Environmentalists are at crossroads and looking for answers to the question what and whom should they oppose – whether lack of exposure to vividness of nature or increasing consumerism in the liberalised world that has adversely hit environment movement.

This was stated by environmentalist and film-maker Suresh Heblikar on Saturday. He was speaking environment movement as part of a discussion on mass movements on the second day of the three-day literary and cultural meet Alva’s Nudisiri at Moodbidri, about 35 km from here.

Mr. Heblikar pointed out that many strong movements including the one aimed at saving the Western Ghats led at one point of time by the late Shivaram Karanth, Jnanpith award-winning writer, had lost steam and the original purpose was lost. He wondered whether people should oppose the vested interests that silenced the pro-environment movements or society that had turned away from the concerns about their surroundings.

He said the society was more preoccupied with gadgets having been enticed by television and the rural youth was turning away from agriculture and looked up to the urban world.

Consequently the movements have been reduced to forming human chains that made no impact.

The carrying capacity of the land is ignored while the developed world, which everyone looked at as a model of progress, itself was not able to cope with the situation and was facing unemployment. He said new philosophy has to be found (to balance it all).

Farmers’ leader Chukki Nanjundaswamy, who lamented the failure of governments to give remunerative prices to farmers leading to their suicides, said ground was being prepared to launch an agitation where farmers will have to stop supplying their produce to urbanites. She sought people’s help to the ‘direct action’ though she admitted that there were problems in the farmers’ movement.

Writer and police officer Dharanidevi Malagatti said women’s movement has achieved much – voting rights for women, rights to property – and was moving towards issues such as rights of lesbians. But she advised caution while propagating the rights in the name of “my body my right,” as sometimes there was the danger of woman’s body being seen as “material” that can be marketed.

She said women’s movement needed to be constructive in addressing issues of atrocities on Dalits.

The fact that women’s movement was scattered was both its weakness and strength, she added.

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