There’s a new change in Indian politics that anyone can sense in recent times. From promotions to reaching out to the people, all political parties are finding different ways to woo their voters. Environment conservation was never a political issue but, now both national political parties BJP and Congress have mentioned in their manifestoes.
Upon close observation, Indians, including politicians, are yet to understand how greenhouse gases cause global warming. More than 74% of the people in India between the age of 18 to 25 years have no clue about environmental conservation.
How is this change took place?
Recently, Congress national president Mr Rahul Gandhi had tweeted the need to create a political platform to discuss environmental conservation. This statement from Mr Gandhi created a buzz on social media that whether India can see a green moment in politics.
Later on, the troll pages and the BJP questioned Rahul Gandhi’s move, whether he’s trying to “greening” Indian politics or is it that he gets more green flags waved at him during his political campaign at Wayanad for Lok Sabha elections 2019.
Ironically, both the national parties Congress and BJP have talked about the climatic changes and environmental conservation on their manifestoes. But, Congress went a step ahead and tried to elaborate the issue to a greater extent. They have talked about animal rights, saving forests, disaster risk management, community rights and more.
Since the BJP led NDA has come to power for the second term, it is a high time for the political parties to understand the severe concern of environmental conservation and make strict environmental laws in India. If the mainstream parties like BJP and Congress cannot make the environment the main pitch, then, what is the point of talking about it in their manifestoes?
The global scenario on the green moment in politics
Globally, there are some countries like Australia, Netherlands and Sweden have already begun to work on the green moment in electoral politics. Example being a formal, organized political party is already making their mark based on the principles of green politics, such as social justice, environmentalism and non-violence.
Green Party of the United States has steadily gained momentum. Their Presidential candidate Jill Stein received 469,627 votes in 2012 elections whereas, in 2016 elections, the voting percentage rose to 1,457,216 votes for him. GroenLinks green party of Netherlands in 2017 won 14 of 150 seats in their country’s House of Representatives.
Preference of voters in India
Though Indians still have their belief in caste-politics, the survey conducted in Karnataka in 2018 shows that people have started showing some serious concerns over environmental conservation. 7.8% of urban voters consider environment protection; a major political issue displays some light.
Water and air pollution is the priority for a significant percentage of voters, according to the survey. Instead of concentrating on distant issues like global warming and climatic changes, focus on the fundamental environmental problems, feels the rural voters of India.
Shockingly, 74% of our teenage Indians from the age of 18 to 25 years are yet to understand the concept of environmental conservation. This is a serious concern, and it’s the responsibility of both the parents and the society to make them understand the importance of the green moment.
Though there’s an increased awareness on various issues, including environmental conservation among Indians, their voting preference still depends on caste and is a challenge for green parties. The green parties of India like Indian Peoples Green Party (IPGP) and Uttarakhand Parivartan Party (UKPP) face fierce competition from the concerns like national security, unemployment, and caste dynamics and so on that campaigning on environmental conservation looks like a mammoth challenge. But, it is good that the national parties are also showing concern on the green moment.