Two Questions and my Answer to Both

Posted by: Suhas Kumar on


Nature and its creatures must make dollars for humans?How many

Wild animals we should have in India?

May be I am a little outdated for I don't subscribe to the utilitarian view of the world. I believe in a world created by a power that human mind cannot comprehend. Earth is the only planet known till now to harbour life and life on earth is sustained by a complex process of interdependence.

As scientists and foresters - We were taught ecology. When I hear some scientists and foresters proposing that humans could very well assume the ecological roles that various species play in nature, I am appalled. When somebody asserts that tigers are redundant as humans can take over the role that a tiger (carnivore) performs in nature, he/she is either oversimplifying or he is a degree holder without the knowledge of ecology and conservation biology.

When somebody proposes that let us set our objectives - how many animals 'we -the humans' can manage in India(or the world), it reeks of self assumed supremacy of man' which is as untrue as the assertion that the ocean is only a pool of sand. You can very well manage a ranch but you can't manage jungle same as you can very well make a test tube baby but can't create even a single cell amoeba on you own. And who are the human's to decide how many animals should be on this planet. Multi cellular life on earth evolved around 580 million years ago but Homo sapiens sapiens that evolved only 0.1 million years ago have usurped everything on this planet seemingly for their own benefit rampaging every nook and corner of earth as if this planet is under the sole ownership of humans. To me this short-term
benefit race looks like a marathon for self destruction. Man was not running
(ruining) the planet before that.

When carnivores are wiped out what happens to their umpteen camp-followers -mongoose, civet, jackal, hyena, vulture, tree pie, crow, maggot, and microoragnism. And what happens to the herbivores - perhaps hundreds of men equipped with rifles and machine guns would be sent out in the woods to exterminate herbivores to restore the balance of nature. Our knowledge of nature's web is abysmal, we have no idea how the
whole web operate - some trees cannot regenerate if certain  insects are not around and those insects
cannot reproduce if a certain type of plants are not around. And that certain
type of plants cannot grow if certain ecological conditions are not present - I
am alluding to the Brazil nut story ; scientists have researched and learnt
only a little about a handful of such interrelationships in nature.

The proponent of "Man is
GOD" theory in India forget that average Indian forest dweller is still
very tolerant to the losses he/she has been suffering from wild animals, why?
Because, killing is not in the nature of Indians. The culture and ethos of this
country is entirely at variance with what one would encounter in Africa and the
West. The western thinking is that all other living forms on earth have been
created to serve humans, on the other hand in India people worship trees and
animals - in many parts of Indian jungle, village folks still worship bagh dev
and Vandevi and protect sacred groves. Could a few metamorphosed Indians change
this with a lure of dollars; I doubt.

Suhas Kumar