The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been criticised widely by people on social media for its crackdown on crackers across the country. Ahead of Diwali, the NGT ordered a strict firecracker ban to enforced in all cities and towns where the ambient air quality was poor. It is not clear what they were doing the rest of the year to control pollution and why their attempts were not successful.
Sleeping the entire year and then ruining festivities for everyone on Diwali appears a rather bizarre move. But it’s not the only supremely idiotic move the NGT has proposed in recent times. Some of the solutions they have proposed to pollution are so unbelievably bizarre that they beggar belief. Any sensible country would disband the institution outright and be done with it. But not in our country.
In this report, we shall look into three of the greatest ideas they have come up with.
‘Explore alternatives to traditional cremation’
If Hindus were under the impression that they will be permitted to cremate their dead in peace, they are clearly mistaken. In 2016, the wise men of the NGT asked the Delhi government and the Union Environment Ministry to provide for alternative methods of cremation because the traditional way of cremation was too pollution. We are not joking.
The NGT bench said, “The issue involves question of faith and circumstances in which the people live, … It is, therefore, the responsibility of the men who lead, particularly religious leaders, to steer the faith in a direction so as to change the mindset of people practising their faith and make them adopt practices which are environment-friendly.”
The bench did not stop there, however, and went on to add that during traditional methods of cremation, “the forest cover is sacrificed and obnoxious gases emanated from the burning of human mortal remains pollute the air.” Words cannot capture the indecency of this remark, of course. But then again, such lunacy is the hallmark of Indian governance.
In July, however, the NGT refused to entertain a plea that sought a direction for the installation of alternative methods of cremation to reduce air pollution and to control the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.
‘No Mantra chanting at Amarnath Cave’
It is another brilliant idea that the NGT came up with in 2017. The NGT declared the Amarnath cave Shrine a ‘silence zone’ and prohibited religious offerings beyond the entry point. Earlier, the NGT had claimed that declaring the area a ‘silence zone’ will help prevent avalanches. “Nobody would be permitted to carry anything from the stairs leading to the holy cave and everybody should be properly frisked at the entry point. From the point of stairs and the area inside the cave should be declared silence zone,” the NGT bench said.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was not pleased with such antics and labelled it a “Tughlaki fatwa”. Subsequently, the NGT appeared to walk back on its delusional order and ‘clarified’ that there was no ‘silence zone’ had been declared at the Amarnath Cave Shrine.
‘No Chhat Puja at Sarobar Lake’
Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim and authorities in West Bengal were running pillar to post in September to ensure that the NGT order banning Chhat Puja at the Rabindra Sarobar lake in Kolkata. However, the NGT rejected the West Bengal government’s plea which proposed to facilitate the Hindu festival at the said place.
Subsequently, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) approached the Supreme Court regarding the matter. The Bench has posted the matter for hearing on the 16th of November. It is also pertinent to remember that despite the ban, Hindus had proceeded to stormed inside and offered the Puja at the lake.