Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Leopard of the Times!

Leopard Dies a Miserable Death in Mysore! People attack a defenceless animal!

These were the headlines and voice bits that screamed at us this afternoon from the Times Now channel. I thought it was very interesting for a few different reasons, the first one being the tone of the reporting that really felt pity for the poor leopard. Fair enough. But...

Too bad the animal strayed onto territory that is occupied by human beings. We care for our safety and we instinctively attack anything that even vaguely threatens our safety. Simple instinct. What's the big deal? Cockroach or dinosaur, same result. We perceive certain threats and we have some idea what we can take on.

If an elephant had wandered into a clump of apartments, we'd most certainly call for qualified help. Because as unlikely as this event may seem, it isn't likely to encourage any number of humans to attack the elephant and take a chance against that kind of size and strength. A tiger, now that would really frighten the crap out of most people, but a leopard, sorry to say, is a bit borderline, especially when it has wandered far out of the wild.

Now, a leopard being called "defenceless"? Come on you Times Now ladies! What kind of children do we have writing news and reading these days? Hello? A leopard is a predator, a wild animal, perfectly capable of killing a human being with one good swipe of its forepaw.

Its bite pressure is enough to snap a human neck in one bite, and is agile enough to challenge any physical human move and tremendously built for the kill! Haven't you watched channels like Discovery or National Geographic? Does a leopard ever look like a panda to you? Please don't tickle one the next time he snuggles into you.

Okay, we'll skip the "defenceless" part. Now, about the reporting - what is so "barbaric" about people whacking a leopard to death, when we whack tons of chickens and lambs just for the pleasure of eating them on a daily basis? Come on now! Man vs. animal - somewhere near human civilization - very little chance for the animal. It's that natural. I suppose things look very different from the synthetic, sterilized corridors of air conditioned television studios. The real world is just a bit different, as the leopard found out today. It happens. He could just as easily have been killed by a tigress in the wild for poaching one of her young.

All the words reserved for cute, rare animals - just amazing how many will come out of the woodwork to defend a leopard or a whale or some animal that we will never get to see most of our lives!
Conservation is for the cute! But pigs and chickens, lambs and pigeons, we can see them all slaughtered by the millions and nobody cares. It's okay to kill some animal as long as its species is not endangered! If it isn't cute, eat it! Talk about the mentality here!

The real story here is the mob mentality of the people of Mysore. This is no different from hammering a pick pocket to death. It takes a mob of humans to bring down a leopard and the Mysoreans were ready to become that mob. That's all there is to it. I actually thought that policeman was pretty brave to whack the leaping leopard a couple of times with his lathi! I never would have imagined a Mysorean cop would have that kind of courage. Kudos to you, Sir!

The Forest Department was there all right, but they were there to control the leopard, not the mob. Tear gas could have been used to diffuse the mob first. And then, the Forest Department could have got down to its job of subduing and capturing the leopard. But then, who can be that clear in the face of two dangers? I am kind of happy the mob got the leopard. The next time we can call one of our damsels from Times Now to reduce the threat or atleast seduce it.

1 comment:

Denkali said...

First off, thanks for the comment-leaving tip. :-)

Great post!

Television news channels in India, and probably elsewhere in this wide world, have contrived to somehow bring the mundane to our living rooms with pomp and an utter disregard for sensibilities.

This leopard thing is not terribly exciting, is it? Like someone wise said, "Dog bites man is not news but man bites dog is". Great dictum but does a mob attack on a "defenceless" leopard count as news? What in the world does "defenceless leopard" mean?

Did the leopard just have a pedicure to trim its nails followed by a visit to the dentist for wisdom tooth extraction thereby rendering it "defenceless"? Beats me, mate!!