Marking the birth centenary of the first woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a book “Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature”, authored by former union minister Jairam Ramesh was released here on Monday.
The release function was organised on Monday evening at the prestigious Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), in south Mumbai, which Indira Gandhi had visited four times as PM.
Ramesh said that much has been written, discussed about Indira Gandhi’s career as a politician and as the PM, but her love for environment, how it shaped the environmental laws and decisions during her tenure has been overshadowed.
Himself an ardent environmentalist, Ramesh discusses in the book the late PM’s love for nature and her efforts towards biodiversity conservation, drawing extensively from unpublished letters, notes, messages and memos.
‘Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature’ offers the compelling story of the late PM as a naturalist, with lively narratives of a relatively unknown but fascinating aspect of her tumultuous public career, he added. It also serves as a compass to India at a time when the country faces the formidable challenge of ensuring ecological security and sustainability in its pursuit of economic growth.
The book has a treasure trove of photographs and letter exchanged between naturalists like India’s grand old man of bird, Salim Ali, Billy Arjan Singh and Anne Wright, excerpts from official correspondences, notes to supplement her letters and writings.
“Be it Project Tiger, Wildlife Protection Act, Forest Conservation Act, Environmental Protection Act, particularly CRZ, Indira Gandhi’s services to the environment conservation needs no introduction, and she consulted BNHS on issues related to wildlife. We cherish this association with her,” said BNHS Director Deepak Apte on the occasion.
Ramesh, Congress MP, has held several key ministerial portfolios at the centre and has written several books including ‘Old History, New Geography: Bifurcating Andhra Pradesh’, “To The Brink and Back: India’s 1991 Story”, and “Green Signals: Ecology, Growth and Democracy in India”.