Forget lion or tiger, let's make the cow India's national animal

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A few weeks ago, it was reported that the Centre is mulling a change in name of the national capital to attract a heritage status to ultimately boost tourism.

Now, the same government is considering a proposal to snatch the national animal's status from the tiger and hand it over to the lion. If this proposal indeed becomes a reality, then it will be the turning the clock back since it was the lion which was replaced as India's national animal in 1972.


Critics feel the change of status of tiger will hurt the campaign to save it

The idea has been criticised by wildlife activists as they feel it would dilute the campaign to save tigers and would pose a serious challenge to conservation of tigers across the country. It has also been said that lions are found in just one state while tigers are found in as many as 17 states.

Lions' habitat must increase before it gets the tag of 'national animal'

Wildlife experts believe that if lion is to be made the national animal, we should first restore at least 10-15 natural habitats suitable for the animal and then they should be relocated there from Gir in Gujarat, which is currently the only address of the animal in India.

However, the Gujarat government has in the past opposed the initiative to shift some of the big cats to Madhya Pradesh.

So is this there really a worthy reason to change our national animal from tiger to lion or is it just a political battle going out there?

Is lion making headlines because it comes from Modi's Gujarat?

It is surprising to see how our national identity is often eclipsed by some whimsical thinking by the political masters. Is lion making the headlines because it comes from Gujarat, the state which has given India its latest prime minister or is there a deliberate attempt to undo the 'Congress history' by changing the tiger as the national animal?

Will it help when India is making a strong comeback in the fight to conserve tigers?

When the country is fighting back impressively in tiger conservation as the numbers dwindled alarmingly over the past years, what is the need to disturb the status quo when it is not exactly needed?

If tiger or lion is a political debate, then the best answer lies in making cow the national animal

If the lion versus tiger debate is indeed a political one, then wisdom lies in making the cow our national animal with immediate effect.

The majoritarian camp now is more concerned with the cow's well-being

For, before either of the big cats, the political lot that is dominating India at the moment is more concerned about the well-being of the cow. So let's make the bovine our national identity for we love to speak about its good health.

The cow is the most favoured 'political' animal in India at the moment

A few states have already started banning beef, much to the glee of the majoritarian camp but it also led to widespread criticism. The imposition of the majoritarian sentiments centred around the cow did not go do well with many.

Cow is a 'majority' animal but lion is a 'minority' animal

But the tendency to belittle the minority sentiments has continued to haunt India ever since the change of guard in Delhi last year. But the fun lies in the fact that while the case of cow has been given a push on majoritarian grounds, lion, which is in a minority compared to tigers in India, has started getting more backing as the national animal under the new regime.

Incredible India, isn't it?

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