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25 Jun 2022, Edition - 2538, Saturday

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Columns

How many peacocks does it take for one to prosper?

Uma Ram

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Along with the pet roosters, our day dawns with the screaming of the peacocks residing in our backyard. Our national bird, which was once a rare sight inside concrete habitations, has become a quotidian today. With diminishing wilderness, when leopards and elephants wake up people in their courtyards, it’s little wonder then to cohabit a peacock in search of food in our backyard.

Headlines scream across newspapers and portals

Mass killing of 20 peacocks baffles forest officials. Farmer held in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram

5 peacocks found dead in Rajasthan, forest department suspects poaching.

Peacock massacre in Rajasthan. Over 200 of India’s national birds found with their necks broken as forest officials warn the iridescent creatures are ‘in danger’ due to the increasing threat from poachers and farmers protecting crops.

These alluring birds, considered pests, are poisoned to death in mass by farmers who feign the purpose of pesticides for the rodents, apart from poachers who massacre them for meat and feathers with ever-increasing superstitious demands.

*As per vaastu, peacock feathers in the cash box attract wealth and prosperity.

*They remove negative energy or vaastu dosh in the house.

*These feathers in bedroom increase the intimacy and understanding of the couple, as they drive away evil eyes and bad omen.

With such glamorous demands for the beautiful feathers of our national bird, there is a rapid rise in their deaths as peacock is the only bird whose feathers are allowed to be sold. Thus there is no legal ban on collecting and selling feathers shed by the bird.

Till recently examinations revealed whether the feathers were collected through natural shedding or were plucked after killing the bird. But now as the sellers cut off the bottom portion of the feathers it is difficult to find this. Unless there is a legal ban of use of peacock feathers in any form, the national bird’s near future is ambivalent.

When there are umpteen number of issues regarding human welfare awaiting government’s approval, it remains a mystery why there has to be a wait for orders to ban use of these charismatic plumage. Common sense is all that it takes to protest against the plumage hunt, that not only feathers but any animal trophies for that matter are parts of the corpses of the creatures, When so many rituals are done to the human corpses to avoid bad omen, how will parts of the animal corpses alone bring prosperity is a question that genuinely needs an answer.

Just imagine what if animals massacre mankind and collect human parts to display in forests as their victorious trophies. In in this Internet era with surveillance cameras all around and yet people are butchered in public, how is it humanly possible to be omnipresent to control such hunting? Unless and until every single person realises the conservation of our national bird and animals for balancing nature, it is humanly impossible to put an end to such killings.

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