MAN Vs ANIMAL BATTLE – A MODERN ONE!
Man, and animal battle is not something which has been a tale of the past or limited to areas on the fringes of national parks and forests. It is not a one-time odd story of the leopard escaping to an urban habitat and wreaking both havoc and panic. It can turn out as much a real battle as what was in the days of jungle man. The setting has changed and so has the purpose, the modern legality makes it more complex rather than making it simpler. The fallout of newly enacted laws, government policies and the differential level of enforcement or lack of it, of the whole plan, can create unpredictable misery; physical and economic, to a large part of the population is a living reality. That stray cattle can become an election thorn in ways unimaginable, it the complexity of the modern decision-making process.
From a cattle / pastoral economy of the days of yore to the current ongoing ding dong battle between the two, in the backwaters of UP is the journey which we have traversed over the centuries. The welfare of the people depends on the effectiveness of planning. Was this element left out or the cracks and crevices of the implementation mechanism gave way to gaping holes, with the rural agricultural folks are battling out on a day to day basis. On coming to power, the Yogi government in 2017 banned illegal cattle slaughter. It was made punishable. Though it has come to national reckoning now, courtesy the elections, the farmers have long been complaining of crop losses due to the ”Chutta Jannvar.”
The integration of the rural economy to the modern one, to the benefit of the former has not happened and there seems to be no chance of it in the near future. The modern economic grandstanding sounds more of a cruel joke being played on these people. Think of a situation wherein, agricultural operations have to be conducted during the course of the day and watch and ward to the done for the night. It has become like guarding the national borders. Given the fact of landholdings being broken down over the generations and becoming more and more uneconomic, what will be his plight if he loses his crop, partially or fully. For how long can he and family stand guard 24/7? Is it humanly possible?
Given the economic necessity this battle has become their fate. To your utter dismay, barriers (compounds) are made with whatever is available there, sticks, bamboo pieces etc and old sarees are stitched on it, all across the perimeter , to guard the field. At times this is not enough. Watch towers of different shapes, sizes and heights are created to stand guard, for the standing crop to survive. If you sleep on the ground, you are likely to get injured by the bulls. They are belligerent and there are innumerable instances of injuries and we hear of some stray instances of death as well. A fear psychosis descends on the rural countryside as darkness sets in and bulls get into their devastating best. They have borne with this menace for many years now, it’s time that the government provides them succour and a good night’s sleep, which they deserve.
A MAN MADE MAN Vs ANIMAL BATTLE IS THE MOST UNFORTUNATE THING TO HAPPEN TO THE SMALL FARMERS.