We hold Mahatma Gandhi’s words to be true:
Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.
This is our darkest hour.
Humanity finds itself in the middle of an event unprecedented in its history. Unless we act now we will ensure the destruction of all we hold dear: this nation, its people, our ecosystems and the future of generations to come.
The science is clear: our activities, as a single species among countless, have fundamentally altered planetary ecosystems. We are causing the sixth mass extinction.
Biodiversity is being annihilated and species are going extinct at rates never seen before. Extreme and unpredictable weather is destroying the lives of lakhs of people around the world every day. Our seas are poisoned, acidic and rising. Flooding and desertification is making vast stretches of land uninhabitable and will lead to crores of climate refugees. But this is just the beginning of the climate and ecological breakdown.
Nowhere are the effects of this crisis more evident than in our very own country. Farmers are committing suicide, people are drowning in ever increasing floods and freshwater is becoming scarce. Our air is so toxic that Indian cities repeatedly make international headlines for it, and lung diseases have become the norm. Food production is being severely impacted, and droughts are forcing entire villages to be deserted. The very foundations of our civilisation are under threat.
It is clear that if we do not act immediately to address this crisis, we will face societal collapse. But for many of our communities, this is no distant future, it is a lived reality.
The ecological crisis impacts all life on our planet. This cannot be ignored, denied, nor go unanswered by any human being of sound rational thought, ethical conscience, moral concern, or spiritual belief.
In accordance with these values, the virtues of truth and the weight of scientific evidence, we declare it our duty to act on behalf of the security and well-being of our children, our communities, other species, and the future of the planet itself.
The continued involvement of institutions and corporations around the world in the destruction of our land and water bodies has shattered meaningful democracy, and cast aside the common interest in favour of short-term gain and private profits.
When those in power, and our laws, are unable to provide any assurance of adequate protection as well as security for us citizens, it becomes our right to restore dutiful democracy and secure the solutions needed to protect our future generations. It becomes not only our right, but our sacred duty to tell the truth, and act upon it.
We, the citizens, hereby declare a climate and ecological crisis. In alignment with our conscience and scientific reasoning, we declare ourselves in rebellion against the systems that uphold climate and ecological injustice. We refuse to allow crores of our fellow citizens to be pushed to the margins of vulnerability. We call upon every principled and peaceful citizen to rise with us.
We demand to be heard. We demand that like us citizens, our government also tells the truth by declaring a national climate and ecological crisis. We demand that informed solutions to this ecological crisis are developed from the wealth of indigenous and scientific expertise available. We demand structures that give power to the people to provide the solutions needed to secure a just and livable future for all.
Time is running out. We must act now.
We act in peace, with ferocious love of these lands in our hearts. We act on behalf of all life.