Sabyasachi Patra

Wild India – Love in the Wild

Wild India – Love in the Wild

India is Wild. India is beautiful.

I had read these lines during my childhood days and had always imagined being in our forests, quietly listening to the roaring waterfalls, watching magnificent snow caped peaks, observing beautiful denizens of wild india the tigers, leopards, rhinos, elephants – listening to the chirping of birds, watching dolphins diving and crocodiles lazily getting into water.

I have often been mesmerized by the beautiful vistas unfolding infront of my eyes. Several life threatening incidents haven’t deterred me from visiting various parts of Wild India again and again. I feel blessed again and again.

I have been capturing the beauty of Wild India through my photographs for close to two decades, and about five years back I decided to tap the power of moving imagery of films to promote awareness about our fast vanishing wilderness and wildlife. When you are in the jungle, you are oblivious to the happenings in the society. When I come back from such serene places of Wild India to our metro cities, the huge difference strikes me.



In the past few months, I have been deeply disturbed by the happenings in our society. The violations of women and children who are systematically hunted by pack of maniacs raises several questions for which I find no answer. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has said that behaviour of police in trying to suppress the information of such crimes coming to light and beating up innocent protesters is worse than animals.

Earlier, Amitabh Bachchan, megastar of Indian Cinema, had said in twitter “Wanted to say so much of the day.. but so disturbed by the gang rape case in Delhi.. atrocious and unforgivable!!… The fear of system, of order, of conduct guided by justice, is fast disappearing. Is this the freedom that our elders fought for!! “On this public platform I dare not even attempt to mention the details of the rape case… even an animal would not behave so,”

This repeated assertion by people indicates that animals are worse than humans. Is it so?

 

Who is more human?

The female of the animal species choose their mate themselves from a host of suitable males of their species, who in turn try to impress the females by showing off their vigour. The peacocks display their feathers, the adult lions are known by their rich luxuriant manes, the deer stags have large antlers to display, some male birds build nest to impress the females, some sing, others display their spectacular colours, pouches, size etc.

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A wild tigress turns her tail sharply to one side to facilitate entry when the male tiger is about to mount her.

The females in the non-human animal species are at a higher pedestal as they need not bring in any dowry or material goods to make the groom agree. As opposed to that we humans force the girls to bring in money and material goods. Else, they are tortured, burnt etc.

Our angry politicians are known to call each other dogs. Even wild dogs who live in packs, don’t team up to forcibly violate a female of their species.

A pair of dholes or wild dogs

A pair of dholes commonly known as wild dogs (Cuon alpinus)

Mating in non-human species is for reproduction, for passing off their genes to the next generation. Unlike humans, it is not about pleasure. Only when a female of the species comes in oestrus, other males line up as suitors and the most suitable one is selected. In ancient India, this tradition of Swayamvara was prevalent, where a princess used to select from a host of suitable kings and princes.

In this era of intolerance and violation of women, Love and affection seems to have become a huge casualty. One sees unalloyed joy and happiness in the animals.

We never find any pretensions in the love and affection displayed by animals. Can we learn love and affection from the animals? I created a short film showcasing endangered wild animals nourishing their young. The bond between mother and child is the most sacred. I hope by watching calves of one horned-rhino, Asiatic wild ass, Asiatic wild buffalo, Asiatic elephant, gaur etc suckling milk and leopard cubs playing we can imbibe some love and affection from them.

Deer fawn suckles from mother in Bandhavgarh National Park, India.

Deer fawn suckles from mother in Bandhavgarh National Park, India.

India has a rich history. Several females like Gargee, Maitreyee etc used to be revered in the society. Only during a brief period of several hundred years when invasions by muslim/mongol tribes, who used violation of women as a weapon to shock, numb, humiliate, mentally break down and subjugate their opponents led to traditions of veils and pushing women behind the doors. Modern Indian should not be held hostage to those few hundred years as that is a spec compared to several thousands of years of rich history of this ancient civilisation.

Sabyasachi Patra
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Sabyasachi Patra

Sabyasachi is an award winning Cinematographer and shoots for international broadcasters, feature films and corporates to make a living. He is a passionate wildlife filmmaker and photographer and has won awards and accolades for his documentary 'A Call in the Rainforest'. He has been striving to make his films and photographs full of life and emotion and write articles to educate and evangelise the need for conserving the last tracts of vanishing wilderness and wildlife in our country. He hopes that his wildlife films, photographs and writings force people to pause, look, ponder and ultimately take action.
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