Of late, the focus on the conservation of India’s tiger population has improved a great deal due to more visible campaigns to save this endangered species. It is good that a third of tiger reserves in India are approaching peak capacity (Page 1, “At 2,967 tigers, India’s capacity at peak”, July 29). But the fact that the cat is venturing out in search of prey will only heighten man-animal conflict. It would be in the fitness of things if all tiger reserves in our country try and attain balance in terms of their population so that there is adequate space to roam about and scope for a better prey base.
It is a positive feeling that the tiger population is on the rise. But the problem of plenty raises plenty of problems as well, mainly due to dwindling forest reserves. It may also be borne in mind that many experts have expressed doubts about the authenticity of the present system of counting the cats.
Rising numbers are sure to bring joy to every one of us . In saving the big cat, India is at the centre of global conservation as it hosts 70% of the tiger population. Saving the tiger will have another effect too — of helping India’s other magnificent species. The tiger’s well-being focuses attention on the other big cat as well — the Asian lion of Gir, Gujarat. Steps need to be taken to translocate lions to other areas so that the species stays safe.
Given the chill that has set in in India-China bilateral relations, it is hardly surprising that 200 investment proposals are awaiting security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Page 1, July 27).
There is no denying the fact that like most nations, India too was wooed by Beijing’s aggressive ‘Going Global’ strategy, and perhaps buoyed by the bonhomie of the Wuhan and Mamallapuram bilateral summits, had encouraged Chinese investments.
Though Beijing’s belligerent stance may have been the trigger for the revised FDI policy, and on the rebound, India is striving to become self-reliant, it has to tread cautiously. Weaning off from Chinese investments can only be a very slow process. The bitter reality is that China’s monumental investment in India cannot be wished away overnight as it could disrupt the supply chain. Rather than set the clock by embracing protectionism, India should look elsewhere for economic and technological cooperation. If the West is not cost-effective, India could turn to Asian nations such as Japan, Vietnam, South Korea and Thailand to replace China. Clearance to the investment proposals of China could also be used as a bargaining chip as far as the LAC is concerned.
The passing of Olivia de Havilland, at the ripe age of 104, makes the world of culture and the glorious past that much poorer. One of the finest “Hollywood golden age” actors, she left a lasting impression as the demure Melanie in the 1939 epic, “Gone with the Wind”. One cannot forget her bagging Academy Awards for her role in “To Each His Own” (1946) and “The Heiress” (1949). She was certainly the last of the top screen performers from the studio era (‘Sport/Life’ page, July 27).