National Forest Martyrs Day: History, Meaning and Theme

0
21
National Forest Martyrs Day: History, Meaning and Theme
google news

By CNBCTV18.com Sep 11, 2022, 09:22 STI (Update)

mini

National Forest Martyrs Day: The Ministry of Environment chose September 11 as the day to mark National Forest Martyrs Day in 2013 as it was the anniversary of the Khejarli Massacre (1730).

September 11 is marked annually as the National Forest Martyrs Day in India. This day is celebrated to honor the many activists who sacrificed their lives to protect jungles, forests and wildlife across India.

The day sees the participation of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, educational societies and institutions across the country to raise awareness of the importance of protecting forests, trees and the environment in general.

Story

The Ministry of Environment chose September 11 as the day to mark National Forest Martyrs Day in 2013 as it was the anniversary of the Khejarli Massacre (1730). The massacre took place in the Kingdom of Marwar when Maharaja Abhai Singh Rathore wanted to chop down trees near the Bishnoi village of Khejarli.

As one of the commandments of the Bishnois is not to cut down green trees, the villagers had pleaded with the king’s representatives not to cut down trees near the village.

After refusing to stand down or pay a bribe to the king’s soldiers, the villagers led by a woman named Amrita Devi Bishnoi hugged the trees for protection with their bodies. Announcing that they would rather die, the soldiers beheaded Devi along with her family and several other villagers.

Other nearby Bishnoi communities sent people to support Kherjali’s struggle, and 363 Bishnoi villagers were killed while protecting the trees. Abhai Singh came to the village to apologize. He issued an edict that forbade the killing of animals and the cutting of trees near all Bishnoi villages, and the village became known as Khejarli after the Khejri trees the villagers sacrificed their lives to protect.

Importance

Passive resistance inspired many later activists, including the more famous Chipko movement, where villagers hugged trees in a manner similar to the Bishnoi to prevent government logging in the 1970s.

cnbctv18-forexlive

google news
Previous articleLoons lose third straight, 1-0, to Portland Timbers
Next article‘Today’ contributor Jill Martin marries Erik Brooks in New York