"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders." - Edward Abbey
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Conservationist Species

Wildlife and Environment Conservation or Activism, as of that matter is not a subject that can be learned in a classroom or from others, nor can it be blindly followed through a diktat. It is a slow self educating process and comes through one’s own love for the nature and the wild in addition to the interest for the subject. If not self taught, it is an inner voice that is very close to what Gautam Buddha heard on his way to ‘Enlightenment’ or Prophet Mohammad heard in the cave of Hira from Gabriel.

The only two ‘species’ we find in this field of conservation are the ‘Elite’ and the ‘Grass-root’.

Those that fall in the ‘Elite’ basket are the ones who are the so called workers for the cause or in other words ‘self acclaimed activists or conservationists’ for the cause of the wildlife and environment. Their modus operandi en-route to fame is through methods than can be counted on the fingers. ‘Attraction’, this is a prerequisite to gain the attention of one and all, they first choose to disagree with others without giving an ear to a point in subject placed. Creating cacophony they viciously ‘disagree’ and there you go, the crowd is pulled. ‘Brutal force’ follows, they force their personal opinions, whether right or wrong, into throats of the people they differ with, then decimate and belittle their targeted opponents well aided by their eloquence in the English language. ‘Fan following’, this plays a vital role en route to fame, as they need to wind up their acts of bravado as in disproving or belittling others, with applauds from a few of their flashy colleagues or other blind followers who know nothing of the matter but to whom their lip services are like prophesies revealed from the heavens and their pathetic dogmas sound like psalms. ‘Gate crashing’ is next; they put in their say in both the affairs and projects of others, uninvited. This leaves their opponents stunned and helps them to overwhelm their opponent with their point and finally their so called concern for wildlife and environment is taken note of. ‘Page 3’ is alluring for this species, and this for them is an inevitable route. They cherish sparkling in the media, attending high profile wildlife conventions and seminars, smoking cigarettes over a cup of coffee with a few western guests who are potential donors for the cause of wildlife or environment with repetitions such as ‘Poor Tiger’, over and over in accented spoken English. ‘Blame’, the most common and most widely used of all tactics by the flashy conservationists. A-la Veronica of the Archie comics, they feel it is always someone else’s fault if things don’t go their way and therefore either blame the Government, the Forest Department, a rival NGO or the general population within the vicinity of the disputed site and the only one to believed is them and the only solution suggested is by them.

Those that fall in the ‘Grass root’ basket are from the group that falls in species that is on the brink of extinction. They are the unattractive kinds, the ugly ducklings of the wildlife and conservation fraternity, the fraternity which recently is giving the glamour world a run for its money. These unsung heroes work day in and day out, contributing with not just their time and energy but with their money too, unaware of what is being cooked beyond their chosen subject or field of interest. They never stray into the fields that belong to others and therefore bind themselves to their field, owing to their dedicated approach towards their own chosen field of work and this dedication keeps them furlongs away from the magnetic range of being bewitched, enticed and attracted by fame and glory. A very few amongst them are found to be good orators and eloquent in English language to suit the requirements of a good presentation necessary for carving inroads to fame. While most are either quiet or shy kinds who find it unnecessary to differ with others on the subject and choose to smile with dropping eyelids when someone differs with them. They have nothing to say in the affairs of others as the only details they know are about their chosen field of work. Often media is not interested in these species as they do not sparkle at the high profile wildlife or environment seminars and if they do attend some, subject to being invited, one can find them either standing with their back to the walls in a corner of the room or doing some justice to the vacant chairs on the far end of the podium without publicizing their identity nor being asked of and looking at the proceedings as if urchins on the other side of glass pane of a flashy candy shop. All they know is how to fearlessly walk late nights in thick forests with worn out shoes to study their subject under the dark covering of the black sky. And yes, these ‘men of honor’ are also capable of fearlessly opening up their child’s ‘galla’ causing a pandemonium in the night when they have given up on that worn out pair of shoes to buy a new pair so they can again walk in the forests.

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27 Responses to "Conservationist Species"

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  1. TARIQ

    April 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I agree Haseeb; it’s in vogue to be called as savior of Wildlife and Environment, a Naturalist and so on for the sake of what you have mentioned!

  2. Meher

    April 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I do agree with a lot of what you say, but it is a bit black & white.Surely some dedicated people who do shun the limelight, care for wildlife & can speak English?- not that I am saying that that it is a requisite to save animals.Also a lot of people supporting wildlife from different careers who are just passionate about this earth & planet & will do anything to save it. They cannot necessarily work in the “field”, but do play a v important role in supporting those soldiers who do by giving off a lot of their time & money to help those who do work at grass root levels.

  3. Haseeb Shaikh

    April 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks Tariq Bhai and Meher, I am pointing at a few in particular, in both the categories the ‘Elite’ and the ‘Grass Root’,,,,

  4. vivek

    April 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    very well written n yeah though conservation is a gray area with many gray activists too but then, more or less, the whole thing has been beautifully covered.. like i had earlier said.. there is much to learn from u.. hope indians arise n take “interest” in their wild heritage n educate themselves real good!

  5. agansari

    April 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Much awaited one from your pen, I was expecting this, but there are some GOOD MEN in both the categories.

  6. Haseeb Shaikh

    April 4, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Thanks Vivek,,, and yeah AGA I agree there are ‘a few good men’ in both categories,,, I am giving a general perspective though,,,Thanks AGA.

  7. Yusuf Rizvi

    April 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I agree with you Haseeb Bhai and also agree to AGA. I have seen people both elite and people who like to play blame game.There are good people in both the categories.

  8. Haseeb Shaikh

    April 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Yes Yusuf, I dont deny it. But what I have written is all black and white,,,

  9. shashank

    September 13, 2011 at 4:34 am

    great job hasib bhai 🙂 delighted

  10. Haseeb Shaikh

    September 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks Shashank,,,,

  11. Imran Khan Corbett

    September 20, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Thanks Haseeb & I can definitely read between the lines. Let me give you an example of Valmik Thapar who should be the part of both the categories but finally ended up surrendering to the junk system, either the Govt’s or NGO’s. You should read his interview with Bittu Sahgal in Sanctuary magazine few additions back. I would say that in the present circumstances both Elite & Grass root should take the Govt. bull by the horns as far as the conservation of natural resources are concerned in a developing & democratic country like ours.
    It was a pleasure reading your writing skills and look forward to having more such blogs inciting a sense of respect among both the categories of workers when it comes to wildlife conservation. The grass root ones need the support of Elites to project their findings while the elites need solid base from the grass root ones to speak their throat out for the right cause.

    • Haseeb Shaikh

      October 3, 2013 at 3:55 am

      Very true Imran Bhai,,,, I have a few other blogs,,, will keep you updated,,,,

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