Sovereignty vs. electric cables
In a small village in Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan, the residents chose to live without electricity for many years because installing an electricity grid with overhead wires would hinder the migration and conservation of Black-necked migratory Cranes. In response to a question, “Would you prefer to have electricity, or is conserving cranes more important to you?”, the villagers answered, “It’s good to have electricity, but we can do without it, but not without the cranes. We’ve seen them every year since childhood.” Finally in 2009 when electricity was brought to the village, the electrical wires around the crane habitats were laid underground, to prevent any restriction in the path of the migratory birds.
In yet another country on the same globe, flocks of an equally exquisite migratory “Houbara bustards” arrive every winter. Little do the unsuspecting and innocent birds know that the hosts have laid out a trap to have them ambushed and killed by a specially invited species that kills for pleasure. To massacre some three to five thousand endangered birds every year does not bother the conscience of the citizens, courts or the constitution of that heartless country. On the contrary, they look forward to this killing carnival and its fallout crumbs – vehicles, watches and dollars, generously distributed as ‘bakhshish’ and bribe.
The appeasement permits for hunting Houbara bustards are cruel, immoral and discriminatory. They violate our wild life, environment, laws and the International conventions signed by Pakistan. They amount to selling our soul, sanity and sovereignty. Must we allow our children to become camel jockeys or our birds to be slaughtered, just because of a few coins doled out by the pleasure seeking men in white robes.
29 December 2019