A Critical Inquiry into Ecological Visions of Ancient India Versus, Modern West

  • Madhumita Chatterjee Barasat Government College

Abstract

The paper explores the fundamental thoughts of ancient India, specifically Vedic and Upanishadic ideologies, which believed that man has no authority to dominate the Earth at the expense of his/her benefits. Each and every one ought to protect, preserve, take care and show genuine concern for the Earth to whom he/she has ascribed divine motherhood. We shall also observe that western anthropocentrism is itself facing a great challenge, and as a consequence, a new shade of ethical consciousness coined as „environmental ethics‟ has emerged. Environmental ethics mainly a non–anthropocentric ethics in its approach recognises that nature and her beings should not be exploited and dictated by man, since nature is thought to be an end in itself which should be treated with love, care and respect. One of the major off–shoots of this new shade of non–anthropocentric ecological ethics is deep–ecology which has unlike anthropocentric attitude, of the mainstream–European tradition ascribed intrinsic value to nature. Finally, the paper will try to arrive at a conclusion by making a critical yet comparative analysis, between the basic and positive observations of the Indian classical thought as well as central doctrines of deep ecology of Western environmental thought by relating both of them. Such an attempt intends to relate both of them by pointing out striking similarities between them, in spite of the difference in time and cultural milieu in which they emerged.

Author Biography

Madhumita Chatterjee, Barasat Government College

Assistant Professor, Barasat Govt. College, Barasat, West Bengal, India

Published
2016-07-01