Rig Veda has also emphasized on the importance of Panch Tatva (five elements) namely Prithivi (earth), Pavan (air), Jal (water), Tej (solar energy), and Nabh (sky) and has maintained that the entire life systems on earth are based on harmonious functioning of these five elements. Therefore, sustainable use of these natural elements has been consistently advocated in all ancient Indian Scriptures like the Rig Veda, Manu Smriti, Yagyavalkya Smriti, etc. It has, time and again, been emphasized in these scriptures that man should use these heavenly gifts in such a way that no long-term damage is caused to them. The energies and benefits derived proportionately from these five elements will only sustain life and preserve mother earth. Any disproportionate exploitation of these energies will cause pollution and will promote selfishness, instincts of violence, jealousy—inimical to development. And this is precisely what has happened during the last hundred years and has disturbed the natural equilibrium.

My views on this issue were further inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's concept of trusteeship which was basically propounded in the colonial context. This concept exhorted the rich to use their wealth only for fulfilling the right to an honourable livelihood no better than that enjoyed by millions of others. The rest of the wealth should belong to the community and must be  used for the welfare of the community. To apply the concept of trusteeship in the context of climate change. I firmly believe that our present generation should act as trustees for the wealth of nature and should use it only in a sustainable way so that it can also be enjoyed by many generations to come. Mahatma Gandhi was absolutely right when he said that everything belonged to God and was from God and hence no individual is entitled to more than his proportionate portion and therefore he became a trustee of the rest of proportion for God's people. Unfortunately, the reckless destruction of ecological harmony has heightened the responsibility of our generation and specially those living in the developed world to act as trustees in the real sense of the term for future generations. Therefore ethics, and equity in my view are at the core of debate on climate change.

Q32. According to the author which of the following is not one of the Panch Tatva whose harmonious functioning supports life on earth?

  1. (a) Water

  2. (b) Air

  3. (c) Seas

  4. (d) Solar energy


The correct option is C

(c) Seas

This is a specific detail question. The author has mentioned water, air, and solar energy but not seas. The reason is obvious. Water in the sense of an element includes sea water and so separate mention is not required

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