Call for research papers
Proposed title and themes of the volume:
Human Values and Environment
A Study for Sustainable Existence
We all are aware of the fact that if our environment is not protected, it is not possible to us to live in this world. Environment should be sustained for our living. We call environment in Bengali ‘Paribesh’. What is Paribesh? Paribesh is that which remains in covering us or surrounding us. World does not consist of human beings alone but full of matter, nonhuman beings like different types of trees, animals, birds etc. Our peaceful sustenance completely depends on the same of other beings. It is not desirable that we alone live in this world. But today it is true that our environment is facing innumerable problems caused by nonsensical and irresponsible deeds of human beings. Accordingly, our existence is at stake. We are facing innumerable natural hazards or calamities like earthquake, lack of rain, drought, flood, thunder, storm, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, typhoon, cyclone etc in every year in the world. Governments of all countries have taken, and have been taking many precautionary measures to eradicate the same. But practically, it has been seen that all these are, in fact, abortive. In each and every moment our environment is becoming imbalance and polluted. There was time when a man used to think that nature is very much capable of providing the needs of man. Or it is claimed that nature as if has compulsion to afford all the needs of human being. But in fact the relation between man and nature is reciprocal from both the ends. If forest is destroyed, the supply of oxygen would be costlier. The temperature of the global will be increased if we burn coal enough and engage ourselves in deforestation. And for this untimely drought and flood will be occurred. To stop global warming if we use clorofluro carbon maximum, it will destroy the normal force of ozone hole giving rise to skin cancer. Accordingly, the question of ‘ought’ comes on the basis of interaction relation between man and environment from the very beginning. Earlier it was a belief that ethics is the study of relation of interaction between a man and another man. From utilitarianism of J.S. Mill to the moral philosophy of Kant ethics was based on anthropocentric principles. In fact, anthropocentricism was the subject matter of normative ethics, for; in the eye of this ethics human interest has got intrinsic value alone. But from the middle of the twentieth century ethics, not being anthropocentric, extends its periphery to bio-sphere and eco-system centricity on account of the fact the relation between man and nature is not mere one-sided. Ethics in relation with environment is called environmental ethics. We are aware of such new branch of ethics in the writings of Aldo Leopold near about fifty years before from today. According to him this new branch of ethics will be the study of the relation between man and soil, man and animals, man and trees etc. Leopold has expressed his view regarding this ethics as follows: the action will be treated as good when it will be capable of bringing the sustainable existence, beauty and integration of whole bio-sphere and the nature. On the other hand, the action will be treated as bad when it will not be capable of bringing the sustainable existence, beauty and integration of whole bio-sphere and the nature. In the year 1973 Arne Naess, a renowned philosopher of Norway has mentioned about two types of ecology i) swallow ecology and ii) deep ecology. The movement of deep ecology is started from the year 1980. The main principal of deep ecology is that it is not the case that human beings have got intrinsic value alone, but nonhuman beings and nature also have got intrinsic value. According to deep ecology, we shall protect forest because nature has got intrinsic value. Here it is mentioned that in this new branch of ethics the term ‘bio-sphere’ has been used in wider sense. Here, bio-sphere means soil, river, sea, hill, forest along with human and nonhuman beings i.e. the whole eco-system. Lynn White, a historian has made a comment in an essay in a journal entitled ‘Science’ that the treatment of man with the nature depends on how he considers the relation of him with nature. White thinks that the Christian religious text is accountable for the crisis of environment of Europe and America on account of the fact that this text has taught man as superior to all and all things are created for the enjoyment of him. In this context it is worthy to mention here that the Indian view towards the nature is more acceptable than the western one in the protection of the environment.
In the age of the Veda the theory of the creation makes all the seers to think about the nature and environment. After a long thought they have discovered five elements constituting the nature. These five elements are ingredients of all creation. That the role of these five elements is significant in the protection of environment has been discussed in many Upaniṣds. The glorification of the earth has been cited in the Pŗthivī Sūkta of Atharva Veda. The message which has been stated in Pŗthivī Sūkta has given the idea that the earth is to be taken as mother as it gives birth to crops. The Indian seers have realized that ‘Basudhaiva kutumvakam’ i.e. the whole universe is to be considered as our own relatives. According to this idea, each and every thing belongs to a big family. In this Sūkta it is stated to look after the grasses, to protect the medicinal plants and to keep the open space in the city. It has been called upon here to bring a peaceful integration of man for keeping the balance of the nature. It is stated in Manusaṁhitā that the killing animals is an impediment to liberation in life. In the Arthāśāstra of Kautilya throwing the garbage in the roads, ponds, rivers, walls etc. is considered as a punishable offence. In Carakasaṁhitā the harmful effect of air pollution has been brought to our notice. The physical as well as mental diseases caused by air pollution are mentioned in Anuśāsana parva of the Mahābhārata. The necessity of the protection of the nature, the value of natural resources, the conduct of man with them etc. – all these are mentioned in the Rāmāyana and also other epics. In this context the writings of the great poet, Kalidasa are worthy to mention. It is stated that in the āśrama of Kanva the relation between the daughter of Ṛṣis and the plants, the creepers, deer goat etc. is just like the relation of them with the kids. Jainism has also emphasized the theory of nonviolence. Ācaraņasūtra is a sacred book of Jainism, where it is stated to obey nonviolence in practical life. Tulusi Śvetāmbara, a Jaina spiritual teacher, starts nonviolence movement which is well known as ‘Anuvrata Movement’ in the year 1949. In this movement some commitments are taken. Out of these one is as follows: ‘I will do my best to avoid contributing to pollution’. In Buddhism we all know about maîtrī, karuṇā, muditā upeksā etc which are very much eco-friendly in nature. C. K. Chapple in his article ‘Jainism and Buddhism’ has commented that all aspects of Jainism are consistent with ecology.
So it may be concluded that Indian attitude towards nature is more consistent than that of western. It is stated that the God has appeared in this earth in the form of fish or tortoise or pig etc. We perceive that all the deities are worshiped along with their transportation like mouse, owl, duck, peacock, lion etc. Had all the animals been considered as the transportation of goddess or deities, there would not have been necessary to take the tiger-project, crocodile-project etc. separately. It is mentioned in the Upaniṣad that God exists in all things of the world (īśāvāsyamidaṁ sarvaṁ yat kiňca jagatāṁ jagat), or one who sees the super soul in all beings is entitled to obtain immortality (bhūteṣu bhūteṣu vicitya dhīrāḥ pretyāsmāllokādamŗtā bhavanti). Such type of attitude towards nature is an initiation to man to keep integration and balance with the nature. If human beings are made morally conscious, there would be no requirement any advertisement such as: ‘protect bio-sphere’ or ‘save trees’ etc.
Such type of vision we can obtain only if we sustain human values such as dayā, karuṇā etc. in our life. If we look towards the present day scenario in the world, we will see that in each and every place there is an erosion of human values centering which other values like environmental value, non-human values persist. The present day crisis concerning exclusion, alienation, mutual mistrust, self-centredness, enmity, mutual fight, excessive greed, exploitation etc is rendering our society as an astray. All these crises are related to erosion of human values and hence a time has come to think about the restoration of them for bringing sustainable existence of the world.
Therefore, I am looking forward to publish an edited volume entitled ‘Human Values and Environment: A Study for Sustainable Existence’ and accordingly communication was done with a publisher in Delhi. Hence, scholars are cordially invited to send good, original, unpublished and scholarly research papers, related to the core area of the above titled book. Address is given bellow.
With regards and all the best wishes.
Ranjit Kr. Barman
Department of Philosophy
- Piter Singere and Environment
- Arne Naess and George Sirrions on Environment
- ‘Reverence for Life’ Albert Schweitzer
- Vedic View on Environment
- The View of Ramayana on Environment
- Mahabharata and Environment
- Environment as described in Epic
- The great poet Kalidas on Environment
- Human Values and Environment
- Restoration of Human Values to Protect Animals
- Rabindranath and Environment
- Historical milieu of deforestation
N.B The above are only some of the sub-themes which are only suggestive but not exhaustive. The paper writers can also submit papers on any other sub-themes of their choice related to the main theme of the book.
Author(s) please note:
- The article should be within 5000 words
- Author(s) are requested to prepare their paper in MS Word format and mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
3) The last date of submission of the full paper is 30.06.2017.
4) For references, author(s) may follow the APA (6th Edition) style
5) A brief bio-data about the writer (s) should accompany the paper
6) Writer (s) are requested to provide full details for correspondence – postal address, cell numbers and email
7) The book will have ISBN number