The Bold Voice of J&K

Save The Tiger

89

G.L. Khajuria

The tiger (Pantheratigris) as we all well know is our National animal which is more mercilessly on the verge of extinction at the cruel hands of modern most civilised man not in India but across the globe. Nature is a great healer and bountiful at the same time so much so that it signifies concern of sympathy for all biofoms in their natural ecosystem or what in other words round we nomenclatures as biodiversity.
The man though very proudly claims to be a social animal is unambiguously very heinous towards its surrounds whether to talk of wide, varied rich flora and Kaleidoscopic wildlife which intermingle with the so-called lush green, vibrant and salubrious forests, flora and fauna ranging from micro-organism to the giant elephant and the like.
The environment coupled with rich fauna has in unison been in the merciless and gruesome hands of man in a multihued way of decimation more so for greed than needs. All these factors in combination are affording an ample opportunity to multihued smugglers, wildlife mafias who take advantage for ruthless decimation and denudation of already frizzled forest cover together with unaccountable and unimaginative loot and plunder of wildlife housing in and around these forest.
These are, of course, the sad and woeful unending stories of the decimation and criminalisation towards the ever-renewable green-gold and colourful wildlife housing in their well-defined eco-system.
Before we go in depthly to ascertain the causes and consequences regarding their wanton dwindling and decimation, let us have a glimpse of our wildlife reserves in our country. India has a vast potential of tiger reserves sprawling over the length and breadth of the county, rather the sub-continent as a whole.
These tiger reserves are as for example in Bandipur (Karnatka), Corbet (U.P.) , Kanah (MP), Manas (Odissa) , Sunderbans (West Bengal , Parihar (Kerala) , Sarika (Rajasthan), Simphal Buxa ( W. Bengal), Indravati (MP) , Nagar Juna Sagar (AP) and Namdapha (AP) etc.
Though all out efforts are being afooted for the creation of many more such reserves in a bid to ensure and enhance the natural heritage, but what purpose does it serve when these are indiscriminately subjected to hunting and poaching under the cover of power and pelf of higher echelons?
Out of all these tiger reserves, Sarika is profoundly, more symptomatic of multihued tigers amongst all other tiger reserves in the entire sub-continent of India, but at the same moment, we are confronted with certain fallouts in the system in so for as the protective aspect is concerned. Valmik Thapar, a well-known naturalist and environmentalist, mentioned years back that he had been on the job for so many years in serving tigers and other wild animals and their habitats and explains further that he had never ever observed any encounter of crisis of such a magnitude. He had mooted out the root cause is resulting from mis-governance both at lower ebb as well as apathetic attitude at higher level and mismanaging at both the levels had in unison made the situation deteriorating.
The breakdown in the system started around some three decades back and the outcome result revealed that M.O.E.F doesn’t work in its rightful perspective resulting thereby that state government feel complacent. It is sad to say that the major caring part is set aside and lesser one is prioritised.
During the premiership of late Indira Gandhi, the wildlife laws were dealt with stringently under the purview of wildlife protection Act- 1972 banning thereby poaching and shooting of tigers and the export of their bones, skin and allied parts.
The fact goes that the wildlife protection Act itself was promulgated by Indira Gandhi in 1972 and in the subsequent years Pilot Project Tigher was introduced to ensure safety and security of tigers from extinction and banning strictly the export of their body parts which under the laid down laws of wildlife Act are unlawful, illegal and heinous. Her dynamic and dedicated approach and political will power was far-beyond of her esteemed vision so much so that even the state government found it quite unimaginative to fall in line.
The preservation and conservation of tigers throughout the country as well across the globe is the subject of bigger row. A few years earlier, a general conscious was sought in the county to ascertain causes and consequences and further working out strategic solution to avert and adopt fool proof measures to arrest the ever-escalating decimation and dwindling of colourful wildlife including the avian and other winged visitors all over the country.
As a consequence, around 200 different experts, officials and other well-versed villagers have put forth their suggestive measures. One of major bottlenecks with which we are confronted with is that the issue has become very cumbersome and excluvist and with the soaring threats of their multiplication turns unsupportive to the extent of their dwindling and decimation in all its togetherness.
In today’s world scenario, hunting and poaching of wildlife, animals and birds have become a regular feature as their body parts yield hefty dividends.
Tigers are easy and soft targets, low risking and high profiting. Though unbelievable to a man in street, yet too true worth the salt going by the record that a single poaching of tiger fetches around 9 lakhs whereas its skin is sold something between 8-9 lakhs. More than 180 tigers have been poached during the last 12 years or so and around 60 tigers are killed each year in atleast in two national parks or reserves. And still astonishing is the fact that Rs 1200 cores is what being the amount fetched by the poachers not long past, but since year-2000. And what would be the fate of these tigers thence afterwards and the future ahead. This is the glaring and awful situation of our county. And applying the yardstick globally, scenario shall be threatening and spine-chilling. Where do the wildlife laws exist and then have their law-enforcing agencies have under deep hibernation?
This is what we as civilised human being are meting out to our innocent and voiceless wildlife- our colourful animals and birds, particularly the tiger … the pride … and National symbol of Mother India 11.And doesn’t this tantamount to an act of utter shameto all of us? Are we not worst than the anti-national elements or to say ghost of terrorism?
Rightly has our late Prime Minister J.L Nehru said years back: “I wonder sometimes what these animals and birds think of man and how will they describe him if they have the capacity to do so. I rather doubt of their description which would be complimentary to man. Inspite of our culture and civilization in many ways, the man continues to be not only wild but more dangerous than any of the so called animals.”
(The author is Former Dy. Conservator of forest, J&K).

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