Indira Gandhi walked the talk on environmental protection: Jairam Ramesh

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Hyderabad, Nov 19 (PTI) Late Indira Gandhi was the country's firstand last prime minister who walked the talk on environmental protection though there was no pressure from any groups or media on those issues during her times, former union minister Jairam Ramesh said on Thursday.

The COVID-19 and natural calamities such as tsunamis and floods in several states in many ways were reflections of mans attack on nature, he told a webinar organised by Telangana wing of All IndiaProfessionals'Congress, a party wing, on the occasion of Gandhi's birth anniversary.

She was really Indias first and last Prime Minister to walk the talk on environment. Everybody talks about the environment and economic growth going hand-in-hand. But making tough choices, the reflection of this reality in (making relevant) law, in institutions, in regulations is I think Indira Gandhis greatest legacy which today has contemporary and relevant, he said.

Ramesh, a former environment minister, said her governance policy was always Prakriti Rakshita Rakshitaha meaning Nature protects those who protect it and she had shown remarkable degree of personal commitment towards protecting it.

Climate change is a reality. It is no longer something that we read about it in books. It is something that we confront on a day-to-day basis. This aspect of Indira Gandhis personality and her Prime Ministership is very relevant today,' the Congress leader said.

According to him, Gandhi was annoyed with some of the Congress Chief Ministers who used to run tiger safaris despite a moratorium in force.

He said though she was criticised for some of her decisions such as imposing emergency and her economic policies were not relevant at this juncture, Gandhi was a remarkable personality and remains a role model for political leaders, particularly who are committed to protecting the environment.

Ramesh said Gandhi was responsible for the second biggest environmental movement in this country, the protection of the Silent Valley in Kerala after the Chipko movement, a forest conservation movement in the early 70s.

The former minister suggested the policy makers to practice domestically what we preach internationally with regards to environmental protection.

Asked about his views on the three contentious Central farm reform acts, Ramesh said 'I think we are going to end up corporatising Indian agriculture'.

Ramesh said Indian agriculture can never be agri- business.

'Once you start looking at Indianagriculture from an agri-business point of view then you are going to end up destroyinglivelihoods. Much of the agitations in Punjab and Haryana are because of this,' he said. PTI GDK VVK VS VS