs Gaura Devi, and she immediately departed with 27 other women.
- All the women including Gaura Devi advised the staff of the forest department not to cut the trees and go back to their place. Gaura Devi said that- ” If the forest will cut down, No house and fields will have remained there. We will be saved if Forest will be remain save, Forest, is our employees.”
- Despite saying, there was no impact on the staff of the forest department.
- One of the Staff members of the forest department holding guns in front of the women.
- Then Gaura Devi said that you have to shoot me before cutting the trees.
- In this Andolan, women had to face a lot of struggle and under the leadership of Gaura Devi.
Impacts and Causes of Chipko Andolan
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