British actor and activist Emma Watson joined the chorus of praises for the women of India’s historic Chipko Movement from the 1970s. In a reshared social media post, the 31-year-old environmentalist recognised the non-violent eco-protest that is among the most famous of its kind the world over.
“Thank you for protecting our forests and trees!” Watson’s post, taken from Instagram pages Witches of Insta, alongside a sepia picture of women hugging trees, as was the defining feature of the movement led by the women of Uttarakhand, reads. “The women pictured here were part of the Chipko movement, a non-violent social and ecological moment by rural villagers, particularly women, in India during the 1970s. Here they are protecting a tree from government logging.”
The post goes on to explain the meaning of the Hindi word “chipko” (stick to).
The Chipko Movement forms a significant part of Indian protest history and environmental activism, so much so that as part of school syllabi, it is familiar to most schoolgoing students in the country. Sunderlal Bahuguna is the man credited with guiding the Uttarakhand villagers’ movement against the Forest Department’s tree-felling activities in the Himalayan foothills.
Emma Watson Praises Chipko Movement: Netizens React
Reading about the Chipko Movement again, via Watson who is an active advocate of social issues as equality and climate change, has generated much interest among netizens. The post by the Harry Potter actor has crossed over a million likes and amassed thousands of comments.
“Thank you Emma for posting about Chipko Movement on yhe behalf of Indians,” one comment read. “Yes they has whole chapter of this moment in syllabus of standard 8th or 9th Now. Very proud,” read another. “Salute to these ladies..strong and brave,” one user wrote.
Fans are simultaneously gearing up to see Watson reunite with her costars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint as the Harry Potter golden trio teams up for a reunion to mark the film franchise’s 20th anniversary. To be streamed on HBO Max, January 1, 2022, the reunion special will also see alumni Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton and others come together. Follow updates on the reunion here.