Portrayal of ‘Hunting’ in Environmental History of India
ABSTRACT: The paper begins with a general discussion on hunting. It is divided into four main parts, discussing about the effect of hunting on environment and ecology in Ancient, Medieval, Colonial and Independent India. Across all the ages, hunting wild animals has been an important activity for the royals and nobles. In ancient India, only Ashoka took some initiatives at protecting the animals and environment. The portion on Medieval India mainly focusses on the Mughals and their hunting styles. In the colonial period, mastery over nature was thought of as a part of mastery over India. Both British officials and Indian princes unabatedly shot many animals, which ultimately led to the extinction of cheetah in India. In the part on Independent India, the efforts by Indira Gandhi like the ‘Wildlife Protection Act’ in 1972, Project Tiger and its effects have been given. In conclusion, the need to conserve our wildlife is briefly cited with reference to a few high-profile cases of hunting in India even after it was outlawed.
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