ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Muzzling Media, Killing Tribals

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The ruse of muzzling the media, especially the BBC, has been unsuccessfully tried by Indian governments several times in the past. But murder will out, as they say. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) must come clean and let everyone know whether sotto voce instructions have indeed been given to forest guards to shoot fellow-citizen tribals found in the Jim Corbett and Kaziranga national park areas. Similar murderous anti-poacher activities have been undertaken in the past with total failure. When Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was the President of the World Wildlife Fund International, Special Air Service commandos in helicopter gunships were used to arrest rhino poaching in Africa. Poor Africans were killed but poaching continued. A few years ago the Andhra Pradesh government callously murdered some poor Tamil woodcutters in Chittoor district alleging they were smugglers of red sanders. Poaching and smuggling cannot be stopped by such killings, for these illegal trades are committed by contractors protected by powerful politicians. The MoEFCC must not be advised by eco-fascists but must win the confidence of tribal communities and support them as the first guardians of their own homelands. If governments of the world keep committing genocide against tribal communities, all will be lost—forests, biodiversity, water, and land. Nothing will be left to sustain the rich in their gated safe havens.

Vithal Rajan

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Updated On : 3rd Mar, 2017
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