Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Information and Media; Environmental Science and Policy @Michigan State University

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

Mr.Modi's objection to the Royal Roar..

The Asiatic Lion , found ONLY in Gir National Park, Gujarat, India, is one more Cat, fast losing to senseless decisions based on baseless misconceptions. We are not used to seeing Lions looking like over-grown malnourished domestic Cats. But the harsh truth of the matter is, Gir, houses the only surviving population of wild Asiatic Lions in the world today. And this means that any effort, whatsoever, made to relocate them and increase the expanse of their habitat is a positive step towards their survival. Kuno, an area of Madhya Pradesh, was selected by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for the relocation of 5 of Gir's Lions. This proposal has been cleared by the Centre and now, still lies hanging from a noose because of one person and his "concern" about the animal.
Mr.Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, happens to think otherwise. He, and his Government, feel that this "experimental" idea would be a disaster as Lions and Tigers cannot co-exist in the same habitat. Obviously, when the world was made , Lions knew that they cannot co-exist with Tigers.. or then, Tigers were so furious with the Gods for giving them competition, that they refused to leave their territory and kicked out the Lions. Oh come on!! Since the day the Forests have been inhabited by animals, co-existence has always taken its route. We are the ones responsible for the massive failure of the Lion's survival else where. Not Tigers!
Mr.Modi, obviously doesnt realise that what he claims as Gujarat's pride and uniqueness, will soon become its curse if he doesnt let this relocation happen. The area of Gir is too small to accommodate the prides of Lions living there. A male Lion hardly gets his expected home territory currently, which pushes them out of the boundaries of the Park into civilisation and hence forces them to turn to cattle for food. The Lions are being electrocuted, poisoned, and poached. But even now, the Modi Government seems to be having trouble with facing truth. If the Lions die out, they become extinct. Eventually leading to severe extreme shame for Gujarat. This uniqueness is soon bound to become its common-ness in joining the list of those uncaring hypocrites who have let species die out to extinction right before them by blindly ignoring solutions given by experts.
Kuno's habitat is very similar to that of Gir, and if allowed to settle in, the Lions can make a stunning recovery. And Gujarat can rise in the eyes of the country. Being stubborn is simply going to end the respect that anyone ever had for Mr.Modi. If im not wrong, he has no expertise is the concerned field of Wildlife Management and should, therefore, restrain himself from stepping into matters that go way above his level, stick to poverty reduction and railways and stuff instead. Do what you can do Mr.Modi, dont get nosy in what you obviously cannot understand!!
Let those Lions live. Because the more you oppose the Royal Roar, the more we love the opposition party!! Since Conservationists dont usually stoop to the levels that politicians are on, it certainly does NOT mean that we cannot! If incessantly provoked, and offended, we can and definitely WILL fall low and use the "tit-for-tat" method. We've done that before, and would not hesitate to go one more time.
In the name of those poor endangered Felines, let sense prevail over sheer nonsense!! And yes Mr.Modi, not everyone is focussing on the Tigers.. there are those that are aware of the status of other Wildlife as well. We know how to do our job well. You could borrow a leaf or two from us on this..

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