October 2008: Only someone who has seen a tiger in the wild can possibly understand the weightless joy that pervades the soul when one condescends to reveal itself in its forest. Sanctuary magazine draws on appreciation to cement people together in defence of the natural world. The tiger does tend to dominate our mission, but is little more than a metaphor for all nature – its imminent demise, a mirror image of our own shaky destiny.
For just under three decades, we have been packaging the creativity and purpose of some of the world’s finest conservation writers, scientists and photographers into Sanctuary. Our fast-expanding reader base recognises that wild species are the gardeners of our earthly Eden, that they are our climate-control engineers, our ticket to survival. But many Indian leaders and businessmen, in whom the joy of nature may not yet have found full expression, need to comprehend and accept this.
To do this, we hope to encourage such people to travel through our pages to the high Himalaya, India’s cold and hot deserts, Lakshadweep’s coral reefs, the dense rainforests of the Andamans, the Western Ghats and Northeast India, the broad-leafed peninsular Indian forests and to coastal wonderlands such as the Sundarbans. The birth of appreciation for things natural in the uninitiated has to be followed by concern and positive action.
This is why we have reserved 1,000 copies of the December issue of Sanctuary to nourish such people’s sensitivity, and we invite Sanctuary readers to recommend names (with designations and complete postal addresses) of people in positions of influence whom they believe would benefit from a glimpse into paradise.
We will review the suggestions sent to us (media people, politicians, bureaucrats, judges and industry heads will get priority) and then send copies to the most worthy candidates at no cost to them, or you (turn to page 81 for details).
Protecting tigers, rhinos and elephants and the myriad species that make up their universe is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to mitigate the impact of climate change on the Indian subcontinent. Sanctuary’s strategy now is to convince decision-makers that protecting wildlife is a national imperative, not an idle pursuit as has been presumed in the past.
Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXVIII No. 5, October 2008