Friday, July 24, 2020

Humans, Tigers & Tiger Day!!


“ A tiger is a large-hearted gentleman with boundless courage and that when he is exterminated—as exterminated he will be unless public opinion rallies to his support—India will be the poorer, having lost the finest of her fauna.”.. Jim Corbett, from Man-eaters of Kumaon.

Well, World Tiger Day sharing & who’s better than this name I can use the words of! Jim is the person who made me (as well thousands of others) know, that a specie named tiger exists when I was some ten years old via his writing & still today when I have seen the tiger more than hundreds of the times by now, his many writings keeps me enlighten about the tiger! We, the humans are really funniest specie of all, as 364 days of the year we care a hang about something, may it be a person or a place or a relation & just one day we celebrate in the name of that thing & feel our job is done! We haven’t spared our father & mother also from celebrating a day for them, how can we spare an animal which lives away from us, way powerful than us on every front except cunningness & dirty mind, so here it is, World Tiger Day, 29th July, which we the humans only has decided to celebrate! 

Now, one may ask that I can understand, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Sister's Day even Doctor's Day & Teacher's Day as these all characters works to make my life happy & comfortable all the rest days of the year, so it’s my duty to pay the tribute for their efforts & that’s why a Day dedicated to them! But why for a Tiger, as doesn’t its a man eater & attacks humans as well our cattle & can somebody ever make a tiger his or her friend & what’s use of tiger to the humans in first place as well what it matters if there are no tigers rather wont the world will be safer then? And then, we already celebrate World Environment Day, Forest Day, Earth Day, so are these days not enough for the tiger? I am sure those who are die hard foresters or knows something about forests will sneer at my writing & even laugh but trust me in the country with population of 130 plus crore human’s, out of that numbers of those who knows what is wild life & what tiger means to the wild life is below even ten lakh (that’s very safe figure I am using). Now imagine, we are 0.01% of total population & rest some 129.90 crore humans doesn’t know a bit about the tiger & they are the one who are real threat to the tigers, that’s why we need to celebrate Tiger Day!

Again one will ask, how the 129.90 crore humans can be a threat to the tiger, do they go & hunt tiger as their food, rather it’s vice versa, isn’t it? And then we live in our homes, we eat our food purchased from shops & vegetable markets, so we don’t even eat tigers food i.e. deer or anything as well we don’t go & live in its cave, so how the hail we can be a threat to the tiger in first place! Well, I don’t blame at all to any of such questioners as I can perfectly understand, its sheer ignorance but then your ignorance can’t justify the crime being done every day under that heading, by any law, is also a fact! Surprised by the word crime, aren’t you but let me know it is crime as you (read as all humans) may not be directly stealing food from the tiger nor you are living in its house i.e. caves or whatever. But your 130 plus crore numbers acquires land for your every need, right from education to food production, to build your homes, to build airports, roads, canals & thousands of such uses which in the end makes your i.e. human life comfortable! And in the process have your ever thought from where this land required for all the industries, schools, farms, roads comes from, do you create it or import from some other planet? No sir, you just use (read as grab) the every sq ft of land on this very earth for all above your uses, which belongs to every other specie too which includes tiger also! And here is how you kill the tigers as like you the tiger also needs his space though he doesn’t need to build (poor fellow cant) any roads or dams or hotels or malls for his comforts for living but still he needs land. As it’s this land which has trees, creepers, grass, animals which are food of tigers, water bodies, caves & pollution free surrounding, it’s this land which we call forest & in the process of acquiring more land for our comforts we are cutting forests & this is the reason what is killing tigers. As imagine if someone takes away your home from you, pollute your water sources, make you walk on road bare foot with vehicles speeding from all directions or force you to cross railway lines with railway running on it & deprive you from your food on top of it, how many days will you be able to survive on your own? This is what we are doing to the tigers & this is why we need to celebrate Tiger Day!

Well again, if the root cause of threat to the tigers is destruction of the forests, then why Tiger Day as that’s threat to every animal & bird in the forest, isn’t it? My logic (reason) is when we speak about Industries in India, imagine it without Mukesh Ambani (well fortunately he too is a tiger lover) or imagine Hindi Cinema without Amitabh Bachhan or imagine cricket without Sachhin Sachhin...shouts, can we? Does it mean without Ambani the industries won’t survive or without Bachhan we won’t make films or Sachin has retired so we stopped playing cricket, no its not yet these names have created a space or say position of their own in respective field, same way the tiger has created its position in the forests! A tiger’s existence in the forests means the forest is complete with all biodiversity aspects, right from the grass eating animals to birds to insects, everything is in place. That’s why when we make able to the tiger to live at peace, a full life cycle is at peace & this is why we celebrate Tiger Day.

Now about tiger’s nuisance to the humans, indeed if someone tries to disturb your life, you will retaliate, wont you? And what will be your expectation at such times from the person who is disturbing you, leave me alone at my peace, isn’t it? Exactly, that’s what the tiger wants from us, give him his peace (read as space) & he won’t disturb us by any means, as actually a tiger is more afraid of the humans than we are afraid of him, that bad we the humans are! And when we give tiger his peace then indirectly we are giving life, peace, space whatever you call it, to the hundreds of every other species which are part of the system we call tiger!

This each of us can do in our own way, like try protecting even the smallest of specie like an ant or butterfly in your back yard, that way some day you can hope that somewhere some tiger will survive. Simplest things you can do is, on any of your road trip, if you are driving through some forest please see that you don’t run down any snake or jackal or even a tiger cub!  So friends, this Tiger Day, gift the tiger nothing but his space & if you are living in some city or town which is far away from the tiger then try reaching out to that every hand which is supporting tiger to give tiger his space. As well make all those humans aware about this day who thinks it’s just another day! I think that’s the best way to celebrate Tiger Day, do think over & act as that’s real celebration than just posting images of tigers you have clicked!

Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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