Wednesday, 19th February, 2020


Government asks people to hold breath daily for ten minutes to cut emissions

07, Dec 2009 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. Union Minister for Environment, Mr. Jairam Ramesh has proposed that the citizens of India should practice breath-holding to cut down on the emission of carbon-dioxide in the country. Mr. Ramesh informed that the government could soon bring an ordinance making it compulsory for each citizen to hold breath for at least ten minutes each day.

Minister averred that it was the best way to resolve the climate change impasse, and portray a responsible image of India to the rest of the world.

“It will not only curb the emission level of carbon-dioxide, but it can actually be quite healthy for our people. Muslims can hold their breath for two-minutes each before their five prayers, while the Hindus can practice pranayam daily and cut down on their flab as well,” Jairam Ramesh proposed a secular solution to the climate problems. Earlier, Ramesh had asked foreigners to stop eating beef to cut down emissions, but his statement was accused of being inspired from Hindu ethos, and hence communal.

Former US President George Bush holding breath - a few people believe that Jairam Ramesh is following an American conspiracy
Former US President George Bush holding breath – a few people believe that Jairam Ramesh is following an American conspiracy

Coming on a day when Copenhagen summit on climate change gets underway, Jairam Ramesh’s statement is being seen as an attempt to present India’s serious take on the climate change issues. But his statement has not gone down well with anyone, with even the pro-Hindu BJP denouncing his suggestions. BJP accused Ramesh of acting under pressure from ‘foreign powers’ and staged a walk-out from the parliament, with all the BJP MPs breathing heavily as a mark of protest.

Not only the opposition, there are voices of opposition even within the government. UPA leader and Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee too has expressed her reservations over Jairam Ramesh’s proposal of making breath-holding compulsory. She has proposed two alternatives to the proposal – First, instead of asking every Indian to hold breath, ask all the Bengali communists to not breathe at all, and second, ask every Indian to talk incessantly, as research has found that when we talk, we don’t breathe.

Among the non-political circles, Baba Ramdev is quite excited over the prospects and has promised to carry out workshops of pranayam for the countrymen. Association of Fat Ass People have welcomed the solution, asking for a total ban on sports and other physical activities that causes people to breathe fast and hence exhale a lot more carbon-dioxide. In an interesting twist, Bangalore Dog Haters Club has asked the government to control the population of dogs as these animals pant too much and release a lot more greenhouse gases than those by human beings.

Buoyed by these responses, the government is considering introducing the compulsory breath-holding ordinance this week itself, whenever the parliament has over 10% attendance.

(with critical inputs from Durian Mangycur)