I Have been meaning to write about this for some time now, but a recent paragraph by Prof. Ram Rahul in his book “The Himalayan Borderland" places the subject in its proper prospective.
I quote :
"I have used the collective name Himalaya (Him, snow, plus alaya, home) in place of the commonly used Himalayas, which is a double plural and a grammatical monstrosity. Indeed, to use the word Himalayas is as absurd as referring to Englishmen as the Englishes or using the word alphabets for two or more letters and characters of an alphabet. Moreover, Himalayas jars on ears accustomed to the euphony of Sanskrit words and phrases. It is curious that it is only in English that the name suffers a corruption. In all the other languages of the world, including other Western languages like French and Russian, it is what we in India have called it from time immemorial."
The editor would welcome articles on subjects concerned with the Himalaya, Karakoram and the Hindu Kush other than just climbing—glaciology, botany, and a whole host of other sciences.
Some concern has belatedly been shown on the topic of environment and the devastating effects of man's encroachment into the wilderness—disappearing wild life, increase in pests, denudation of vegetation and the consequent erosion and effect on rain (weather) are a few of the results of so-called development. Yet conservation can be planned as easily as the "development" of the countryside. It is indeed ironic that in Persia (for instance) large areas of barren hillside have been planted with trees and the effect of this has been magical—the schemes have been planned and executed under Indian advisors and experts—and yet in India the reverse is allowed to be perpetrated -by a mixture of official indifference and political skullduggery, aided and abetted by ignorance and apathy on the part of those who should know better. Readers may find the beginning of a movement amongst the mountaineers, wild lifers and scientists who have recently started to make their small voices heard—some aspects were covered during the International Mountaineers Meet in Darjeeling during May 1973 and in a seminar in Delhi that followed soon after.
The present issue has been late in coming (again, I am afraid to say) but a long term action-plan has been set in motion to make its appearance not only more regular but to make the articles more readable and interesting. The advice of senior members of the Club has been taken in right earnest and steps are in hand to implement as many as possible of their valuable suggestions.
Soli S. Mehta
CORRECTIONS, VOLUME XXXI