Apoorva Joshi

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

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

"One Tiger skull please, poached with salt on the side"













So you have trade routes confirmed, you know what the hubs are, you know what the hotspots are.. You have the weapons, ammunition, manpower, authority, ability... but someone stole your WILL? We tackle terrorism when someone walks into our country and blows our people apart blatantly. We can tackle Maoists when they blow up our officers, derail trains and kill hundreds of innocent people. But we cannot, for some completely UNFATHOMABLE reason, tackle poaching. A crisis that has been slapping us in our faces for decades, centuries, I don't know how long. Every other day a Leopard here, a Deer there, a Tiger here, an Otter there, a Crocodile here, a Sloth bear there; every single day. 
   And the Government of this country somehow expects us to believe that it cannot do anything about it. Merely writing in your Constitution that something titled 'xyz' is illegal does NOTHING. You need to implement laws, amend them if they're useless. 
  And traditional Chinese medicines for WHAT!? You're the most populated country on the face of the PLANET! You need medication for IMPOTENCY if you need anything!!!! Even if half your country dies off, you will still have enough people and sources [not resources] to survive for 4 generations!!! What ARE they trying to DO!? Im actually stunned at how hopelessly pathetic this China is. And Japan also... Sitting and legalizing Whaling. One country will kill everything terrestrial. The other will kill everything aquatic. Amazing.
   These two countries epitomize Contract Killing. There is nothing that can be more apt to be described as terrorism. Environmental terrorism. Single handedly being able to wipe out not just their OWN resources in terms of wildlife, but also those of neighbouring countries, is QUITE a skill really. 
   The question is, why isnt wildlife considered just as important as any other national and at this point in time, international crises? Why doesn't any one care about what happens to the wildlife? Don't Chinese schools teach their kids that without the wilderness, mankind's extinction is imminent? I am of the strong opinion that China, Japan, Norway, all all those countries who want to legalize Tiger trade and Whale trade respectively, should be TRADED to Hell. And honestly, I don't give a rat's posterior about how Im sounding right now. The fact is, animals get poached because there is :
a) a huge demand, b) pathetic management, c) crazy levels of corruption, d) super weak laws and implementation, e) immense underplaying of these issues in the media and on the international front, f) lack of awareness about the condition we're in and the condition we're bringing upon ourselves and the future generations. 
   No wonder then that we're in this situation. Jairam Ramesh or no Jairam Ramesh it is not HIS sole duty to sit and protect the environment. It's a legal responsibility of every single citizen of India.. god knows about other countries. I think Japan's Constitution demands spearing lessons for children of all ages with spears of varying lengths and dimensions. China probably teaches "poachingopathy" instead of naturopathy... 
    And then there are these amazing organizations like Greenpeace who will sit and fight and fight for the Whales... and one fine day, suddenly say, ok fine, we're tired now, just kill all the Whales you want and don't tell anyone we allowed you to. There goes another species... and another. And you really think they'll stop at this!? Humpback's will go extinct, they'll eat something else. BULLSHIT scientific research. Have you EVER heard of any one from japan writing a paper on Whales, their behaviour, breeding biology, migration, feeding habits, whatever? No. Have you ever heard of Chinese "scholars" write on Tiger biology? They CULTIVATE Tigers. To butcher, pierce, kill, slaughter, and SELL.. oh , and eat! 
    And here, we sit and eat vegetables! Those guys must think we're totally wacko to eat cabbages, brinjals, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes... blah blah..!! 
  Coming back to the actual point. Poaching. We have SOOOO many crazy abbreviations that apparently stand for agencies in this country. NTCA, TTF, WTI, WPSI, and what not!! Why then, are our Tigers still being sold to China? Why then are OUR wild animals being slaughtered by OUR people on someone ELSE's orders and shipped off to different parts of this world? Who is answerable? Who is responsible? Why are those responsible, still roaming free? Rapists get jailed and punished. Murderers too. Do I have reason to believe that a poacher in fact, is NOT a murderer?? Im sorry, I don't. I think they are exactly the same as murderers. And hence, deserve similar strict punishment. We know who the poachers are. We know where they live. We know their gang members. We know how they kill and when and where. We know what their targets are. We know who is the corrupt link in the administration. And yet, ALL of the above roam. Free. Because the Government, the Administration feels strongly, that they have "more important things to worry about than some random Tiger or some stupid Pangolin or Otter or Bird that got poached somewhere.."  Those are the people, who run this country. Who get ELECTED to the seats they SLEEP in. Who hoard money like its oxygen!! If only they had been that selfish about planting saplings, or their wildlife... 
    Sansar Chand himself was out of bail three times. There's more. Yes, there IS more. This is only the tip of that quintessential iceberg. More than 90% of wildlife crimes go UNREPORTED. Go un-Noticed. Why? Because no one cares. No one, gives a damn.  So when we read that A leopard skin has been recovered, there are 10 other Leopard skins... that have silently, slipped away into oblivion. And THAT silence, is downright scary. It's worrying NOW more than ever. We are not a nation or a world over flowing with wildlife that we can afford to have 555 kilograms of Pangolin scales, and 20 kgs of Tiger bones being dispatched here and there. 
   I rest my case. 
   

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