Quote by a prominent barrister of Thiruvananthapuram,”The tree had to be cut down much earlier. People want development. Only those who ride in this direction could understand the difficulty - you can’t see anything because of the tree standing in the curve and blocking the view ahead. A permanent solution was needed.”
Our parents when they grow old and have out lived their use may also be seen as a hindrance and inhibiting. They may be blocking our view of the fun ahead. Though they have through rain and shine kept us in their canopy. Nevertheless, shouldn't we, going by the same yardstick, the same coin of the argument of the learned Advocate, chain-sawing trees, eliminate our aged parents too? And provide ourselves a free way without encumbrance and hindrance , with nothing untoward blocking our view of the curve- in the road ahead! The residents association of the elite corner of Thiruvananthapuram think so, I guess.
Development, in economic parlance would mean generating more revenue with the use of available resources, or expanding on a given quantum of resource. In social terms it can also mean, “A process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage, ideally a more advanced or mature stage”.
The catch is the wide meaning of what is more advanced and mature .Uprooting trees that outlived our grandparents, and would, if given a chance our grand children too, to make way for what the elite residents of Shasthamangalam call development- having more sedans and SUVs on road, having malls dotted all-around?
Some days ago the development mania that blinded some gentry in Thpuram, brought out the most undeveloped side, the degenerating side of human mind and conduct. They abused with various expletives a honoured woman, a poetess, a conscientious social activist, and who is perhaps the reason for the “Silent Valley” existing even today. A lady who would certainly be as aged as my mother and who was solely responsible for the ban on the inhuman exploitation of women, with the insipid, vulgar cabaret and nude dance in “Gods own country”. Even the State minster for Forestry was profanely abused. With gesticulating fingers they threw profanity at the minister, almost planting blows. All because they objected to the felling a tree in Thpurman!
The committee that was authorised by the State Government and consisting of persons of knowledge, culture and substance ,to look into the felling of trees and decide on the trees that can be protected and those that have to inevitably make way for "development", approved felling of twenty two trees by the road sides . And did not agree for the felling of four trees which could be saved and this particular pipal tree was one such. A drain that was built in towards the tree could have been circumvented with ease. But the intelligent gentry did not agree to that. A nitwit resident from the political class asserted," when we cut 16 trees , we planted 48". (!!!!)
Eventually “development” won that evening!
It was not just a tree that went down that night, it was the culture and values that any human being must hold close to his bosom,which was found wanting in the elite crowd that gathered at the junction on that night .
The road round the curve is very clear now.