** BREAKING NEWS ON THIS STORY 22 May 2015**
Swami Shivanand has decided to give up his life because of destructive mining and development on the sacred Ganges River. He has given up both food and water in protest. We will put the film online for free until this situation is resolved.
How you can help:
Please copy this text below and email to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhrand: [email protected] ...and share with your friends!
Atten: Mr. Harish Rawat
Chief Minister of Uttarakhrand
Swami Shivanand, who is the head of the Matri Sadan ashram, is planning to leave his body because of your policy of mining the Ganges River in Uttarakhrand.
We are concerned that the river is under threat from irresponsible and unsustainable mining and development which could adversely affect the hundreds of millions of Indians who live downstream from Uttarakhrand. It is our understanding that the science used to justify mining the river bed is contested by unbiased and independent environmental scientists. It will also destroy wildlife corridors, affect the habitat of a vast array of animals, and destroy the delicately balanced ecosystem of islands which percolate and cleanse the water in the Haridwar area. Mining reroutes and weakens the banks of the river, creating floods which will destroy the crops from which millions of people feed.
One of the election promises of the new Prime Minister is to protect the Ganges River, as a national symbol of India, your public duty is to uphold this promise.
Swami Shivanand, a holy man, whose only interest is to protect what is venerated world wide as a sacred and holy river, is highlighting with his life the disrespect and disregard that your governance has for the Ganges.
If you want to know more about the story, go here:www.satyagrahamovie.com and watch the documentary made about Swami Shivanand and his fight to save the river.
Satyagraha Truth Force begins when an Indian holy man finds out that sand and stone mining has begun on the riverbed of the sacred Ganges River in the Himalayan region of Northern India. In protest, he decides to embark on Satyagraha, a fast until death. This feature length documentary documents the painful price of standing up for a cause that one is willing to die for.
65 year old Swami Shivanand is an irascible and vigorous defender of the river. A river that is often called the mother of Hinduism and deeply revered by the religious people of India. He matches wits with politicians, police, press and local businessmen many of whom profit from mining the riverbed, and while they try to convince him to end his fast, he point blank refuses. In part because this Satyagraha is deeply personal for the holy man, only 4 mouths earlier, his beloved disciple died after a 68 day long fast protecting the river, from its headwaters high in the Himalayas to the foothills where they live. Swami Shivanand believes his disciple was murdered and during the fast, an investigation is launched by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to look into his suspicious death.
The film touches on issues that are rarely addressed in environmental advocacy, the intrinsic cultural and spiritual value of the environment, seen through the eyes of India's religious people. It reveals a river in crisis, a river which is struggling under the weight of illegal and legal mining, dams, pollution, deadly superbugs, raw sewerage and factory waste. Today environmentalists report that without an immediate change in policy the river will not exist in 30 years.
The Ganges is a 1500 mile long river that sustains life for almost half a billion people, countless wild life, flora and fauna depend on it for their survival. Without the dedicated work of groups of holy men like Swami Shivanand and his disciples, the river, which has been worshipped as a Goddess for thousands of years, will be lost.
Uploaded by lisa sabina Harney on 2015-03-05.