Friday, July 26, 2019

The Embattled Tiger

She was beaten to death?



Was she intruding into human settlements, did she injure or kill humans? Or are we intruding into her land? The latter is not probable but the truth - an axiomatic truth without doubt. 

In the parliament,  or at hustings whence serious issues are being battled environment is not a issue at all...or may be but at an insignificant level. Paying a lip service to conservation of wildlife and saving the environment is a sure shot act of evasion from being ostracized by the club of those who are aware and the unrelenting media.  

Except the headlines, I did not bother to read the story. 

This is a story that is happening almost now and then, and may continue till the big cats are alive in the wilderness in India. 

Undoubtedly the tiger is the World's most persecuted land based carnivore. Extensive hunting, poaching, traditional medicines, cosmetics, toiletries, man animal conflicts, prey base reduction, and now habitat takeover and destruction at the speed of light. Not that these things did not happen before. They did! And that is why this big cat is in a precarious state almost on verge of extinction where ever it now survives. At most of the places on Earth at its former range, it has been exterminated, mercilessly killed as vermin or kicked out of its home. The dastardly acts continue.... 

On the Tiger Day the newly collated census will be announced, the increased numbers will be touted as enhanced conservation but unfortunately the efforts are mired in greater number of problems the carnivore is facing than that being highlighted. The epiphany will never point to the population crossing the threshold of imminent possibility of extinction in India. Because tiger conservation has to be comprehensive in tackling the convergence of wide scale issues and conflicts that are threatening the species in this country.   

Ours is such a human centric society and greedy as well that we will continue to exterminate other life forms especially those that take on cudgels with us like the predators...

We also consume wildlife as food and medicine which is putting under stress populations of many beleaguered life forms especially the aquatic species. This too continues and involved in these illogical farming are some of the most rational countries. TCM is a big scourge and the big cat is the biggest sufferer.  But we have to be aware that the feline parts are in demand in India as medicine and talisman as well but it is much less. People are fond of tiger nails as well which is a threat to the survival of this species...poachers are encouraged due to demand of these parts. All of us should let go off this malady with immediate effect.     

In India though great efforts are being made to save the tiger - which also include that of some NGOs. The efforts has been thwarted on regular basis by policy conflict with emphasis on rapid development and economic pursuits that hinder a rational approach due to these exigencies. Nefarious elements are always a threat to wildlife in any country.  

Enamoured as we are with this modern structural empowerment all around us which enable utilization of all modern amenities at our door step at press of a button making natural habitats and environment concerns deep secondary and extremely vulnerable. 

Those at the helm have to sit down and concur how best we can develop without damaging nature and neglecting environmental concerns. 

The tiger is to blame for attack on humans a species sacrosanct, and the supreme masters of this Earth. That humans are encroaching on its land is of least concern and hardly discussed whence an event like man killing or lynching of the tiger occurs. 

We are devouring land like we should not, but who cares townships, highways and factories are an essential components of our society. To protest could result is repercussion of the worst kind. Even though it is apparent that man made leaps on Earth cannot be prevented yet we can mitigate the harm we are causing to nature and its vital components that which can save the tiger for eternity.  

We have moved forward far from treating wild animals as vermin we actually conserve we? Killing tigers and other wild forms as a remedy for safety of humans is not conservation. Do we dwell deep into the contingency that prevails in our society. Have we found answer to sporadic poaching, forced incursions into human habitations, to electrocution of animals, habitat destruction which is shamefully reoccurring, or wood logging going unnoticed at many places in India? 

Are we serious about tiger conservation or.....? 

We are a savage civilization but do not appear so, morphed perhaps by modern appendages and a mannerism which is broad scale deceptive. We know very well that we are dependant upon the offerings of nature and the equilibrium in the Earthly environment...and yet we choose to neglect the vital components like the tiger that nature is desperately trying to retain. 

Nature is a chain of things indelibly linked to each other, a fragile web which is giving away, thanks to our rabid a result, the global warming related climate change is taking place. What about extreme water shortages at many places? Are we concerned? Need we pay a greater price. We will because we are refusing to mend our ways.   

Uday is a naturalist and writes on tiger conservation and the environment: