Environmental Movements in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 6, 2022, 6:28

An environmental movement is a social or political movement aimed at preserving or improving the state of the environment. The terms 'green movement' and 'conservation movement' are used interchangeably to describe the same thing. There are several Environmental Movements in India. You must remember them from an exam's perspective.

India's environmental movements range from highly structured and formally established activities to completely unorganised ones. Various environmental movements have a spatial span that ranges from local to virtually global.

Environmental Movements in India

There are several critical Environmental Movements in India. Some of them are discussed below in detail:

  • Bishnoi Movement

Bishnoi is a religious sect prevalent in India's northern states and the Western Thar Desert. Guru Maharaj Jambaji founded it in the Marwar (Jodhpur) desert region of western Rajasthan, India, around 1485 AD. It is a peaceful community of nature lovers. Around 1700 AD, sage Sombaji began a movement against deforestation.

Amrita Devi then forwarded the movement. The demonstration resulted in the deaths of 363 members of the Bishnoi community. When the king of this region learned of the protests and killings, he rushed to the village and apologised, declaring the area a protected area. It's worth noting that this law is still in effect today.

  • Chipko Movement

It began in 1973 in Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand's Chamoli district. The effort's goal was to stop unlawful tree cutting in the Himalayan region (Uttarakhand). The movement's leaders were Sunderlal Bahuguna and Chandi Prasad Bhatt. Women's engagement was one of the most prominent features of this movement.

  • Appiko Movement

Pandurang Hegde started the Appiko Movement in Karnataka in 1983, modelled after the Chipko Movement. Its primary goals were afforestation, development, conservation, and the best possible use of forests. The word "appiko" means "to embrace" and means "to express one's love for a tree.

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  • Jungle Bachao Andolan

In 1982, the tribal tribe of Jharkhand's Singhbhum area protested the government's forest policy. The government wants to use high-priced teak to replace natural soil and forests. Many environmentalists call this movement the "Greed Game Political Populism".

  • Tehri Dam Conflict

Locals began this movement in the 1980s and 1990s because the dam project would be built in a seismically vulnerable area. They believe it will result in the submergence of forest regions and Tehri town. Despite the protests, the dam is built under police protection while Sunderlal Bahuguna sits on a death fast. Bahuguna terminated his fast after receiving assurances from the government that the project would be reviewed, but work continues, albeit at a reduced rate.

  • Silent Valley Movement

Kerala is a tropical evergreen forest area that has a lot of biodiversities. Environmentalists and residents were outraged when a hydel power plant was built here in 1973. In 1985, the government was forced to proclaim it a national reserve forest due to public outcry.

  • Narmada Bachao Movement

Since 1985, environmentalists and residents have been protesting against the construction of dams on the Narmada to develop hydroelectricity. This gave rise to the Narmada Bachao Aandolan. This aandolan was led by Medha Patkar, who received backing from Arundhati Roy, Baba Amte, and Aamir Khan.

Several Environmental Movements in India have changed how the environment is handled in the country. You should be aware of these movements as they are crucial for India. Several grass-roots environmental movements have sprung up in response to development activities that have jeopardised the ecological balance, resulting in a shift in public policy favouring the environment.

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FAQs on Environmental Movements in India

Q.1. Who was heading the Tehri Dam Protest which was one of the iconic Environmental Movements in India?

Sunderlal Bahuguna was heading the Tehri Dam Protest one of the iconic Environmental Movements in India to save the city of Tehri from getting submerged.

Q.2. Who led the Narmada Bachao Andolan, one of the most popular Environmental Movements in India?

Medha Patkar led the Narmada Bachao Andolan one of the most popular Environmental Movements in India.

Q.3. Where are the people from the Bishnoi community found in India who pioneered some of the Environmental Movements in India?

The Bishnois who pioneered the Environmental Movements in India generally reside in the North Indian states and the west Thar region.

Q.4. Where did the Chipko Movement, one of the most popular Environmental Movements in India start?

The Chipko Movement one of the most popular Environmental Movements in India was started in Gopeshwar, Chamoli District.