Skip to main content

Rhino poaching in Assam amidst claim the gigantic animal has been 'fully protected'

By Nava Thakuria* 

With one solitary incident of poaching of endangered one-horned rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam of northeast India last year, bad news broke in the first month of 2022, as the forest authority recovered the decomposed carcass of a full-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino in the world-famous forest reserve recently.
As apprehended, the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was seemingly hunted some days back. Ironically, only some hours earlier, cricket commentator and conservationist Kevin Pietersen appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government in New Delhi on reduction of incidents related to rhino poaching.
“Bravo Narendra Modi and bravo to all the men and women who sacrifice their lives in protecting the animals in India too. I've met lots of them and I respect you immensely!”, Pietersen had said.
The South Africa born British celebrity responded to an input by a newsweekly on January 18, which quoted Assam’s anti-rhino poaching task force chief GP Singh, who made the claim on January 15 that only one incident of rhino poaching had taken place in April 2021 till date.
The special Assam police chief termed the containment of poaching of one-horned rhinos as a major achievement of the task force constituted by the State government appreciating the team work shown by various concerned district police forces.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was quick to responded to Pietersen on a digital platform on January 19 thanking for the “acknowledgement.”
“Inspired by our PM Narendra Modi, we’ve launched aggressive programmes to curb poaching. We’re proud to have burnt & destroyed a stockpile of rhino horns, largest ever in the world, on World Rhino Day to send a stern message to poachers & syndicate,’ he tweeted.
Statistics reveal that Assam, which claims a success story for conserving two-thirds of world one-horned rhino population, has lately reduced the number of rhinos related poaching in the last few years, where it was lowest during 2021 in the last two decades.
Two previous years witnessed only five incidents of rhino-poaching in Kaziranga and other protected reserves of Assam, where two rhinos were poached in 2020 (three in 2019). It was relatively larger in number during 2018 (6 killed), followed by 2017 (7), 2016 (12), 2015 (17), 2014 (27), 2013 (27), etc.
*Senior journalist based in North-East



A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why convert growing badminton popularity into an 'inclusive sports opportunity'

By Sudhansu R Das  Over the years badminton has become the second most popular game in the world after soccer.  Today, nearly 220 million people across the world play badminton.  The game has become very popular in urban India after India won medals in various international badminton tournaments.  One will come across a badminton court in every one kilometer radius of Hyderabad.  

Faith leaders agree: All religious places should display ‘anti-child marriage’ messages

By Jitendra Parmar*  As many as 17 faith leaders, together for an interfaith dialogue on child marriage in New Delhi, unanimously have agreed that no faith allows or endorses child marriage. The faith leaders advocated that all religious places should display information on child marriage.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

Ayurveda, Sidda, and knowledge: Three-day workshop begins in Pala town

By Rosamma Thomas*  Pala town in Kottayam district of Kerala is about 25 km from the district headquarters. St Thomas College in Pala is currently hosting a three-day workshop on knowledge systems, and gathered together are philosophers, sociologists, medical practitioners in homeopathy and Ayurveda, one of them from Nepal, and a few guests from Europe. The discussions on the first day focused on knowledge systems, power structures, and epistemic diversity. French researcher Jacquiline Descarpentries, who represents a unique cooperative of researchers, some of whom have no formal institutional affiliation, laid the ground, addressing the audience over the Internet.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".