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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Damocles Sword: Challenging the Conservation Ethos

License to Kill 

It hardly seems true that badly ravaged and plundered ecosystems in India support abundance of wildlife, anymore.  Well according to the government this is true somewhere in some States. Hence the permission for legal culling of  abundant species is on the table. 

Our five thousand year (plus) cultural heritage which boasts of conservation ethos ranging from the Vedas to the non violent concepts of preservation of life have proved to be ineffective as far as human greed for wealth, especially in the contemporary times whence economic prosperity is of greater concern.

The  malafide addition due legalising this murderous assault on species well below the sustenance level in India is giving rise to lust for killing. Though the honourable have reasoned that this is being done to protect crops from damage hence boost economic growth.      

Taking advantage of this largess, it is alleged that the lustful are killing with glee even in premises where hunting has not been legalised.  

Wildlife in India is already under severe survival stress from rabid industrial growth, resulting pollution, unchecked human settlements, unplanned urbanisation and rapid deforestation. Though we are discussing about the contemporary era, Indian ecosystems have been ravaged since thousands of years, more so since the beginning of the Raj. The wildlife has been continuously decimated resulting in critical existence of many species and extinction of some.        

Barely subdued, the lust for killing by the wildlife protection act and awareness, the legalization may renew the fervour of the big and small and open up new vistas of hunting illegally under the umbrella of the law.

To worsen the matter the demand for animal parts internationally is posing severe threat to rare species. Rampant poaching is taking place in this country in neglected areas not forgetting the sordid incidences in the protected areas during this decade.

The sharp retort from Menaka Gandhi (within the ruling government) who is erudite in matter of conservation took the environment ministry with surprise. Well "overzealous" is what the ministers and bureaucrats usually think of such reactions and most of the sane conservation voices are hence subdued.

It is for the people enmasse to react to every ill advised policy, especially if it is published with populist desires. Wildlife in India is doomed till saner policies and proactive protection measures are put in place. Public should come into picture before it is too late.