Nature Talk

The living part of this planet is intimately associated with the non-living materials. The non-living materials like water, soil, mountain, air etc. all existed as precondition for life forms. Scientific experiment and analysis inform us that aerial components, temperature, light and sparks of thunder, in right proportion created a speck of protoplasm – the primordial living material. Under favorable conditions, miniature organisms evolved and proliferated all over the globe in various complex forms. Thus, came the ‘living component’ which culminated into human being. The totality constitutes nature.

As inorganic components provide habitat to the organic part, the later also influence the former component. This complex interaction forms natural principle of living. The earth as a member of the solar system is also governed by certain rules. These cosmic factors influence the atmosphere and geo-conditions, which influence living conditions.

A section of human species has artificially maneuvered to tamper with the natural system and invited miseries, to all living creatures. Occurrence of under-water earthquake, leading to catastrophic deluge in the closing days of 2004, alerts us to come out of stupor and think seriously for future of human existence.

The evolutionary success of modern human species is attributed to its enviable cerebral excellence over all other creatures. This mental caliber has not only rescued man from difficult situations, but also helped in devising protective measures. Non-human animals possess such qualities as instinctive asset. Humans, in their early stage of development, mixed such instinctive intuition with acquired knowledge derived through keen observation of nature. Improved verbal communication ability could transmit acquired knowledge about natural phenomena to the subsequent generation, as acquired ‘experience’, which is rejuvenated by the descendants.

Technology dependent system has eroded the experience-based knowledge. The huge loss of human life in the recent disaster (tsunami) exposes this. The primitive tribal people of Andaman and Nicober islands have saved themselves from destruction without the help of ‘advanced’ section of fellow human species, which deviated considerably away from nature. The ‘developed’ people, who understand nature through scientific equipment, were nearly routed by natural fury.

The group of islands floating on the Bay of Bengal in linear way, are the vestiges of geologist’s Gondowana land, now submerged. These small hilly land pieces have nurtured several ancient groups of human populations. These people closely resemble the well-known African Negroes, but are genetically not related to them. These people preserve very rare genome material and live on hunting-gathering economy. These ancient stocks of people are dwindling in numerical strength. Those who are on the verge of extinction are the Andamanese, numbering little more than 40, the Onge nearly 100, the Sentinelese and the Jarawa over 200 individuals only. The news report after the recent disaster revealed that these people have saved themselves using their intuitive sense of impending danger. Although proper stocktaking is not yet complete, one young Onge lady might have been lost.

Among the inhabitants of Nicober group of islands, who differ in racial stock from the Andaman aborigines, the Shompen tribe is numerically endangered, than the larger section known as Nicobarese tribe. These groups of islands are located near the under water epicenter of the quake, almost over the tectonic plate mishap.

These primitive people were forced to share natural resources with the ‘developed outsiders’, who show scanty regard to echo-balance. The rich natural bio-diversity suffered natural damage some years back due to prolonged volcanic eruption in Barren Island, that could not be contained by technology. Human populations, outside the umbrella of science and technology, look towards nature with reverential curiosity. Communities, who believed in animated nature, devised methods to appease the unseen supernatural forces.

In this issue, observations on nature propitiation rituals have been incorporated. The tribal and similar communities try to protect their villages and personal lives, by offering sacrifice (even human) or doing penance. They seek divine direction either through supervising ‘spirit’ (of sacrificed animal) or ‘trance" of a possessed person. Legends, myths and folklore are evidences of such inherited experiences.

Photographs :

References :