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Bittu Sahgal's Blog
bittusahgal Description:
I oscillate between elation and despair as I write of an exquisite nation, blessed with an embarrassment of natural riches, which is steadily being brought to its knees by relentless politicians and planners who find no pleasure in birdsong, or forest smells, or pure rivers.

Tigers and Tourism

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

The buzz is that ALL tourism in core areas of tigers reserves should be banned. That would be downright stupid.

I am a major votary of heavier wildlife tourism regulation, particularly on the establishment of lodges right outside reserves that turn forests into bazaars tha rob the dignity of visitors, as they endanger wildlife.


Decarbonising India

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Most people seem to have missed this major announcement made by the Finance Minister of India about a carbon tax on coal. The fact is that a climate tax should be applied on all fossil fuels including oil, gas and coal. This money should be used to fund non-carbon energy. Simultaneously, significant tax incentives, including

I wish some of India's sharper climate scientists and economists would play a more pro-active role on the climate change front. 

From what I have picked up from climate science papers, 2010 may well turn out to be the hottest year on record. People living in mismanaged urban India will discover this to their dismay just as


1,000 Days To Save The Tiger

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

I penned these words together with Valmik Thapar, tiger defender, as far back as September 1996. But they could have been written year after year, because very little real action actually emerged in India to protect our wildlife, including the tiger. In the intervening years tiger habitats continued to be sacrificed to dams,


Good People Out There

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

I wanted to share this short correspondence with a most wonderful man. His name is (Retd) Major B.G. Padbidri and he wrote to me enclosing a cheque of Rs. 50,000, which he wanted Sanctuary to disburse to the three persons mentioned below, who received wildlife awards from us in 2009.

I have requested Mrs. Madhu Bhatnagar of Sri


Keoladeo Ghana Must Live

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Keoladeo Ghana is being assassinated. Prerna Bindra wrote to me suggesting that Sanctuary runs a campaign to save it. This was my response to her and I would like very much for members of the Sanctuary fraternity to pitch in with ideas of their own.

Dear Prerna: Yes we should do a campaign to protect the Keoladeo Ghana


HOME

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

What is it in our rootedness that virtually forces us to stay fixed to what has been ‘home' long after the qualities that define home - comfort, safety, security - have vanished? Why do we persist in living in neighbourhoods or cities long after they have ceased to be friendly and nurturing? Such were the thoughts that wafted


Remembering Sohrabji

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

May 2010 will mark the 10th death anniversary of an industrialist and  visionary I loved. Most other industrialists thought he was merely feeding his passion when he spoke of the need to protect forests, tigers and such like. Today, of course, almost everyone of them is speaking the language that Sohrabji spoke five decades


Just Eight Years Ago

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Parliament’s Wild Heart: I wrote the piece reproduced below just over 8 years ago, when, for one brief shining moment, it seemed like politics and conservation might just make peace.

Subsequently, hawkish economists, ruthless politicians and hungry investors from within India and overseas, combined to destabilise the ecological


Beastly attitudes

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Statistics reveal that on death row in the USA, a significant number of murderers confessed that their first acts of cruelty were perpetrated on animals. It worries me that here in India, intentionally or otherwise, we may be teaching our children that cruelty is a way of life, by reinforcing in subtle and not so subtle ways