Thought Box



by HUMRA QURAISHI May 15 2024, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 0 secs

Humra  Quraishi calls out the BJP government for its apathy towards the raging fires in Uttarakhand as well as its threatening behaviour towards opposition candidates during the present General Elections 2024. 

Fires are ravaging the hills of Uttarakhand, yet the response is surprisingly muted, especially from politicians who often champion environmental causes. Despite their penchant for filming in tiger reserves and discussing environmental issues, the current fires seem to elicit little concern from them. The impact on wildlife, including tigers and other animals, particularly those in and around Corbett Park, is dire. It's alarming to note that recent estimates indicate that 44% of Uttarakhand's forest areas are affected by these fires.

It's disheartening that political figures and administrators resort to their usual rhetoric on days like World Environment Day or Earth Day, while the real crisis unfolds. Instead of taking meaningful action, they offer stale speeches. Meanwhile, fires continue to spread, devastating lives and livelihoods, yet the ruling authorities appear indifferent to the unfolding catastrophe.

Finding a solution to the current environmental crisis seems daunting, but individuals can make a difference by raising their voices against the destruction inflicted on the environment. One notable figure in this regard is Suhas Borker, a documentary filmmaker and green activist based in New Delhi. Borker is a founding member of the Green Circle of Delhi, a volunteer group established in 1992 to safeguard the city's green spaces.

Recently, Borker and his group launched the Citizens' Action Plan for Climate and Heat (CAP) in Delhi. According to Borker, the CAP is "a plan for the people, by the people of Delhi." After months of meticulous drafting, the plan is now in full campaign mode. It's a comprehensive document divided into six sections, each addressing different sectors where the adverse impacts of heat and climate change can be addressed at the city level. Borker's initiative demonstrates the power of grassroots activism in tackling environmental challenges at a local level.  


No, the concern isn't solely about the increasing temperatures in the Northern States of the country. What's truly distressing and utterly unacceptable are the flagrant violations witnessed during the polling days. Video footage from Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal district and surrounding areas vividly illustrates widespread violations. Muslim voters are not only treated poorly but are also subjected to rough treatment, almost being denied their right to vote. There are disturbing reports of burqa-clad women being mistreated in deplorable ways.

These violations occur blatantly, with the clear involvement of the ruling political faction and the official machinery under their direct control. It would be invaluable if researchers and RTI activists could delve into the details of constable-level recruitments in the Uttar Pradesh police force. Such scrutiny could reveal the extent of political interference or any other form of undue influence in the recruitment process.


Let's not disregard the concerning news emerging from Gujarat, where non-BJP candidates have been subjected to harassment to such an extent that many have been compelled to withdraw from the electoral race for their own safety and well-being. These candidates faced numerous obstacles, making it nearly impossible for them to carry out their campaign activities freely.


One such example is Sonal Patel, the Congress candidate from Gandhinagar, whose courage in the face of adversity is commendable. In recent videos, she articulately describes the harassment endured by herself and her party workers.

Sonal Patel, an architect turned politician, possesses remarkable resilience and determination. Despite the challenges, she maintains a composed demeanour and exhibits unwavering strength, demonstrating her readiness to confront formidable opponents like the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, in Gandhinagar. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.