Tag Archives: elephant

ARTICLE: A REQUIEM FOR TIGRESS AVNI

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    One of the notable events of 2018 highlighted by the Press on New Year’s eve was the death of the five year old tigress, Avni, in Maharastra. Animal-lovers and activists, among them a Union Minister, alleged that is was a deliberate act of killing, of a fine specimen of an endangered species. The feeling of loss was heightened by the fact that Avni is survived by two two-month old cubs.

    It looked as if the newspapers revelled in the controversy that erupted after the tragic end of Avni. From November 3 to December 10, day after day, sparks flew and the Press carried reports of allegations by the activists and defensive statements by the alleged perpetrators of the crime, namely, the State Government at the ministerial level and the sharp-shooters, father and son. The Union Minister wanted nothing less than the State Forest Minister’s scalp, to wit, his dismissal or resignation. The latter retorted that those who held animal life more precious than human life should show the way.

    According to one report, the big cat had killed at least 7 out of the 13 who had died during May 2016 and August 2017, in the Loni village Relegaon tehsil, Yavatmal District in the Vidharbha region of Maharastra. In August 2017, Avni made short work of at least three persons. The Forest Department then decided to do away with the animal but the activists in protest took the matter  to the High Court, and later to the Supreme Court. Both the courts nodded their assent for killing the animal. After prolonged but futile efforts at capturing Avni, the State Government engaged two sharp-shooters, Shafath Ali Khan and his son Asghar Ali from Hyderabad, and they accomplished the job on November 2.

    Meanwhile, the activists were up in arms. They maintained that the animal should have been captured rather than killed. They alleged that the land was cleared of wildlife to help a private party to set up a factory. Some experts held that several Acts were violated in the diabolic process. Asghar Ali claimed that the animal was shot dead in self-defence. The Hyderabad Forensic Laboratory, on December 10, 2018, confirmed the attempt at tranquilising the animal.

    It would appear that so much vehemence in the protest against the killing  and the excessive publicity given to the controversy were disproportionate to the intrinsic importance  of the event itself. The tiger, no doubt a marvel of creation, is not ecologically very important. The Project Tiger, which was launched in 1973, to preserve wildlife, set out with the aim in moderate terms viz. ‘to maintain a viable population of tigers in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values.’ It must be said to the credit of the Government that, unlike other Asian countries such as Japan and Korea where the species is extinct, the wildlife conservation measures have paid up in India. From 2500 in 1972, the tiger population increased to 3642 in 2001-2002; the number of ‘Tiger Reserves’ rose from 9, covering an area of 14,000 sq km in 1973 to 27, covering an area of 37,761 sq. km, spread over 17 states.

TIGER IN LITERATURE

    ‘Magnificent’ is the word that comes to my mind when one thinks of this gorgeously striped (in yellow and black) creature. It has inspired poets, novelists and animal lovers no end. William Blake (1757-1827) in a popular poem, gave expression to his wonder:

    ‘What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?’

    He poised the following question for which we have no answer to this day. ‘Did He who made the lamb make thee?’

    The tiger as an object of worship, as Valmik Thapar points out in his informative book ‘The Cult of the Tiger’ (Penguin 2002), had been prevalent from Siberia to South-East Asia; perhaps, it continues here and there.

    In India, Shiva of the Trinity of Gods, wears the tiger skin vyaagrasina ambara-dhara, as Sri Shankara says in his Shivaashtakam. Even as the Sabarimala Temple of Kerala is in the news, one remembers that the deity brought a tiger home when the Queen of Pandalam wanted Ayyappa to fetch tiger’s milk from the forest. The Supreme Goddess Durga has for her vehicle the tiger.

    The literature on the tiger is vast; about 55 books are listed  as of Indian origin in Valmik Thapar’s book.

    While sympathising with the two surviving cubs, let us have a Requeim for Avni.

RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND CONSERVATION

    India in the 21st century has over one billion people and also boasts of half of the world’s tiger population, half of the world’s Asiatic elephant population and along with these charismatic species, an array of other living organisms. Could any of this have been possible without a core belief in nature? Could the Asiatic elephant have been safe without a belief in Ganesha, the elephant God? Could the tiger have survived had it not been the vehicle of Durga? And would the snake, the turtle, the peacock, the cranes and some of our trees have survived without a bank of beliefs in them?  –Valmik Thapar.

(This article was written by V.S.R.K. and published in Bhavan’s journal in recent months)

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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SHORT STORY: THE FOOLISH HARE

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The Foolish Hare

    One day a little foolish hare was sitting under a fruit tree, and was deeply immersed in his own thoughts. As a matter of habit he mostly took quick decisions without giving a second thought. One day he got a brainwave. “What’ll happen to me when the earth comes to an end?” At that very moment a fruit fell from the tree. Off ran the foolish hare as fast as his legs could carry him. He thought that the noise of the fruit falling on the ground was that of the earth breaking to pieces. He ran and ran, not daring to look behind. 

    “Brother, Brother,” called another little hare that saw him running, “please tell me what has happened!” 

    But the little hare ran on and on and did not turn to answer. So, the other hare ran after him calling louder and louder, “What has happened, little brother, what has happened?” 

    Unable to withstand the repeated call of the fellow hare, the little hare stopped for a moment and said, “The earth is breaking into pieces!” Upon hearing this the other hare started running even faster, and then a third hare joined them and then a fourth and a fifth till a hundred thousand hare started racing through the fields. And they raced through the forest and valleys. Upon hearing that the earth was coming to an end even the deer, the boars, the elks, the buffaloes, the oxen, the rhinos, the tigers, the lions and the elephants, all ran wildly with them. 

    But among them lived a lion that was very wise. He knew everything that happened in the world. He came to know that so many hundreds and thousands of animals were running away because they believed that the earth was breaking into pieces. He thought, “This earth of ours is far from coming to an end. But these poor creatures will die if I don’t save them. In their fright they might just run blindly and drown in the sea.” 

    So, he ran at such a pace that he reached a certain mountain which lay in their path. As they passed by the mountain he roared three times, so loudly that they stopped. All stood still, close to each other, trembling. 

    The great lion descended from the mountain and approached them. “Why are you running at such a pace?” he asked. 

    “The earth is breaking to pieces”, they replied. 

    “Who saw it breaking to pieces?” he asked. 

    “The elephants”, they replied. 

    “Did you see it breaking?” he asked the elephants. 

    “No. we did not see it. The lions saw it,” they replied. 

    “Did you see it?” he asked the lions. 

    “No. the tigers saw it”, they replied. 

    Then the lion asked the tigers, “Did you see it?” 

    “The rhinos saw it”, they replied. 

    But the rhinos said, “The elks saw it.” 

    The elks said, “The bears saw it.” 

    The bears said, “The oxen saw it.” 

    The oxen said. “The deer saw it.” 

    The deer said. “The hares saw it.” 

    And the hares said, “That little one told us that the earth was breaking.” 

    “Did you see the earth breaking?” He asked the little hare. 

    “Yes lord,” replied the hare. “I saw it breaking.” “Where were you when you saw it breaking?” He asked. 

    With a trembling voice the little hare replied, “I was sitting beneath a fruit tree and thought, “What will happen to me when the earth comes to an end?” And at that very moment I heard the noise of the earth breaking so I ran.” 

    The wise lion thought for a moment. He was sitting under a fruit tree. Certainly the noise he heard was that of a fruit falling on the ground. “Ride on my back, little one,” he said, “and show me where you saw the earth break.” 

    The little hare jumped on his back and the great lion flew to the place. But as they approached the fruit tree, the little hare jumped off. So frightened was he to return to the spot. And he pointed out the tree to the lion, saying, “Lord, there is the tree.” 

    The great lion went to the tree and saw the spot where the little hare had been sitting and the fruit which had fallen from the tree. “Come here little one”, he called. 

    “Now where do you see the earth broken? 

    Little hare looked around. He saw the fruit on the ground. Now he knew there was no reason for his fright. He jumped once again on the lion’s back and away they went to the hundreds of creatures who were awaiting their return. 

    The lion then told the great multitude that the noise the little hare had heard was of a fruit falling to the ground. And so all turned back, the elephants to the valleys, the lions to the caves, the deer to the river banks and the little hare to the fruit tree. The little hare was foolish and had brought trouble to all animals. 

    MORAL: Beware of rumours … especially whattsapp rumours. And being foolish is dangerous for oneself as well as others.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****