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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Tiger

The media is screaming out headlines to the effect the tiger population has increased by 20% over 4 years. And somewhere in the text the articles say ‘experts are questioning the conclusions’. Then the articles go on to mention that 288 of the 295 additional tigers accounted for, were actually counted in areas previously not included in the survey! Talk about the most misleading headline ever. Especially when you also read in the article that the tiger habitat has reduced from 93,600 to 72,800 in the same time.

Bravo. Disturbing news that the tiger has been pushed 20% closer to extinction has been repackaged to imply that the tiger is doing 20% better. Nincompoops.

All this talk of 1411 and 1706 also reminds me of Aircel’s outrageous campaign a while back: ‘Save our Tigers’. How in high heavens are everyday people expected to help in conservation of tigers?? The campaign helpfully mentions that one should blog about it and speak about it. As if the high decibel campaign wasn’t sufficient enough. Fact is, the Indian aam aadmi is not a threat to the tiger and increasing his awareness about the issue is not going to save the tiger. Such a campaign would be wonderful in China, that horrible land with an insatiable appetite for tiger parts. You could point out that increasing general awareness on conservation of the ecosystem is never bad. True. Just that this campaign reeked of sheer publicity and CSR hogging to me.

Note: Unlike the first half of this piece, the second half is written from the heart. So less robust an argument despite being more aggressive in tone.

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