Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave today made a strong pitch for a new forest law to give a fair deal to forest dwellers and said that there is a need for India to “decolonise” itself.
Asserting that innovation is in the DNA of India, he said the decision-makers should understand India first before framing policies for sustainable development.
Referring to two laws made by the British — IPC and the Indian Forest Act, 1927, Dave said the present forest act of India is not same as that of Britain and IPC or even India’s administrative system had no resemblance with that of Britain.
“Decolonisation of India is still pending… India needs to decolonise itself. Why did they (British) create forest act? They knew that if the revolutionaries take refuge in forest…there are still many jungles today in Western Ghats or Himalayas, where one cannot go. So they made forest act.
“After 65 years, doesn’t India need a new forest act which will be independent India’s forest act…,” he said.
“Forest, forest dwellers, Scheduled Tribes living inside the forest and the world of wildlife, which live in an integrated form…they have been living there not from August 15, 1947 but for thousands of years. But we created a hype by saying forest dwellers cut forest, there is man-animal conflict,” Dave told a CII event here.
Asserting that understanding India is essential for the decision-makers to make policies for sustainable development, Dave said it is the result of this lack of understanding of the country which has prevented it from becoming a super power even after more than 65 years of Independence.
“Those who run the country and make policies for it, they have to keep in mind that if they have to make policies for India, they first have to understand India.
“We have not been able to become a superpower even after 65 years because they (policy-makers) did not understand India while making policies for it,” he said.
He said technology can be borrowed but it has to be transformed according to the country’s need.
“The sustainable goals which we have agreed and the Paris agreement which we have signed, if we want to achieve those targets, the means of adopting those targets can only be Indian. Technology can come from outside. But those have to be grown in the plant of ‘Indianness’ (Bharatiyata),” he said.