Showing posts with label Story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Story. Show all posts

Monday, February 15, 2016

Stories are told from the position of Power

Story from different perspectives

"Until the Lion learns to write, every story will always glorify the hunter" - an African proverb

Last week, the most talked about news in Bangalore was a leopard entering into a posh school campus in suburban Bangalore (Varthur, Thubrahalli). Fortunately the incident happened on a Sunday early morning while the school was off. By afternoon, every news channel was flashing the news & the school campus was hounded by media personnel, police & bystanders. By late night, the news of capturing the leopard successfully was flashed in the media.

A leopard entering into residential area is obviously a cause of concern & it does generate sentiments of man-animal conflicts. But events which followed after Sunday, were nothing short of hyper-reaction & lop-sided outcry. Narrating few of them, to elaborate this point: Over the next day couple of days, there were unprecedented reports of leopard citing in Varthur, Thubrahalli. These reports started doing rounds on whatsapp & other social media, newspapers, news channels. Many parents voluntarily kept their children indoors & didn't send them to school. State Government declared closure of 135 schools, mid-week. One must ask one's self, will a leopard selectively enter only school premises while rejecting other buildings like offices, malls etc. On Sunday, the leopard probably might have accidentally jumped into an empty school premise, & in a knee jerk reaction we (intelligent human beings) shut down schools & keep the children indoors. I wonder had the leopard entered a sprawling IT park instead of a school, in reaction would the state administration close down all the offices in that area :-).

The leopard did attack a wildlife conservationist (fortunately it was not fatal) & it took an entire day's effort with 3 shots of tranquilizers before the leopard could be captured. The leopard was finally send off to Bannerghatta National Park, in captivity. . 

Glimpses of the stories on popular newspapers
Barring a negligible few, the tone & reporting of the news all over the place was all about human concerns & panic: reminders of similar incidents from the past, do's & don'ts. In short, the deeper angle of Man Animal conflict, the unbrazen speed of deforestation, wild animals being pushed to the brink of extinction, the responsibility of we humans in triggering such incidences, were conveniently ignored.

This reminded me of an African proverb, I had read somewhere, which has always stayed along with me for it's deep meaning: Until the Lion learns to write, every story will always glorify the hunter.

Had the leopard learned to write, his version of story may have been:

My forefathers used to inhabit the woods of Varthur, Thubrahalli. Life was good, with lush greenery, lake & ponds in abundance, a self-sustaining eco-system. Human beings started causing havoc in our paradise & adversely impacted every animal's life. We were being hunted down for pleasure, our forest were being bulldozed to give way for farming, we were caught & put in cages as an exhibit for circus & zoos.

In our losing fight for survival, we started to move deeper into the forest land but in no time human activities would spread their tentacles & reach deeper into the jungles. Today, in my generation only a handful of us are left. I live in a small stretch of wood, in & around this globally renowned IT city Bangalore. Through out the day, I am so scared with all the hustle bustle of human activities around me, that I live in hiding & only at nights I venture out for food.

But things are getting increasingly challenging for me. The forest areas are no more in continuity, it is interjected with human development & we are forced to trespass the human habitat. The human beings do not keep their localities clean & they dump food waste, which brings in stray dogs & pigs, & these attract us & we give in to our hunger pangs.

On one such fatal night, close to the break of dawn I was returning back to my home, I mean forest. Somehow, I lost my way & I jumped into an empty school building. By the time, I could figure out my way out, I was spotted by the security guard & soon it seemed like the entire hell had broken lose. There were so many media personnel, TV cameras, police, forest officers & crowd all around the building.

Things seemed to go just out of control, the sound decibel was unbearable, random shots were being fired at me, nets & traps being laid all around the place. Had I been left alone, I myself would have ran away, after all we hate contacts with human beings.

All day long, I was running from post to pillar, trying to find an exist to my freedom....without food, without water, fear was running through my spine & in self defense I attacked one of the wildlife conservationist. Believe me, my intention was not to harm & kill anyone, I reacted out of my own fear & insecurity. I was fired thrice with tranquilizer, eventually I fell down unconscious, only to regain consciousness in a small iron cage.

My worst fear had come true, I had lost my freedom forever. Memories of my family, my friends, my home, came rushing to me, I was choked with deep anguish & my eyes were tearful. But no human being, understood my state of being & I was sentenced to live in captivity for the rest of my life for just one mistake, trespassing into the human territory in error. But who will listen to my story? After all, stories are told from the position of power!