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Tree rights versus Human rights

Casuarina tree
I saw a tree cut down in my village. I looked at the stump, and saw over 200 concentric rings. This got me thinking . . . . and reminded me of a poem "Our Casuarina Tree" by an Anglo-Indian writer Toru Dutt. Like this poem, the image of the unseen Casuarina Tree also lingers in my memory. Dutt made a successful attempt to personify the tree in such a manner that I felt it to be human. Alas! Not all people in this world believe that trees are alive.

I see a personification in this incident too. So what is a BIG deal about a tree being cut? Many trees are falling every minute, but an old tree personifies many other old things which have been among us for generations. An old tree is like an old custom which we have followed for ages, becoming obsolete today. An old tree signifies an old saying which we abide by always, but until yesterday. An old tree represents an old social value which the society has cherished from time immemorial, however, not any longer.

There are facts about trees supporting human lives on Earth. We also have legends about trees that can walk and talk. It has been prophesied in a movie "Lord of the rings" that trees can rebel too! Imagine if such a rebellion happens near to us...

Trees are a source of inspiration for many humane behaviors. If anthropomorphism is the correct word for now, let us think of a tree as a human, and as a representative of all those people who are exploited in our society, as silently as a tree. Some of the examples can be found in cases of domestic violence against women (or men), child abuse and commercial exploitation of tribal communities. These victims keep silent like a tree, but looking from a rights based perspective, who is at fault? The question is a double-edged sword. When can we treat these sections of the society with justice and when can we treat trees with a rights-based approach? The mockery is, the world which does not value Human Rights, is far less likely to think of Tree Rights! Tree Rights includes the rights of the Trees and all those people who behave like a Tree.

We can find motivation in trees relevant to development sector. 'A Tree' can be contextualized. I remember of a plant that I planted in my tribal village in Udaipur, however, there is no dearth of trees in that forest. I tried to redo it in Orissa, but failed. Still, a tree can be like a baby.

I find these poems which will interest a tree lover 'here' and 'here'.


{ आलोकिता } at: December 15, 2010 said...


{ kunjmann } at: December 11, 2011 said...

Thank you Alokita. I hope my thoughts help to bring about some change...

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