Bishnois: The First Environmentalists of India
Bishnois are a community living in Rajasthan of India. They live in complete harmony with nature. In the old times, the womenfolk sacrificed their lives protecting the hacking of trees.
Bishnoi means twenty nine: Bees meaning twenty and nao meaning nine. They live their lives according to the 29 principles. All these principles are to live in perfect harmony with nature. They protect plants, trees and animals. They get everything for sustenance from mother nature taking only that much what is required.
Bishnois consider it their ‘Dharma’ to save lives of animals and trees. Many animals like peacocks and antlers roam freely in their courtyard. They see to it that the newborn babies of the bucks get the necessary nourishment till the time they grew independent enough to into the woods. In the recent past, the community had launched strong protests against the killing of black bucks allegedly by Bollywood actor Salman Khan and ex-skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.
Nobody teaches them this philosophy of love for nature in a school. Rather, society needs to learn from them. All that is required is sincerity and keeping our greed and aristocratic habits under control. Killing these innocent animals was the pastime of aristocratic society of India and Britishers.