The Ganges and Yamuna rivers, holding immense spiritual significance for millions of people around India and the world, were legally recognized with the same status as living human beings on March 20th. Now, The Ganges and Yamuna river recieve person status.
Haridwar, the sacred city in Uttarakhand on the banks of the Ganges.
This is the happy outcome of a series of events that started after Indian government officials complained that state governments from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh weren’t cooperating with federal government efforts to protect the sacred Ganges river.
Finally on Monday the High Court from the state of Uttarakhand (bordering Tibet and Nepal) situated in the touristic city of Nainital, declared that the Ganges river, the Yamuna river, and their tributaries should receive the same status as living human beings.
The event occurred one week after the Whanganui river in New Zealand, revered by the indigenous Maori people, was declared as individual with complete rights.
The court was presided over by judges Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh, who stated that the Ganga and Yamuna rivers would be recognized as “Legal living entities with the status of a juridic person with all their rights, obligations, and corresponding responsibilities”.
The court also named three state officials to act as legal custodians, responsible for conserving and protecting rivers and their tributaries. It ordered that an administrative board of directors would be established within the next three months.
Indian holy man performing his morning ablutions in the Sacred Ganges.
This decisión is welcomed by environmentalists as well as by millions of people who see a Divine Mother in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. Supporters likely cried with joy similar to the lwi tribe when the new status was granted to the Whanganui river.
The World Conscious Pact joins the celebration of this precursing world event leading to the establishment of a new legislation, conscious of the fact that infringing upon nature is to infringe upon ourselves, a movement that started in in Ecuador and would eventually result in global establishment.
However, it’s not difficult to foresee that a single court order won’t change things immediately, especially in our contemporary context, when millions of liters of wastewater, industrial waste, and agricultural toxins are directed toward these rivers every day, and thousands of other rivers and lakes around the world.
In response, the environmental activist Vimlendu Jha, who has fought to clean the Yamuna river for over a decade, said the court’s decision alone would not be enough to control the degradation of the rivers, he claimed:
“The government, the officials, and the citizens need to act to clean the river and stop additional contamination”
Engineer Himanshu Thakkar who has coordinated the South Asian dams, rivers, and persons network expressed similar concerns.
The high court of Uttarakhand where the judges gave the order.
This is an important step that should be followed by further diverse laws that carry out the execution and effective completion of the court order.
Ultimately, with or without humanity the Earth will once again find it’s balance, but the point is that we, as people, have the courage to confront our obligations with same generosity that Earth shows us, the time to act is now.
We applaud and celebrate the government decision, and at the same time we invite the general population to assume roles as guardians of sacred rivers like the Ganges and Yamuna, as well as the Amazonas, Xingú, Plata, Orinoco, Rimac, Baker, and many others that generously bless us so that we can serve this beautiful planet.
Now is the time to commit ourselves as guardians of Mother Earth and the sacred rivers!