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Amitav Ghosh: Country's political system not prepared to accept reality of climate change

The writer contended that Bengal delta, home to millions of people, is particularly vulnerable to climate change

By PTI in Calcutta

  • Published 25.01.20, 6:56 PM
  • Updated 25.01.20, 6:56 PM
"People in neighbouring Bangladesh have taken several measures to mitigate or address the crisis. However, here, on our side of the border, there is very little awareness about climate change," said Jnanpith awardee Amitav Ghosh Biswajit Kundu

Author Amitav Ghosh, who more often than not uses climate change as backdrop for his novels, on Saturday stressed the need to generate environmental awareness, while ruing the fact that the country's political system was yet to acknowledge the seriousness of the issue.

Speaking at a session on climate change at Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet here, the writer contended that Bengal delta, home to millions of people, is particularly vulnerable to climate change.

"People in neighbouring Bangladesh have taken several measures to mitigate or address the crisis. However, here, on our side of the border, there is very little awareness about climate change," he said.

Maintaining that our political system was not yet prepared to accept the reality of climate change, the Jnanpith awardee said, "In 2016....there was an epic drought in central India, in Bundelkhand... thousands of farmers were hit.

"Parliament, however, held just one discussion on the matter and only 10 per cent of the MPs were present. We have to accept the reality, but our political system seems unprepared for this."

Calling for urgent action to combat the effects of global warming, Ghosh, who has several fiction and non- fictions to his credit, including the Ibis trilogy, said people in the 17th century were probably more aware about climate change as they had various systems in place to deal with the effects of calamities.

"Bengal delta happens to be one of the most vulnerable areas in the whole world in terms of facing the brunt of climate change. (If action is not taken), it will trigger large-scale migration," he warned.

About the role of scientists in creating awareness about the looming threats, the author said, "They are just messengers. They can only tell us what is happening." 

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