Stories of two Ganga Rivers

Articles Window Seat : Jayarama Korikkar

We should learn to recognize and celebrate small things; then the entire life becomes a celebration. If we wait for the big things to happen even to smile, the smiles will become so sparse and life will suffer. Here is an illustrative list of small but significant things – you can add your own to it..


On 28th November 2018, a major breakthrough was achieved in the clean Ganga project. Continuous flow of about 14 crore liters of sewage into Ma Ganga every day for the past 128 years, was successfully blocked by creation of a sewage water treatment plant. This was made possible by the combined efforts of UP Jal Nigam and engineers from Namami Gange Project.

Considering the mammoth task ahead, this might not be big; but it definitely exhibits the positive intent and the promise of performance. We should learn to give credit where it is due, but sadly, our mainstream media did not find it newsworthy. We should learn to recognize and celebrate small things.


When the present government launched National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) or ‘Namami Gange’ there was much anticipation in the air, those who always wanted to have a cleaner Ganga were thrilled at the prospect while naysayers thumbed their nose comparing the mammoth task with cleaning of river Thames. They said it can never happen, forgetting Bharat Ratna Late Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who famously said, “agar sapna nahin dekha to sapna sakar kaise ho jayega?” (if you don’t dream how will your dreams come true?)

The project was launched in the year 2014, replacing the earlier plan called Ganga Action Plan which was launched in 1986 by the then government but accomplished nothing worthwhile and allowing Ma Ganga to continue to rot.


Challenges before the Central and the five state governments which are involved in this mission are many. There are many cities, some of them industrial hubs, enroute Ganga River which have been discharge their sewage and effluents in to Ganga for decades. Blocking all these discharges into the river is a task easier said than done. Major tasks before the government to complete the project included:


  1. Entry level activities like cleaning, river front development etc.
    2. Building sewage treatment infrastructure
    3.    Institutional development – creation of Ganga Knowledge Centre and Ganga Monitoring Centre
    4.    Biodiversity (maintaining biodiversity, study of fish and fisheries etc.
    5.    Afforestation
    6.    Creation of composite ecological task force
    7.    Bioremediation
    8.    Construction of house-hold latrines
    9.    Project implementation support/Research study projects 

Please note, above are required in hundreds of numbers along the route of the holy river, not one or two.


The above accomplishment does not promise completion of the project within the declared deadline; but it definitely convinces the nation that it is by far the most honest attempt at cleaning the river.



Now, look at the other River Ganga – of Bharatiyata, our rich culture. Cleaning of this river too is underway. There are small but sure signs of it getting cleansed.


>On 12th December, a judge from Honorable High Court of Meghalaya remarked in a judgment that India should have been declared a Hindu Country after partition;


Could you have imagined such a judgment from a court of law a decade ago? Is it not a perceptible change in the national behavior?


>A major section of Muslims are stating publicly that a grand temple of Lord Raam should be built in Ayodhya, his birth place;


Juxtaposition this against the clamor of the secular media, the intelligentsia, the so called secular parties and everyone else who was hallucinating that he got anything by pampering a section of the nation! They floated crazy ideas for Ayodhya even to the extent of building a mental asylum at the birthplace of Lord Raama! Can’t you feel the intimate breeze of change sweeping through the nation?

>Every temple in every nook and corner of the country is getting renovated and budget is not a constraint;

There used to be a lot of dilapidated structures called temples about three decades ago in every town and village. Can you see any now? Spot one such structure and our youngsters immediately form a committee and start renovating it in no time. New temples and centers for bhajans are built and centers of spirituality are thriving.

>There is a growing awareness in parents while enrolling their kids to schools – schools that combine education with bharatiyata and our own culture is preferred in comparison to schools that promote western culture.

Go back in time by couple of decades, quality schools in cities had only western sounding names. You could count the number of schools with strong nationalistic flavor. Against the western sounding names now you see a lot of very good schools run by people who believe in nationalistic ethos. If you believe the current westernization and intellectual terrorism is due to the legacy of Macaulay, you can see the future is brighter. When today’s kids who are studying in these schools grow up and lead the society, we can expect better leaders in all spheres, be it politics, administration, education, spirituality, social services.


From both meanings of the word, cleaning of Maa Ganga is a daunting task; and I feel crystal clear holy water will start flowing in both at not too distant future!



As Shelly sang:
“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”  


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