Thursday, October 15, 2009

350 Global Warming Briefings

The Fight Against Coal in Jharkhand
in the Context of Global Warming

Before After
Mining in the North Karanpura Valley

350 Press Briefings - No.1 11-10-2009
by Bulu Imam


India is a sunny country and solar power is a short delivery technology ideally suited to roof-to-room delivery of power instead of long, wasteful power lines which use up three-fourths of power, and are expensive to install, as well as being theft-prone. Moreover such electricity is invariably fossil-fuel based, in particular from coal-fired thermal power plants which is a dirty technology and the prime cause of global warming through the carbon dioxide they emit. On the other hand solar thermal or photo-voltaic energy might be compared with the cheap mobile phone which leaves the user and the source in the same place. Use it wherever you are through transmission of waves, exactly like solar power, only the waves are infrared rays from the sun which is the greatest source of energy in the universe. Solar power is the solution to all our present energy problems.

So why is such important and easily installed technology being neglected ? One reason is the lack of government subsidies to renewables while huge subsidies are given to dirty technologies like oil, coal, and gas which are primarily responsible for global warming. The solar power sector in India is almost wholly dependant upon private enterprise which has to battle against a variety of issue such as the deficiencies encountered in renewable energy compared with dirty power. Sometimes hybrid systems have to be used. On the other dirty electricity from coal is available by hooking a wire to the mains. The cost of such power is rarely calculated and only now being realized in the context of global warming. Renewable energy government efforts have largely been failures despite the splendid possibilities of energy from bio-gas, kinetic wind-energy from turbines generating power which could be widely farmed, and the potential of solar photo-voltaics (PV)and solar thermal power in stations generating power through the use of turbines. Our deserts offer great potential for solar power generation but the opportunity has not been seized by the government but by a foreign initiate, the J. William Clinton Foundation which is setting upa 3000 MWsolar plant in Gujartat on 5000 hectares provided by the Gujarat government.The cost of the project is estimated at USD8-10 billion , which is a relatively small sum compared to dirty power from coal mines and coal fired thermal power plants. Again, private institutions like Barefoot College in Ajmer are doing yeoman work in making the science of self-help in renewables.

The negligence of the government in preference for dirty coal power generation which is the prime cause of global warming is the tons of dirty money which it generates for everyone connected with it from the stage of displacement of villages, deforestation and mining of the earth, the big banking interests involved, huge traqnsactions of cash which lack transparency, the cultivation of mafia and high costs of combating insurgency, the long processing and delivery line of coal from washery to thermal power plant, and finally the making of new coal mines and coal-fired thermal power stations. There is no carbon dioxide sequestration. Then after the power has been finally produced with coal giving only a third of its efficiency, and a massive pollution which is 3.60 times the molecular weight of coal when subjected to combustion and made into carbon dioxide emissions, finally the power has to travel over hundreds of kilometers of wire on posts to its destination subject to a variety of threats, including theft. All these presents us with a long chain hidden costs creating unbelievably costly power which is at the mercy of the consumers not eager to pay for it. Surveillance is almost impossible. It is power for free, and politics makes it permanent through popularizing it at the ballot.

Dirty power pays. It pays the producers, it pays the polluters, it pays the politicians, it pays the mafia, it pays the insurgents, it pays the private and public sector companies and banks. In fact it is lucrative. Burt it is destroying the future of the planet through increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment which is raising the temperatures, altering the seasons, and raising sea levels. There is enormous money to be had in producing dirty electricity from coal, and all the infrastructure in its delivery.

The people do not know, are unaware of and uninterested in the causes and consequences of coal produced energy, and are largely illiterate, below poverty line, and live without electricity. The politicians push the need for energy for “development” in their larger interests of making new railway lines, new roads, new urban settlements, divesting the countryside of its forests and agricultural fields. They parrot the need for coal, for coal-fired power as if it is God. And the people, clambering for the politicians’ band-wagon parrot the refrain, and so the refrain of “need for coal” is parroted throughout the land. What this is costing in terms of floods, drought and famine is not only not understood it cannot be understood.

Massive displacement is caused through making new coal mines. For twenty-three years I have fought the making of new coal mines in the upper Damodar valley catchment of Karanpura ( and yet even now thirty-one new coal mines have received deemed clearance which will destroy thousands of square kilometers of forests and rich agricultural lands, displacing hundreds of below poverty line villages. This is development in modern India ! Those who protest have been told that they will be forcibly removed in “national interests”. One wonders who the nation consists of, its poor or its rich leaders. When we look at the situation from the point of view of global warming the seriousness of the situation moves from the immediate violation of human and indigenous rights to the violation of humanity as a whole on the planet as well as generations yet unborn who will not survive the extreme heat and rapidly rising seas. They will pay with their lives for the actions being taken today by a race gone made in the pursuit of wealth and fulfillment of greed.

Fortunately for the world a massive citizens’ program has started in the USA and now reached every corner of the world. This was started by the scientist and writer Bill McKibben using the magic number 350, the enigmatic symbol of the last point beyond which science allows global warming to go. Since the surface temperature of the planet is exactly in the same graph as the level of carbon dioxide trapping the solar infrared heat in the atmosphere we are able to measure the temperature rise according to the carbon dioxide graph as Al Gore showed in his film An Inconvenient Truth. Perhaps this is not so easy to understand by simply seeing the number 350, but we have to understand that it means 350 particles per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is according to the world’s leading climate scientist Dr James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the maximum we can allow of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to go before the tipping point into uncontrollable warming of the planet. Unfortunately, its almost too late as we are at 390ppm already, and rising 2ppm yearly. Some scientists still write glibly of 450 and 500 and 600 ppm without taking into consideration that post 450 temperatures will definitely be 3C or 7F higher, unimaginable heat in the south latitudes. Such temperatures are foreseeable by mid-century in the opinion of the most conservative experts. The 350 campaign of public and government aware ness of the threats from global warming has not come a moment too soon.

Sanskriti Research Centre
Hazaribagh, Jharkhand,INDIA Bulu Imam

Press Briefing No.2 11.10.2009
By Bulu Imam

If there is “a will to die” then there has to be a reason for this will. We are presently facing in the human masses a tacit agreement of the willingness to die in the face of assured annihilation of millions through global warming. On the other hand the winds of change and the will to live has swept certain regions, for example California. California developed a highly successful energy-efficient prototype since c1980 largely owing to the research of scientists like Arthur Rosenfeld

.But unfortunately the Bush government walked away from the success of California’s clean energy and conservation of energy plan in 2000 in favor of exactly the opposite – dirty power and dirty consumption of oil, coal and gas – band there was a deep-seated reason for this, as we are seeing in “capitalism and profit at all costs” , the industrial economy destroying the twenty-first century. The biggest threat to the environment from global warming comes from traditional coal plants because coal contains more carbon than any other greenhouse gas other than methane, and a typical coal plant converts only about one-third of the energy in coal to electricity while producing 3.5 times is its molecular weight in carbon dioxide! The waste and pollution of coal fired thermal power generation is unimaginable. In the energy conservation and clean energy plan developed in California the state has been saving twelve billion dollars annually and this works out to a saving of a thousand dollars a year per family. Under Bush this model was rejected for the rest of America. To find the answer we must dig deeper.

Is it conceivable that governments would want expensive dirty fuel for generating power when clean power sources are quite easily available from a variety of renewables like wind, solar, hydel etc., with a little sensible conservation not beyond society ? Can we believe that in the twenty-first century mankind is so incompetent that clean, adequate power is unavailable ? No this is not the source of the problem. The real answer is “Because pollution pays-- it is more popular in the action-oriented, corrupt, development agenda” It creates massive infrastructural requirements and gives employment to people it displaces and by creating vast iron ore and bauxite and coal mines allied to its development agenda of industrial units such as steel plants, thermal power stations, big dams, gives the illusion of development. The bigger, the dirtier, the more lucrative the better. This gives vast return to governments, politicians, industrialists, and the working-class. We are aware that carbon dioxide emissions worldwide are going up at an alarming rate. New coal-fired plants built between 2005 and 2030 or twenty-five years, will release as much carbon dioxide as all coal burned since the industrial revolution two centuries ago.#1. Our coal mining technology is improving. But the carbon dioxide from these plants will break the camel’s back of global warming and by 2025 ecocatastrophe would be in full swing with rising extreme temperatures and over twenty feet sea-rise inundating coastal cities and populations around the world.

In America, from 1976 to 2005 the per capita electricity consumption rose sixty percent, while in California it did not rise despite its having a fast-growing economy. The reason behind this was that California cut its state-wide electricity bills by becoming energy-saving through a variety of social and technological measures to boost energy efficiency. This campaign was conducted by the California Energy Commission and led by Dr Arthur Rosenfeld who launched the Center for Building Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory during the 1970s, and many of the practical developments started there, in particular through architecture. #2

Better architectural design to keep urban environments cool greater efficiency in equipment for producing clean energy through renewables, white roofs and car-tops to reflect sunlight, planting of trees in urban areas to give shade and absorb water made the environments treated in this way 3-10% cooler and equivalent to rural temperatures, thus requiring less air-conditioning which brought energy consumption down. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) replaced ordinary incandescent bulbs consuming less power with longer use-life. This pattern of environmental concern building-wise over millions of units changed California’s energy consumption. It is more profitable to save energy than to create it.

Why was such energy conservation rejected under Bush ? The reason for dirty energy use elsewhere was for kickbacks in the oil, coal and gas industry and the lucrative expenditure in war to win oil. The politics and economics of global warming are worldwide and there are no easy solutions. To my mind change can only come when dirty energy and dirty politics are rejected by the masses, and for this a mass awareness campaign is needed urgently throughout the world, wherever electricity is used, because electricity is the curse when it is powered by coal. It will always be opposed by the state whose main interest is in petro-dollars and coal-dollars making the common man a tool in the politics of global warming. These dollars fund the entire administrative system of the country. In such a climate it will be difficult to convince administration the benefits of cheap, clean electricity, or the benefits of cool urban environments. That is the cause for our will to fail.

Fortunately for the world a massive citizens’ program has started in the USA and now reached every corner of the world. This was started by the scientist and writer Bill McKibben using the magic number 350, the enigmatic symbol of the last point beyond which science allows global warming to go. Since the surface temperature of the planet is exactly in the same graph as the level of carbon dioxide trapping the solar infrared heat in the atmosphere we are able to measure the temperature rise according to the carbon dioxide graph as Al Gore showed in his film An Inconvenient Truth. Perhaps this is not so easy to understand by simply seeing the number 350, but we have to understand that it means 350 particles per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is according to the world’s leading climate scientist Dr James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the maximum we can allow of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to go before the tipping point into uncontrollable warming of the planet. Unfortunately, its almost too late as we are at 390ppm already, and rising 2ppm yearly. Some scientists still write glibly of 450 and 500 and 600 ppm without taking into consideration that post 450 temperatures will definitely be 3C or 7F higher, unimaginable heat in the south latitudes. Such temperatures are foreseeable by mid-century in the opinion of the most conservative experts. The 350 campaign of public and government aware ness of the threats from global warming has not come a moment too soon.

Sanskriti Research Center Bulu Imam
Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, India

References:#1 Joseph Romm, Hell and High Water Harper Perrenial,2007, p.155
#2A.H.Rosenfeld, The Art of Energy Efficiency – Protecting the environment
with better technology)

Briefings No.3
350 Briefings No.3 Time to Act with 350 12-10-2009
by Bulu Imam

In spite of all the talk and treaties two major global warming threats confront us – China and India. China for the past several years has been steadily building almost one major dirty-coal plant every week#1, and India on the other hand is following China’s example by not restricting greenhouse gas emissions or signing treaties ratifying such emissions. We might recall that both China and India did not ratify the Montreal Protocol of 1987 calling for a 50 percent cut in CFC production which eventually after signing by 29 countries and the EEC and helped save millions from skin cancer by healing the ozone hole. This emphasis on industrial growth at any cost has been China and India’s continuing policy. Even today India is following China’s policy of refusing to restrict greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The climate change problem is directly related to global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, trapping the sun’s heat in the atmosphere leading to typhoons in China , hurricanes in America, floods in Indonesia or Bangladesh, or change in monsoon patterns and drought and floods in India. We are at war with mother nature, and as food resources dwindle as the result of erratic weather conditions and water starts getting an extremely scarce commodity both for drinking and farming, we will soon be at war among ourselves for resources. The great bone of contention on the subcontinent will be the Indus waters which are shared with Pakistan by treaty. The time to stop catastrophe is now, not when the Ganges or Indus are running dry due to melting glaciers.

The campaign started in America has come to India in the nick of time. Even at this late hour if our political leaders can be made to understand , and do so by listening, then we may make a concerted effort across India to begin the known measures for energy conservation rather than energy production – because it pays more to conserve energy than to produce it with inefficient, dirty-coal technology as we are resolutely doing through the unstoppable making of new coal mines which is only worsening global warming. Coal is the main cause of global warming according to the world’s leading climate scientists. Climate is a temperature controlled phenomenon in the chemistry of the earth’s atmosphere. The surface temperature of our planet closely follows the carbon dioxide graph in the atmosphere – as the CO2 goes up, so too does the temperature, when the temperature changes globally so too do global climate patterns which warm the oceans and accelerate typhoons and hurricanes. We know the global temperature by measuring the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with data backed up by NASA’s tests with ice cores in Antarctica dating back thousands of years. We have the carbon and temperature measurements of the past in ice cores, and these measures can be used on the present atmospheric conditions. Al Gore showed this in his film An Inconvenient Truth.

One of the major studies has been done by NASA the USA’s National Aeronautical and Space Administration through its Goddard Institute for Space studies headed by the world’s foremost climatologist, Dr James Hansen. Dr Hansen was the first to point out the effects of global warming on the planet’s climate. In his opinion we have passed the danger level of 350 parts per million (350ppm) of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere which is continuing to rise by an estimated 2ppm at current rates. The temperature over the past decades has also been steadily rising. According to Dr Hansen and thousands of other leading climate scientists in studies undertaken by the World Bank, United States Military, The World Bank and Rockefeller Foundation ( 2009 State of the Future Report) we are at a point of catastrophic climate change not even anticipated two years back by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that won a Nobel Prize – the ice of the Arctic and Antarctic are the canaries in the coal mine and they have begun to melt four times faster than anticipated due to thermal expansion of the ocean due to warming. Naturally the life in the oceans is dying at an extraordinary rate and soon the oceans will become lifeless carbon-dioxide emitting sources. In the north the Arctic permafrost is rapidly melting, exposing the vast methane deposits in the peat which contain more greenhouse gases than currently in the atmosphere (1000bn tons). 350 has been cited as the maximum level of CO2 tolerable in the atmosphere. Beyond this level we are in threat of eco-catastrophe.

Today the level of 390ppm is dangerous and at any time a sudden spike in world temperature of over 2C is predicted, followed by steadily rising temperatures upto 5C above pre-industrial levels (275ppm). Since the rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising annually 2ppm we need to stop, and if at all possible at this late hour, try to reverse the trend. But to achieve this we need to get the dirty-coal lobby on our side. We have got to stop burning more and more coal. China and India are the world’s biggest dirty-coal users with absolutely no CO2 sequestration facilities.

So we see the rationale behind the movement is to stop more pollution of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide. This has led to the most extraordinary global campaign of all time and you can find more information at It is the world’s last chance to create a mass awareness of the seriousness of global warming and bring the power and energy-hungry legislators and policy-makers to their senses. It is time for human management, not wildlife management, and environmentalists had better wake up! If the pollution of the atmosphere through greenhouse gases (GHG) is not checked within the decade we shall enter into an uncontrollable phase of global warming, and when dying life-forms will become sources of greater and greater amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and when human life on the planet will be in grave danger.

Most people are ignorant of the science behind global warming so please start to study it and understand it and then you will be convinced of the dangers which await humanity just now.The campaign is trying to take this unpalatable information to the masses of the world, to the doorstep of every citizen, to the ear of every legislator and politician, and is a wake-up call from America, the world’s undoubtedly greatest cumulative polluter in an act of conscience even if not yet in contrition. If we fail with there doesn’t seem any hope left since the “business as usual” attitude of developing countries such as China and India will bring all life on the planet to a bitter, burning end within a few decades. Support the with all you’ve got in you because its our only hope for the security of human society world-wide.


350 Briefings No.4

The Indian Climate Dilemma 12-10-2009
by Bulu Imam

Today one of the major issues controlling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions causing climate change through global warming is the reluctance of developing countries – in particular India and China –to ratify negotiations and treaties seeking to curb dangerous emissions. In 1992 Bush senior signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to set up an international process to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but by 1997 the policy had changed under the Clinton administration when when America refused to sign the UNFCC. America has been the world’s greatest cumulative GHG polluter with two centuries of growing emissions and will be uptil 2050, yet it refused to cut emissions unless the developing countries – particularly China and India – cut their emissions. All sorts of spurious scientific statistics entered the scene, while some scientists held that it was safe to pollute the atmosphere up to 550ppm (parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide) when today it is scientifically established today that the global temperature at that level of CO2 will be past 5C!

China and India while being newly industrialized countries are more recent polluters and so claim their rights to pollute to develop at a par with developed countries which is very dangerous owing to their huge populations! We are reminded of Gandhi’s words, “There is enough for every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed”. If the temperature rises to 5C the ice-melt in the north and south poles will raise the sea to an estimated 80 feet ! China and India need to realize they do not have the authority to destroy the human future in their race to develop industrially and economically in an industrialized world. They still have moral obligations to the human race and the planet we share. Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions from China have now exceeded America’s 6.049 bn. Metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2004. Future generations are in peril and depend upon how we act today.

India is continuing to authorize new coal mines, and recently we heard from the government that despite the INTACH campaign to stop coal mines in the upper Damodar valley in North Karanpura in Jharkhand ( the over thirty new strip mines would go ahead, because “There is no is no escaping the fact that coal plays an important role in supporting India’s energy plans and also that energy is a critical input for our economic growth.”(letter from C.Balakrishnan, Secretary, Govt. of India Ministry of Coal, dated 23rd September, 2009, to S.K.Misra, Chairman, INTACH). There was no reference to global warming being caused by coal emissions which had been stated explicitly in our petition to the Minister for Coal.

Legislators and administrators absolve themselves of all moral liabilities for their actions and as if by remote control the planet’s resources are being administrated. Nobody is keen to hear the arguments of serious environmentalists warning that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are making the atmosphere go past a tipping point when the carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere will suddenly bring about a 2-5C spike. India uses the old argument of having a right to pollute the atmosphere because developed countries have done so for nearly three centuries from the start of the industrial revolution in England from the beginning of the 18th century. Today we have to realize that any further pollution of the atmosphere will one day be judged as a crime against humanity even as there have been war crimes against humanity.

Modern Indians like myself who were the first generation of Independent India were brought up on the Nehruvian myth of western industrial-type development for modern India, which believed that the greater the industrial development the better regardless of the costs of displacement of rural societies or damage to natural heritage. No doubt this was the great industrial British-American myth of progress through industrialization which destroyed early industrial England. It also largely destroyed pre Columbian North American heritage. It brought railroads and war and violation of indigenous rights. In 2000 the average American emitted nine times the carbon dioxide of an average Chinaman and twenty times that of an average Indian and Nehru was in such a hurry to catch up with the Americans that we ended up in today’s mess. But the striking thing is that the policy of the government even today is chasing western-style industrial development with dirty-coal technology. There has been no sophistication of idealism, no real improvement to the nation. The natural resources have been exploited, the population has grown three times, and all we have gained is the title of third economic power in Asia. However, more people live below the poverty line, sixty millions of the poorest of the poor displaced by development projects like big dams which have silted up, huge mines that are now empty, no real achievement except growth obscene in the cities and poverty unbelievable in the countryside. The image of the working-class in England in the 18th century is before our eyes in mining and industrial areas, and the huge slums of our biggest cities where ten percent earn less than six hundred rupees a month. We4 have failed to design low-energy cities or reduce energy consumption. Development is judged by the amount of money or power used up. Growth and development do not define themselves through actual progress, only massive waste of money and resources. India rejects clean development and is a member of the Asia-Pacific partnership on Clean Development and Climate which is a membership of USA, Australia, China, Japan ,South Korea and India which explicitly rejects all mandatory efforts to reduce emissions.

Today India is still one of the poorest nations in the world. It has tried to place itself in the foreground on the basis of its exploitation of its resources and its dirty-coal emissions. These are not markers of achievement but waste. The second most populated nation on earth both in numbers and density it is continuing on its perilous course of dirty-coal industrial development, it is a nation of famine and parched fields, floods and failed monsoons, awaiting enormous sea-rise damage to its coastal populations and cities due to sea-rise but it still has not become alert to the national security threat posed by global warming. How long it will continue with its blinkered vision development priding itselkf on larger and larger dirty-coal projects nobody can tell. If the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have a local environmental effect then it is doomed even as its Himalayan rivers dry up due to glacial ice-melt, agriculture fails due to change in monsoon, and it will face a bleak future like Bangladesh which faces massive flooding. Growth itself can never be an indicator of progress even as obesity can never be an indicator of good health. It is about time India’s leaders wake up to the call of campaigns of which the youth endorse and understand, because it is their future we are talking about. Urban development is faxing the catastrophe of falling water levels, increasing heat, increasing need for energy for cooling, failing food supply, and greater need for energy sources. What is needed is conservation in design and planning, cool environments and human development of urban and industrial areas, better planning and energy efficient architecture. Renewables must top the list where energy is concerned. Rural India, meanwhile, awaits the threat of another failed monsoon season, drying fields or salination due to floods. We have to be careful and listen to sound advice. Some of the best advice can be found at !


350 Briefings No.5

Save Life on Earth with 350 14-10-2009

The greatest oversight of our times has been the failure to draw the connection between the increasing series of natural disasters and man-induced global warming and climate change through industrial pollution by greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide which is the prime cause of global warming which is produced by burning coal as the major source of industrial power. This is the cheapest, most polluting, and easiest available source of modern power since the industrial revolution began three hundred years ago in the eighteenth century. We have had ample warning but our society, or should we say the modern western world’s developed society failed to address this issue in time. Later the developing countries took up the same dirty-coal industrial technology, and ended up destroying far more than was gained. The global warming caused by the fossil fuels trapping the sun’s rays in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased hundredfold until the oceans are sixty percent warmer, and this caused thermal expansion and the melting of vast polar ice-caps in the Arctic and Antarctic, causing a steady rising of the seas expected to reach 20-80 feet if the present rate of emissions continues. By then the earth’s surface temperatures will have risen 3-5C higher than pre-industrial levels, which means the heat will be almost humanly intolerable.

The warming of the oceans has directly affected the intensity of hurricanes and typhoons. Sea life is steadily dying and if it continues will destroy the oceans’ hydrological cycles, leading to the seas becoming sources of carbon dioxide and further global warming. The absorption of increasing quantities of carbon dioxide in the seas is killing ocean life much faster than predicted as recently as 2007.Polar ice is also melting sixty percent faster than was predicted. Many scientists are of the view that we have already passed the tipping points of systems to adjust and that extreme climate conditions will cause unprecedented events such as changes in the monsoon in Southeast and South Asia, West Africa and the Sahara, and such changes would mean large-scale famine to these monsoon-agriculture dependant societies. Everywhere across the world we are daily witnessing massive natural disasters caused by earthquakes and tsunamis which might or might not directly be results of global warming, but hurricanes, floods, droughts change in monsoons, glacial ice-melt, polar-ice-melt, and rising sea levels that are directly due to global warming. Entire ecosystems are being destroyed by seeming natural calamities that have their cause in human actions, primarily burning coal for energy and thus releasing carbon dioxide that traps the sun’s heat instead of turning it into energy. This transformation of capturing the suns heat and warming the planet has to be changed into using the sun’s heat by the use of mirrors to create steam And generate thermal energy to turn turbines.

The destruction of the natural ecosystem has been noted for several decades and today over fifty thousand species a year are becoming extinct. Ecosystems are disappearing such as the coral reefs of eastern Australia and eastern South America. Mangroves are dying in West Africa and the Bay of Bengal. Indian wildlife, particularly tigers, have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Deniers of climate change attribute this to poaching but it is more likely it is simply due to thirst in parched forests. In East Africa an unprecedented death of wild elephants were reported.
We humans are unable to react to these events rationally any longer and denying that it is our industrial pollution of the planet which is causing these events. is a campaign on global awareness of the effects of carbon dioxide pollution which is either directly or indirectly responsible for these tragic events. Governments are unanimously in denial of industrial pollution and global warming to save their own seats and sources of wealth and power. Honesty and transparency appears only at the highest levels such as the United Nations. At this time there was needed urgently a global awareness movement such as to bring awareness of the real cause of climate change to the world’s uninformed masses. Even our educational institutions have not expressed the problem of global warming or its science clearly. People everywhere had to know that extreme weather events such as hurricanes, typhoons, melting glaciers, extinction of species, rising sea-levels, drought, floods , monsoonal failure or unprecedented localized rains, were not signs of God’s wrath (Mother Nature’s ?) but the symptoms of a planetary sickness caused by the burning of fossil fuels. That this was the cause of everything , and it was a symptom of power and greed, of industrialization and economic growth. That a CEO could earn 12,500 times the earnings of an Indian farmer ! The great disparity of wealth in an industrialized world created an increasingly wide gulf between the haves and have-nots. This has been setting the foundation for global domination by a very few. It was the death-blow to real democracy and the foundation of dictatorships.

As the result of dedicated scientific observation thousands of the worlds best scientists and scientific institutions got together and began studies which found the real culprit was burning coal. Burning coal causes it to become 3.67 heavier in molecular weight, and turns the sun’s dead energy trapped in fossilized plant life into the most lethal gas for trapping the sun’s infrared rays. It was as if two relatives were suddenly meeting after millions of years ! Carbon dioxide trapped the solar heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and would not let it go. The volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere grew steadily with the use of coal to the present level of just under 1000 gigatons (thousand billion tons). We are still pumping over 17-25 million tons into the atmosphere through industrial emissions, including burnt gasoline in cars. Diesel is the dirtiest fuel.

It was about time to make the whole world aware of what was actually going on.We have now realized worldwide (including almost all heads-of-state) that the party’s coming to an end and we’d better stop this extreme pollution of our home planet’s atmosphere with dirty-coal. Humans are used to argument and trading since earliest times and so this parleying began but is coming to an end rapidly even as entire-nation states are threatened with grievous consequences due to global warming, such as the imminent submergence of Maldives and Bangladesh. We have to immediately stop this warming before the human species itself becomes extinct and local action will be increasingly called upon to face the challenges ahead. We can no longer sensibly wait for governments to act. The highest number of carbon dioxide particles in the atmosphere has been placed at 350 parts per million and we are 40 parts per million ahead of that according to Dr James Hansen and his team at NASA. How can we possibly stop all further CO2 emissions and remove 40 ppm from the atmosphere on top of that ? Well, very basically, that is the challenge behind – to check the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 350ppm ! It sure seems impossible but it must be attempted at all costs.

Local action around the world is being called on to face the situation in the face of massive government and industrial opposition which as I said is trying to save its seat. CO2 has for three centuries been the source of power behind governments and industrial enterprise. It has been the very cornerstone of the industrial economy, which in an industrialized world means the world’s economy. The politicians and industrialists and the governments they help run are not willing to face the challenge of closing shop and moving to renewable energy (WHICH IS POSSIBLE) which might not initially be as lucrative. Ballot-style democracy is inadequate to make mass opinion move these giants. How to tackle that ? Perhaps a sling is needed. is the voice giving shape to the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced.

It is at such times that people’s power has and will continue to assert itself, because leaders have let them down, their trust in their leaders has been violated, and the people’s interest is not in power but in the interests of their society for survival, their interest is only in social security and social action. Such times have been times of revolution and dissent with rulers whether monarchs or government. Those who have sided with the rebels meet the disfavor of the rulers. But the movement continues nevertheless because it is supported by the instinct for survival and it is an expression in all forms of life in the plant and animal kingdoms.

The call of the Campaign is a call for worldwide action by all peoples unitedly against global warming and resulting climate change, altered weather patterns, and resulting affects such as extreme weather events, changed monsoonal cycles, desertification, floods, and loss of agriculture. The science of global warming is not simple as some think and it has been explained at the 350 website ( but individuals must follow it by studying it on the Internet to understand more about its causes and effects. The basic science is simple once one has gained sufficient information on the subject. This same science is used also by detractors of global warming and resulting climate change – the dirty oil and coal lobby, and governments committed to industrial development and growth of the economy. India and China are the biggest polluters of the developing world and China has become the biggest polluting country in the world, ahead of the USA and Canada. The 350 campaign is a convincing call to people everywhere to stand united against global warming. If we do not act immediately to stop global warming it will be too late. People awareness have to be made aware that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon emissions – from the cooking stove to the great thermal power stations – are emitters of carbon dioxide gas, the most lethal of the fossil fuels in sheer quantity. A sense of deep urgency must henceforth inform our understanding and energize our individual and collective actions. Pollution from industrial emissions that contain greenhouse gases (GHG) have to be stopped at any cost. There is already nearly one thousand billion tones (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the concentration is scientifically expressed as 390parts per million (ppm). According to the worlds best climatologists we have to stop it increasing and take it back to 350ppm, and this is the figure which the 350 campaign is built around. The figure 350ppm as the highest possible concentration of carbon dioxide and its equivalents (CO2e) was calculated by Dr James Hansen the director of NASA and his colleagues at the Goddard Institute of Space Studies. We in India are living on a coal-driven economy and even now we are claiming the urgency of making vast new coal mines to supply our energy sector. Our Prime minister is a highly educated Oxford trained economist and his prescription for poverty is economic growth. In achieving this growth more millions of India’s poorest people will be displaced. Meanwhile atmospheric pollution causing increased levels of global warming will be triggered and due to extreme weather events more millions will be displaced and made to seek a livelihood in a country wracked by flood, drought and famine. Does this make any sense to anyone ? It sure does to the Finance Ministry.

The coal country of the lower Damodar valley has been beset by underground coal fires for the past century. The amount of carbon dioxide released daily in the districts of Bokaro, Dhanbad, Ramgarh and Hazaribagh would be in millions of tones.In this scenario the government has insisted on clearing over thirty new opencast coal mines in North Karanpura forty kilometers from the district headquarters of Hazaribagh and Chatra. Consider that as a result of failure of the monsoons these districts and adjoining Palamau are famine districts. India has a poor record in pollution control, the atmosphere of the Damodar valley in the catchment of which these mines are being made, is already lethally poisoned by over one dozen mines upstream. A once fertile valley, Karanpura which was known as “the rice-bowl of Hazaribagh” is today barren. One even feels that it is ready for mining as a dead body is ready for autopsy. What the people will eat after their foodgrain reserves of four to six months are finished is anybody’s guess. At a mine site where the people were protesting displacement for a new mine the local Deputy Commissioner told them bluntly that if they did not go obediently then the government would remove them forcibly “in national interests”. Who does India belong to , anyway ? It would seem that the officer had not considered this.India is building scores of new coal mines and dirty-coal thermal power stations for electricity to pump out already depleted underground water. Coal is being exuded as carbon dioxide throughout the Damodar valley breeding new poisoned organisms and according to a WHO figure the life expectancy in the mining areas is 35 years. This is a far cry from the people who fly over the mines every day in private airlines and government helicopters. If we allow this state of affairst to continue unchecked then we will all die and the life of the natural environment will die, our agriculture and water sources will die, and this will be the end of a small part of the planet dies, and filled with such wounds all over the planet itself will die.

A new understanding is needed in India and the world – one in which reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is not a sign of lowering the development standard of the people but rather ensuring them a better standard of life and a more secure future. The media is bought out by the corporate sector and is afraid to speak out openly against the government. Coal meets sixty percent of India’s energy needs and the country is ranked fifth in the production of greenhouse gases by the highest polluting nations. India with its billion-plus population and expanding economy has to realize that the rate of its emissions cannot be equated with national progress or human development, but that in fact it is a retardation of progress. As Bill McKibben, the founder of the 350 Campaign movement famously pointed out when recently in India, what is the use of more industrial development if the Ganges dries up or if the monsoon fails. We have recently seen massive floods in Andhra Pradesh and silently watch the Ganges and Indus glaciers dry up, our country is in a state of ruin in every sense. We look to our economic growth index and highly-paid corporate employees while more than half the population is below the poverty line. With global warming and climate change at our doorstep a new vision of development is urgently needed.

350 Briefings, No.6

Global Warming and the UN
by Bulu Imam

There are 190 nations in the framework of the United Nations. The United Nations has been at the forefront of action against global warming through its UNEP environment section and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which provide rigorous studies of environmental change, and the challenges the world faces through global warming. In December this year the UN has arranged the largest global meeting at Copenhagen. We are already aware that the IPCC study of 2007 which produced a Nobel Prize-winning report has already become outdated as the ice-melt in both the Arctic and Antarctic is already 60 percent more than the report predicted. Such ice-melt is an indicator of warming of the oceans and sure indicators of vastly increasing global warming. The melting of the ice-bound Arctic tundra threatens to unlock vast stores of methane in the frozen peat. The quantity of methane below the melting tundra is 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas (GHG) than carbon dioxide. The Arctic experienced unusually high summer temperatures, 8F higher than normal. The methane of this region is estimated to match the quantity of CO2e (carbon dioxide and equivalents) in the atmosphere. If released, as to be expected as unchecked warming of the planet continues, there is a threat of spike temperatures of up to 5C immediately. We are fortunate that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is leading the war against global warming from the front, but there is opposition from governments on every side. The UN more recently produced the Climate Change Science Compendium as a primer before Copenhagen. The Compendium reviews some four hundred major scientific contributions to our understanding of Earth systems and climate change through peer-reviewed research produced after the 2007 IPCC report and was imperative for understanding at what stage of danger the life on the planet was in. The report confirms our worst fears.

Among the world’s worst polluters are the rapidly developing countries that between China and India constitute 40% (25/15)of global greenhouse gas emissions, the USA comes in with Canada with another about 50% equally divided. Canada is currently expanding exploitation of its filthy tar-sands oil for energy. The pollution is on the rise and is leading to the threat of a sudden catastrophic rise of temperature in the 2-5C mark. Already with over one percent temperature rise above pre-industrial levels we have witnessed a 34% loss of Arctic sea-ice. But while environmentalists are crying about polar bear habitat we the humans are looking at the indicators of the early demise of the human race ! Perhaps the enormity of it is too much for the doubting Thomases who have seen but cannot understand. Or the orientalists who consider it if it comes punishment for our bad karma. Any way, it’s serious. All this makes wildlife conservation a dilettante operation. Survival food production may not even be possible among subsistence societies globally particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which is predicted to be as dry and barren as Dafur in Sudan within a decade. Tropical forests and wildlife are disappearing in front of our eyes and with these sources of water and transpiration die-back and desertification will accelerate with rising heat even as sporadic rainfall induced by forests will disappear. This is an absolutely terrible scenario.

An era of radical change in the human race is about to dawn and even as early members of our race saw continental movements and recorded them in their mythology so too will our racial memory one day record the death of species through global warming induced climate change. This is the reason why the Campaign is so vitally important to our times. Even the scientifically educated youth, particularly in India where there is media silence on global warming, know absolutely nothing about the subject. Worse still, their teachers know nothing about the subject. Global warming has crept up on us unaware. It is a call to action and dawning of the acute realization that action will have to be seeded by common people whose life situations are daily changed by the situations they are confronting , and the realization that these situations are not merely punishment from some obscure divine power, but the result of our human actions. As famine leads to starvation at national levels, when thirst leads to mass migrations, when floods drown millions, then if the people understand the real reasons – their exploitation by industrial growth – then only will they be driven to direct action, to refuse to be subjected to inhuman torture, social insecurity. Then only will people begin to take control of their lives in the interests of their dear ones, only then will the world come together closer than transport and communication have brought kit, only then will people rise against the real causes of global warming which is industrial pollution. They will demand a solution.

It is in the nature of human societies to seek leadership in dire straits. They will demand it from those whom they have elected and if these people cannot give succor they will find their own leaders. Democracy has slowly moved towards dictatorship as the elected representatives of the people everywhere have increasingly turned into dictators. The very essence of democracy has been lost. The call for justice against industrial expansionism and pollution in the name of economic growth must come the lowest rung of the ladder – the poorest of the poor. The material used for industrial energy, the source of its cheapest combustible fuel, coal , must be left in the ground. When the masses have understood that the cause of the change of the monsoons and the droughts and floods, was the combustion of coal – then they will stop its removal from the earth on which for thousands of generations they have grown their crops and drawn their water and danced their colorful rituals. This stance can only from a high moral ground and such moral ground can only be attained by enlightenment of the truth brought through reason and knowledge. I see the Campaign as a great moral awareness movement and like all such great movements it will meet with opposition from the traditional masters of the common people – their political leaders who have appropriated their traditional lands in the name of the State. This crisis cannot be averted and is invariably an area of conflict. But in the world today information is instantly available everywhere and knowledge is instantly conveyed and requires no long caravan journeys to convey ideas from East to West. I expect the 350 Campaign will first of all appeal to scientific intellectual young minds. They are the leaders of tomorrow and it is their future which we are fighting for. They are the sons and daughters of those who represent the State today. If they choose to act I can see no obstacle to their demands. There comes to us at this critical moment in world history a phalanx of support through the 350 Campaign, in the words of its manifesto

”This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us. We are everywhere, and together we are unstoppable.”

The 350 Campaign is an instrument of information to the people of the world, in particular the developing world where rural societies are most unfairly exploited for their labor and resources. This information is not to be found in the media of developing countries where such information would undo government planning. The information is of course on the Internet, but only if one knows where to look. This is the most relevant aspect of the 350 Campaign – it shows you where to look to find support in information and succor in terms of support for our woes. At a time when people are distressed and confused and hungry for information it is like manna from heaven. People are still unable to understand why their familiar environment is so rapidly changing. At such a time the 350 Campaign is mercy itself. In front of our eyes the whole world is visibly and palpably changing, and if we are responsible for this change we want to know how to act wisely, how to comprehend the problem, and who to address to rectify the state of affairs. This campaign will not stop on 24th October “An International Day of Climate Action” --the day of our solidarity with confronting global warming and climate change – it will continue with information and support. We no longer need to fight among ourselves, but need to organize ourselves intelligently and with planning. We have identified the enemy which is industrial pollution through greenhouse gases (GHG) poisoning the Earth’s atmosphere, and we have identified dirty coal as the main culprit. We have realized that it comes in the sheep’s clothing of so called “development”, or even “green development”. Climate change is the reply which Nature has given to the myth of continuous industrial and economic growth. In a world of limited natural resources there can no longer be unlimited growth. There is another myth , and it is that developing countries are using fossil fuels to pull people out of poverty. We know we are facing limits to growth and that one of the first things to do is to stop dangerous pollution of the atmosphere, but I do not agree that developing countries are using fossil fuels to pull people out of poverty. Its too simplistic. Mining destroys not only the land but the soul of a people; it destroys everything that is sacred to them; it destroys their sacred places, their water sources, their land, it forfeits their human rights. What economic benefits do they get in return ? None whatsoever. Mining is not for the benefit of the poor who live on the land , nor is it for the benefit of the poor who live in the cities – it is not robbing Peter to pay Paul -- mining is the source of wealth for the rich who prey off the land and the people and who have always done so throughout history, in one form or another.
Bulu Imam
350 Global Messenger
Coordinator, Karanpura Campaign
Campaign Website:
Director, Sanskriti Research Center
Convener, INTACH Hazaribagh Chapter
"Sanskriti", DipugarhaP.O.Hazaribagh 825 301Jharkhand, INDIA
Tel: 06546-264820; fax: 06546-270815

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Prayer for the World


Lord, help the world protect itself.
Lord the world you created
Is daily being destroyed by our actions.
We do not know how to stop it.
Our leaders have failed us
And day by day we see it die.
We pray to you to help the world
And to guide us in such a way
That whatever is left may be saved.

Lord, we ask for your help
In the name of the world,
In the name of the natural world
That is dying before our eyes.

Lord, help the world protect itself.
For men have become its tormentors
And the world is dying slowly
And we individuals
Do not know how to protect it
From the miners and developers
And those we have elected leaders.
That is why Lord we pray to you
On behalf of the world,
Lord, help the world protect itself.


Bulu Imam

The world has a life of about twentyfive years left as we know it in a best-case scenario, otherwise in less than a decade it may start falling apart. Global warming and the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuels, forest clearing and marine pollution are the major causes. We request you to see the following major videos presenting the case,
(A) AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH presented by Al Gore described as “One of the most important films of our time.”
(B) (B)THE 11th HOUR presented by Leonardo DiCaprio and over a dozen of the world’s greatest environmental scientists including Stephen Hawking, Paul Hawken, David Orr, David Suzuki, etc.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Volume 37, Winter 2008
Sohrai- Harvest Festival Issue
Newsletter of INTACH (Hazaribagh Chapter)

During May we flew to Europe, Putli, Philomina, Juliet, and myself. We were going for another mural painting project and the exhibition of artworks created by artists of the Tribal Women Artists Cooperative. We flew from Ranchi to Delhi and then via Amsterdam to Venice. We were met at the airport of this beautiful city named after the ancient Phoenecians in its lagoon on the Adriatic by Daniela and Peter Popham and their son Gabriel. Two idyllic days in Venice under the summer sun, the blue-green waters of the lagoon, the hundred winding alleys where history had moved for millennia, and then to Udine where the artists would paint the stunning murals. An exhibition was held at the Girasole Gallery Udine and a large exhibition was later held the Luigi Pigorini Museum in Rome. The project is described in detail in this issue of Mayur. I wish you all “Good Reading”!
- Bulu Imam

Second Bacsa Cemetery Restoration Project

The successful completion of the first project for restoration of the Old British Graveyard (1790) awarded last year to Intach by the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia (BACSA) has now now been continued in a second project for the old British graveyard at Hurhuru (1816) a couple of miles south. This graveyard consists of over a hundred and twenty ornate old British tombs. Some tombs are of Egyptian pyramidal (or Needle) design, others of elaborate Indo-Saracenic architecture, others of conventional monumental design. The BACSA one-year project taking up the first phase of restoration commenced in April and will continue it is planned in a second year’s work to bring the graveyard dating from 1816 to 1840s to original condition. All Souls Day, 2nd Nov. was celebrated in the cemetery by the Chapter, and also at the INTACH-BACSA restored Old British Graveyard of 1790.

Museum Renovation Project
The Sanskriti Museum and Art Gallery received a grant to develop a new wing from the Department of Culture, Jharkhand in April for which it expresses thanks. This new section displays dokra metal castings, hand embroidered ledra quilts, bronze and wood carvings of Sohrai ghodas, a photo-gallery of TWAC exhibitions, and other art. The new section is equipped with modern hanging rail system for displaying art-works, and Philips lighting system, closed-circuit TV for projecting research DVDs and film has also been installed. The display of Jharkhand’s pre-historic heritage and early migration routes is undergoing specific display arrangements presentation including charts and projection facility. The museum thanks TWAC for internal support in achieving the project goals. The museum located in the Sanskriti main premises has gained local official recognition and the road to it has been officially named Sanskriti Museum Road in an official function by Shri S.N.Singh MLA (Cong.)

Tribal Women Artists Cooperative – Exhibitions of Tribal Art Abroad
· An exhibition of the Khovar and Sohrai tribal paintings on paper was held in April 2008 at Bonn in Germany. The exhibition was organized by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and a talk was given during the opening by Johannes Laping of SARINI/FIAN. Susanne Gupta gave a talk on our region and its art and showed the The One-Eared Elephant of Hazaribagh which she directed. The Chapter thanks Mr.Laping and Ms Gupta, Dr.Daniel Wolf and Prof Beate Jessel the President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundestag fur Naturschutz / BfN). Two further exhibitions have taken place, arranged by Gossner Mission at the cities of Norden and Emden in northern Germany between July-Aug, 2008.
· three-day exhibition of our tribal art ( 11th-14th Sept.) was held at the Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Methow Valley (Washington State, USA). The framed paintings were displayed along with sculpture from Africa. Other exhibitions in Washington State are being planned, including the capital, Seattle. The Chapter thanks Mr Joseph Reid of Methow for his help in setting up these exhibitions.
· TWAC has been invited for a mural painting programme and exhibition of its art at the museum of Family Michel Sabatier at La Rochelle in western France in 2010.

Projected Exhibition at the Brunei Gallery
(School of Oriental and African Studies, London)
Very much at the planning stage an exhibition is envisioned at the Brunei Gallery in London in 2010. Additionally a seminar is hoped to be held to discuss the various issues surrounding the art project such as indigenity, continuity of cultural traditions etc. We are thankful to Mr.Robert Wallis and Mr.John Hollingworth of SOAS for staring the dialogue.

ICOMOS World Report 2006/2007 on Monuments and Sites in Danger
Edited by Michael Petzet and John Ziesemer
The Report by Bulu Imam carries a detailed note on the cluster of twenty temples at Telkupi which was submerged by the Panchet Dam in 1962 without attempt at removal. The temple no.10 of this cluster has avoided complete destruction and is standing still in the silted dam. The Chapter is trying to draw the attention of UNESCO to excavate the site. This cluster of temples was considered the oldest and finest record of Jain temples and statuary in India and dated to the 9th Century.

Rome Chapter of INTACH started
We are happy to announce that as a result of the Convener’s suggestion Intach has invited Ms Daniela Bezzi to become the Convenor of a new Chapter to be opened shortly in Rome. Ms Bezzi we hope will ccept the position and our Chapter warmly congratulates her. Ms Bezzi recently arranged the TWAC Johar Jharkhand! mural painting project and exhibition at Udine, Italy (Vicino Lontano Cultural Assocn., Girasole Gallery), and the following exhibition in Rome (Pigorini Museum). She is the wife of Peter Popham who had been the India Correspondent of The Independent (UK) in Delhi from 1997-2002 and is currently since 2002 the Rome Correspondent of the same paper. Ms Bezzi has to her credit the arranging of several important cultural programmes in India and Italy.

Kali for Women (Zubaan)
The Kali for Women has expressed a desire to have an exhibition of our tribal art in Delhi during December or thereafter. They have also expressed the wish to make the 2010 Kali for Women Diary with the theme of photographs of Khovar and Sohrai artists of Hazaribagh painting.

Painting of cloth murals in Udine at the Vicino Lontano Cultural Festival, Conference, Girasole Gallery Exhibition & Exhibition Of Jharkhand’s Tribal Art at Museum Luigi Pigorini in Rome

Flying from Ranchi-Delhi-Amsterdam Bulu Imam and the three artists Philomina Tirkey, Juliet Imam, and Putli Ganju of Tribal Women Artists Cooperative (TWAC) reached Venice on the 11th May and were met by Ms.Daniela Bezzi and her husband Peter and their son Gabriel at the airport. Two days were spent sight-seeing in Venice from where they went to Udine for the painting of three historic Sohrai murals in mud on mud treated cloth at the venue of the Vicino Lontano Cultural festival and conference. Here an exhibition of the Khovar and Sohrai paintings was held at the famed Girasole Gallery of Udine along side the mural painting by the artists at the venue of the Conference. Bulu Imam was one of the main speakers at the Conference on the subject of threat to cultural continuity in Jharkhand before a large and distinguished audience. The murals, paintings, and embroidered quilts exhibited were transported by air to Rome where an exhibition of four months of the Khovar and Sohrai art of Jharkhand took place (22 May-28 Sept.) at the Museum Luigi Pigorini, the National Museum of Pre-Historic Ethnography.

The exhibition in Rome comprised the Udine mural paintings on cloth and other cloth murals, standard size paintings on hand-made art paper in mud, embroidered quilts called ledra, bronze metal castings, various kinds of hand-painted cards, and very large format photographs of the Jharkhand painted villages, Sarnas, and countryside by international photographers Robert Wallace (USA) and Mario Popham (UK). The exhibition is curated solely around the Hazaribagh art forms of Khovar (marriage art) and Sohrai (harvest art). Three large murals on cloth of eight feet breadth and six feet height were painted on special mud treated cloths prepared by French artist Isabelle Delhais, and were painted before the exhibition by the women artists at the 16th cent. Renaissance town of Udine north of Venice, on the invitation of the Vicino Lontano Cultural Festival of that city. The three artists who painted the murals were well-known Jharkhandi artists Ms Putli Ganju, Ms Philomina Tirkey, and her daughter Juliet Fatima Imam. These artists have already gained a reputation for painting large murals in Sydney, Berlin and Geneva and are currently again on invitation to paint in architectural context in Berlin next summer. The team was led by art conservator and researcher Bulu Imam who is also the convener of INTACH at Hazaribagh. In Rome the team were the guests of Fr.Gian Mario, Father General of the Christian Doctrine Fathers, at their residence at Santa Maria, Monticelli, for which we express our abundant thanks.

The exhibition at the Museum Pigorini featured around two hundred paintings, embroidered quilts, bronze sculpture and pohotographs which have been meticulously curated and individually annotated in Italian language. This is the first exhibition of its kind in Italy from India. The exhibition features exclusive art works from the collection of the Tribal Women Artists Cooperative of Hazaribagh, and had been curated by famous curator Ms Daniela Bezzi in cooperation with the Sanskriti Museum and Art Gallery of which Bulu Imam is Director. TWAC , which was formed in 1993 by Shri Imam has had over forty international exhibitions in all major art capitals of the world to date. In 2000 five women artists from TWAC painted fourteen murals in Sydney for the Australian Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Etc. The Film by Justin Imam on the Tana Bhagat Puja at the rockart site of Thethangi was screened at the Museum before a distinguished gathering. It has been forwarded by INTACH to UNESCO for Intangible heritage.

The Museum Pigorini, built in the 1930’s by Benito Mussolini, is one of the largest museums in Europe, and spacious premises were made available for this exhibition. Over five hundred elite intellectuals of Rome attended the opening on 22 May and thousands are seeing the exhibition daily. The exhibition received wide television and newspaper coverage in Italy, and it has also been reported in a special feature by Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times (26.6.2008). A report by Peter Popham, Rome Correspondent of The Independent (UK) appeared in the Tehelka magazine (Saturday 5 July, 2008); and an article on the exhibition was written by Ms Daniela Bezzi, which appeared in Confidenze magazine in Italian (26-24 June, 2008). Professor Fabio Scialpi, who teaches Indian Religions and Philosophy at the University of Rome, in a recent letter to Shri Imam congratulated him on the exhibition. Professor Scialpi will be visiting Hazaribagh during the Sohrai festival in October. The exhibition at the Pigorini Museum will end with a special function over the weekend 27-28 Sept. The exhibition had been visited on 8th Sept. by Rebecca Hossack whose gallery in London (Rebecca Hossack Gallery) proposes to hold an exhibition in the coming year.

The Johar! Project
The full program of art events, talks and seminar in Italy took place:
In Udine, from May 13th till 18th for the Event Vicino/Lontano – Premio Terzani 2008

Piazza Libertà, under the Loggia - Johar! The mural
Live performance in the Sohrai wall painting tradition starring the artists Putli Ganju, Philomina Tirkey Imam e Juliet Fatima Imam from the Tribal Women Artists’ Cooperative of Hazaribagh-

From May 13th till 18th, Girasole Gallery, Riva Castello 1/A - Johar! The bridal room
Collective art show by the Tribal Women Artists’ Cooperative of Hazaribagh-India
Screening of the video The one-eared elephant from Hazaribagh by german film-maker Susanne Gupta

May 16th, Main Conference Hall - Johar! Voices from vanishing India
Scholar Bulu Imam in conversation with film-makerSusanne Gupta and archeologist Erwin Neumayer

May 17th, Small Conference Hall - Parampara: learning from my mother…
Tribal artists Putli Ganju, Philomina Tirkey Imam and Juliet Fatima Imam talking about their art

In Rome, from May 20th till 14th September 2008, various Venues:

May 20th, Lelio Basso Foundation for Indigenous Rights, Via della Dogana Vecchia 5
- India and its indigeneous people: a history of denial Scholar Bulu Imam in conversation with Prof. Umberto Mondini and Prof. Scaria Thurutyril (Università Pontificia Salesiana in Rome) and Dott. Elisabetta Salvatorelli (FILB).

May 21st, International Women House, Via della Lungara 19 - Parampara: learning from my mother… Tribal artists Putli Ganju, Philomina Tirkey Imam and Juliet Fatima Imam talking about their art, followed by Screening of the video The one-eared elephant from Hazaribagh by german film-maker Susanne Gupta

From May 22nd till 14th September, 2008, Ethno-Prehistoric L. Pigorini Museum, Piazza Marconi 14
– Johar! Territories of the Sacred: Continuity and Tradition of the Indigenous Cultures in Jharkhand Follow up of the Action Painting started in Udine and Exhibition and loop screening of the video The one-eared elephant from Hazaribagh by Susanne Gupta

May 23rd, same Venue - Seminar: Rock art painting and prehistory in Jharkhand
Scholar Bulu Imam in discussion with Italian archeologist Massimo Vidale.

May 24th onwards, a small exhibition was held at the Tarshito Gallery of painted cloths and mud paintings at the Tarshito Gallery in Rome. Mayur readers will remember that TWAC did a project on the recommendation of Daniela Bezzi with the famous Italian artist Tarshito, of painting Sohrai murals on cloth at Sanskriti a couple of years ago, which led to the development of cloth murals culminating in the Udine murals.

Sposidea (Wedding Fair Exhibition), Milan
The Sposidea is a Wedding Fair which takes place at the Villa Castelbaree near Milan. This year an exhibition of Khovar and Sohrai paintings by the TWAC artists of Sanskriti is being arranged by Ms.Daniela Bezzi at the venue.

Guests Visits Sanskriti
In October every year before the Sohrai harvest festival we are visited by German guests who come under the guidance of Rev.Dieter Hecker of the G.E.L.Mission. This year we had four guests from northern Germany who visited the painted village of Bhelwara. Shortly before this we were visited for five days by our old friend Erwin Neumayer, the well known specialist on rockart and author of books on the rockart of India (Lines on Stone), the art of Raja Ravi Verma (Popular Indian art) and India’s Freedom Movement in Popular Art (Bharat Mata). On 18-19 Oct. we were visited by Dr.Klaus Roeber whose family is associated with G.E.L.Mission since its inception in Jharkhand.

Sohrai at Bhelwara, 29-30 Oct., 2008
This year as usual we attended the Sohrai harvest festival at Bhelwara with guests visiting Sanskriti. These included Vinod Ranjan, who has recently submitted his dissertation for MPhil at Mangalaytan Univ. Aligarh on the Wall Paintings of Tribals in Hazaribagh under Sanskriti’s guidance; Dieter and Ursula Hecker; Prof..Rev.Yim Tesoo (Chairperson Ochlos World Mission, South Korea); Radhika Borde who has completed her Masters from Lancaster Univ. (UK) on the Asurs of Jharkhand; Ujjal Ghosh (Director, Upendra Maharathi School of Painting).

Dr.M.C.Choubey died 18th August, 2008

We are very sad to inform our readers of the passing away of a great INTACH Convener, Dr.M.C.Choubey of Gol Bazar, Jabalpur, whose dedicated services to INTACH will remain a glowing memory to all the older Chapter Conveners. In 1993 he produced the extraordinary history of Jabalpur, and his overall contributions to academics and cultural heritage of India will long be remembered. We pay our deep condolences to his wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren

Contact details:

Bulu Imam, Convener
INTACH, Hazaribagh Chapter
“Sanskriti”, Dipugarha, P.O.Hazaribagh 825 301,
Jharkhand, India
Tel: 06546-264820; Fax: 06546-270815