Monday, March 29, 2010

Of a thousand tiger dead

Recently I came across a book on shikar tales by an acclaimed hunter of the past? India's past is rich  in natural wealth and hence tigers and wildlife, unfortunately it reeks of awful destruction and plunder that the country went through not only through the barbaric invaders and British Raj? But through our own as well.

The legendary shikari (Not Jim Corbett) narrates his accounts of bravado of shooting tigers in most difficult circumstances and succeeding (Sic!). He describes tiger shoots or hunts as an art without guilt, but  more so with incredible passion...that which belies that this country lives under the shadow of Vedic teachings  that shows utmost respect to nature. His account of tiger shoots is devastating to our generation and unfolds the saga of massive destruction that took place in the past.

The Shikari portrays himself as a legend and unwittingly as an insouciant pig of the British Regalia and the pleasure seeking Maharajahs. Dressed in British code, he narrates accounts of arranging shoots of the innocent animal for the Rulers and the Maharajahs! He narrates with shameless pride the accolades that followed - Brought me fame and fortune(Sic). 

On one hand while half naked fakir (Bapu) and other patriotic elements were fighting for India's freedom this man was totality ignorant of the country's subjugation under a foreign civilization. And so were many insouciant Maharajahs...many of whom hold a place of pride in Independent India. From the accounts...this masterpiece of senseless is evident...of the kind of support that the Rulers got from within.  

In order to please the Rulers and satiate the pride of the Maharajahs, thousands of tigers were poached ..ruthlessly...mercilessly...males, females....cubs...females with cubs...pregnant tigresses...     

His account of behavioral characteristic of tigers at best is comical, a man more adapt in the art of setting the machaan and ruthless murder of innocent animal could not be a field biologist...he appears more like a butcher.

What is disheartening of now...from the accounts is the abundance of tigers in all forested regions sadly gone. The animal and other life forms are still reeling under the threat of destruction from more immediate urgency.  Perhaps the coming generation will read this blog entry and decry us for not doing enough to save the tiger, hence nature. They will target at us, same ire that I and many conservationist are doing at the moment.

Whence the Rulers left and Maharajahs lost dominance the Brown Sahibs took over and the rest is history. 

From the above lines it is obvious that I am certainly not targeting any Nationality or ethnicity, my anger is more on historical times that were steeped in ignorance. It is more at why understanding did not prevail in spite of the preachings of Vedas...that our life depends upon existence of nature inviolate.    

No one including the Rulers would have let loose such destruction that prevailed if ignorance was overtaken timely. By the time the urgency dawned upon Jim Corbett and many others it was too late. 

Today the place of shikaris have been taken over by the poachers, not for ignorant pride or insouciance, but for monetary greed. The World watches helplessly as the beginning of the end nears. We miss in all sincerity our late Prime Minister Indraji more so now...the tables would have turned in favor of the beleaguered life forms by now.


The Government in India is doing its bit to conserve nature.  There are many individuals and organizations involved actively in conservation of species in India and from other countries but it appears to be a loosing battle. God give them strength!  

Jago re! India Jago re!