Advertisement
Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
Outlook.com
opinion

Requiem For Ranthambhor

Tigers roamed here once. Now, it's a jungle of caterwauling tourists.

Requiem For Ranthambhor
Sandeep Adhwaryu
Requiem For Ranthambhor
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

I have had a link with Shivpuri, northwest Madhya Pradesh, since 1950, when our people began to restore neglected farmlands on the fringe of the forest. I spent long school and college holidays there. The population was small, the forests of young India were abundant, the tiger, blue bull, chinkara and wild boar roamed everywhere. It had been the finest tiger-shooting area of the maharajas, and viceroys came here regularly. The first time I went there, we walked eight miles through the jungle to our farmer-uncle who then used to live in a thatched hut. We slept on paddy straw, and shouted all night to keep the deer away from the half acre of wheat. In the morning, we saw huge pugmarks in a slightly wet water course. A tiger had been by. At that time, the jungle stretched westward across the Chambal to Ranthambhor. The tigers roamed free and far through these forest corridors.

Alas, the forests have gone, the Shivpuri hills are bare and pockmarked by illegal slate mines. There are no tigers or even panthers any more. In the monsoon, we no longer hear the roar of a rutting male from the hill opposite. All is quiet. A game park has been established. It has only some deer and crocodiles in the lake. Cattle with nothing to eat roam everywhere. What hope can there be for wildlife in a situation of unlimited human and cattle numbers and no forest for food and shelter?

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Beasts Of Burden: Why Maharashtra Farmers Are Abandoning Their Cattle

Beasts Of Burden: Why Maharashtra Farmers Are Abandoning Their Cattle

With farmers in Maharashtra reeling under crop failures and mounting debts, rearing milch cattle has not remained a profitable option.

Maharashtra Farmers Look For 'Love' Amid Continued Woes And Degrading Social Status

Maharashtra Farmers Look For 'Love' Amid Continued Woes And Degrading Social Status

Maharashtra’s social fabric is undergoing a tough change. While the sons of farmers are finding it an uphill task to get brides, their sisters do not want farmers as husbands.

SL Vs WI, 2nd Test, Live: Lanka Take Lead Vs Windies At Galle

SL Vs WI, 2nd Test, Live: Lanka Take Lead Vs Windies At Galle

Follow live cricket scores of Day 4 of the second Test between Sri Lanka vs West Indies in Galle. The West Indians are trying to win their first-ever Test match in Sri Lanka.

Farm Laws Repealed But For Maharashtra Farmers, The Misery Is Far From Over

Farm Laws Repealed But For Maharashtra Farmers, The Misery Is Far From Over

In addition to man-made calamities, natural disasters have been a continual problem for Maharashtra farmers even as the state sits on a huge agrarian crisis.

Advertisement