Friday, 25 May 2018

Polythenized Death of Nature

The word ‘nature’ and its meaning can give us better understanding of some sociological concepts like freedom, empowerment, unbiased, nonjudgmental, equality, prosperity and coherence because intrinsically it carries fundamentals of these concepts.  The social process such as cooperation, competition, assimilation, accommodation and conflict can also be seen in the natural world where diverse flora and fauna shares different elements of earth. A study was done in cancer care hospital in Australia to understand the subjective experience of patients with nature, where nature was found as empowering, connecting, supportive and normalizing. However the un-natural or manmade interventions have always created conflicts, devastation and destruction in the natural world and it has not only affected single unit of nature but menace in the whole system. It has also affected our social, economical, political and psychological aspect of our life. Take an example of Assam communal violence of 2012 and 2014, where hundreds of Bangla speaking Muslims has been killed due to natural resource holding (land) which further influenced our political, economical and social psychology. Means the nature is inherently connected to our every aspect of life but we are unable to visualize.

Photograph: 1- Bones of Dead Animal 

Photograph:2- Dead Body of Animal with Entangled Polythene 
Today on 25th of May, 2018, we (Asrarul Haque Jeelani and Shams Wadood) were roaming in JNU campus in the morning, suddenly an idea strike in our mind to visit JNU Lake. We tried to reach out lake through dense forest but failed and then took help of Google map (JNU Lake coordinate: 28.540977, 77.162277). It was mesmerising visuals near the lake and deep forest has made us free to think, to have conversations on different topic. But a few meter ahead of lake we found a dead body of an animal, probably Neel Gaay. The scattered bones, dungs and other remnants parts of body were not inquisitive as a big entangled patch of hundreds of polythene bags (Photograph:1 and 2) looks like stomach. A close observation and discussion between us has made to understand that the bundle of polythene bag would have stuck in the stomach. The Neel Gaay might have ate these polythene and died (the reason can be this or something else) due to starvation. According to Marine Conservation Society, animals that eat plastic bags feels " a false sensation of fullness or satiation" as the litter can stay in the stomach and lead to infection, starvation and death. The Neel Gaay in the campus can be seen in JNU campus now a day, however before 20-25 years ago it was rare and reason could be dense forest where they had ample natural space, one of my friends has shared this information. The forest area has been reduced and materialistic world has been reached to the natural world which made them to eat polythene and rappers. There are some evidences of immune and fertility loss in animals due to consumption of polythene, This may affect the population of the Neel Gaay in the campus and in the general marine creature those are on high risk.

Photograph:3- JNU Lake

According to a report around 1400 marine species are affected by the plastic. Even birds are on high risk as a research done in between 1982 to 2001 in Netherlands, has revealed that 96% of birds had plastic fragments in their stomach. The question is who is responsible for this kind of polythenized death of nature? The accused is Human and only human. We all know how many polythene we used in daily activities even we have awareness of these hazardous impact.   

Photograph: 5 Observation of a plant
Photograph: 4- JNU Lake
Photograph: 5- Near JNU Lake


1. Balaschke, S., O’Callaghan, C. C., Schofield, P. & Salander, P. (2016), ‘Cancer Pateints’s Experiences with Nature: Normalizing Dichotomous Realities’, Social Sciences &Medicine  

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