Some Stray Thoughts

Lockdown like instructions have been reimposed in Delhi, not due to covid this time, but due to air pollution. Since the time was of Diwali, crackers were blamed for this menace. Diwali was over on 4th November, but the poor quality of air remains as such with an AQI of 350 and above in and around Delhi.

Now Delhi government has indefinitely suspended in-person classes in schools, barred the entry of trucks, banned construction activities, and advised private offices to work from home.

Everybody is interpreting the phenomenon of air pollution from their own angle of convenience. Traffic, construction, crackers, gas guzzlers and what not, but only a few talk of stubble burning as it is not politically-correct.

The question is what makes Delhi distinct for air pollution every year during this period. Whether it’s vehicular traffic, construction activities, offices and schools, these are there in almost all big cities. The only distinct thing to my mind is the burning of stubbles by farmers, adding smoke pollution.

The famous economist, Mr Swaminathan Aiyar in a recent article, has given the background. Free electricity has encouraged over-pumping and the growing of water intensive crops, destroying aquifers. So the rice-wheat rotation has encouraged the burning of paddy stubbles by farmers, as it’s a quick and inexpensive way to prepare the soil bed for the next crop.

This situation prevails in the neighbouring states of Delhi. Nowhere else. Those supporting farmers say that stubble burning contributes only 4 to 5% of total pollution, but those against say it’s around 30%.

Whatever may be the percentage, the issue should have been addressed to dispose of stubbles scientifically in an environment friendly way. But lack of willpower can be easily seen. No government wants to go into the genesis and permanent solution.

Similarly, when the second wave of covid hit India, the media all over blamed it on electioneering, kumbh fair and Holi festival, but I fail to understand what is happening in most of the European countries, even in US now, and who are to be blamed for fresh spurts in covid cases.

Protests for what? To endanger own safety and life? When a fine is imposed for not wearing helmet or seat belt while driving, similar protests are staged.

Such stray thoughts defy logic, but there is no dearth of people who find some logic behind such insanities too, and in a democracy, we have to respect their views too.

–Kaushal Kishore



    1. Jhoom (shifting) cultivation is a bit different in the way that after two or three years, the plot of land is abandoned to move to another plot, to allow the previous plot to regenerate by lying fallow. This is not the case with Punjab and Haryana.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. All common sense, Kaushal. Politicians here never hold farmers or the oil industry accountable – even when it is obvious that some of their practices should be regulated better. We have our ‘rights’ activists here as well. 🤦‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, Anne. It’s alike everywhere. Vote bank politics is always at work. Even activists have their own agenda. Thank you for reading and sharing your own experience 😊🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  2. when you get greedy for more crops, more food, more and more that’s when we exhaust our air supply and face water level drop. Nature does fight back but human beings are a force that goes berserk in its race for more. There was a time when people ate for not to go hungry, now everyone eats for fun. Demand is no longer on a need basis, rather wants have an endless list. It is not about identifying who did the pollution, but asking why do we need to pollute?
    Ask, why should we switch cars, or have disposal items.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a debatable issue that has no end, where it’s Copenhagen or Glasgow. The important thing is what I’m doing at personal level. Am I also contributing to pollution? Thank you for reading and sharing your beautiful reflections 😊


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