12 April, 2021

Quest For A Green Truth | By Medha Patkar

Madhav Gadgil’s vision and work put people’s rights and justice at the centre of saving the environment, writes social activist Medha Patkar.

Photograph by Apoorva Salkade
Quest For A Green Truth | By Medha Patkar

As India turns 71 next week, Outlook zeroed in on 21 individuals who have made a lasting impression on this country – for both good and bad – so far in the 21 st century. And we got 21 equally important personalities to write on the 21 individuals we chose.

In this column, social activist Medha Patkar writes on Indian ecologist Madhav Gadgil.

Satyagraha means satya ka agraha, the quest for truth, and it has many forms. Even Gandhiji would have changed his form of satyagraha if he were alive today. Satyagraha can be a fight in the streets or the courts, not with swords and guns, but with zubaan, kanoon, junoon—words, law and passion. One who is determined, willing to sacrifice and stands without compromise for what he sees as truth is a satyagrahi. Madhav Gadgil is one of them. Researchers and environmentalists like him may work within the system, but they still extend a kind of agraha—a desire for an alternative future.

Incumbent upon satyagrahis is the...

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