Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans

Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the
    Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the with contemporary theoretical insights to provide a new frame of reference to understand social relations in the Indian subcontinent It will be of interest to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, development studies, religion and cultural studies, as well as those working on environment, conservation, the state and issues relating to discrimination and marginality."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 268
  • Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans
  • Annu Jalais
  • English
  • 11 February 2018
  • 0415544610

About the Author: Annu Jalais

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10 thoughts on “Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans

  1. Marcy says:

    This is a wonderful anthropological study of the Sundarbans and all the various issues that this region of Bengal raises from borders and refugees to the environment and the problematic save the tiger campaigns at the expense of the humans living and working in this region to the fantastically fascinating culture of the Sundarbans that integrates Islam and Hinduism in the formation of a unique and rich cultural and natural history and present It s a terrific book to compliment Amitav Ghosh This is a wonderful anthropological study of the Sundarbans and all the various issues that this region of Bengal raises from borders and refugees to the environment and the problematic save the tiger campaigns at the expense of the humans living and working in this region to the fantastically fascinating culture of the Sundarbans that integrates Islam and Hinduism in the formation of a unique and rich cultural and natural history and present It s a terrific book to compliment Amitav Ghosh s novel The Hungry Tide as it contextualises most of the ideas and conflicts represented in that novel

  2. Aditya Kelekar says:

    Why did the forest fishers not use the masks that the government provided free of charge to all for scaring away tigers Why did Zeeshan not share his goat meet with his hindu brother but prefer instead to buy him from a hindu meat shop Why are an increasing number of prawn catchers propitiating Kali, when her worship is much costlier than that of other deities And is the tiger of Sunderbans naturally man eater or has he become one over the years In the Forest of Tigers People, Politics an Why did the forest fishers not use the masks that the government provided free of charge to all for scaring away tigers Why did Zeeshan not share his goat meet with his hindu brother but prefer instead to buy him from a hindu meat shop Why are an increasing number of prawn catchers propitiating Kali, when her worship is much costlier than that of other deities And is the tiger of Sunderbans naturally man eater or has he become one over the years In the Forest of Tigers People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans are to be found answers to these well, all except those confirming the exact time the tiger s predilection for human flesh was born and manyquestions about life in Sundarbans, a land that bears much similarity with other parts of India in terms of the miseries suffered and yet is different owing to its unique environment and separation from the mainland.Through real life incidences that the author encounters, she talks about the everyday hardships of living on the islands of Sundarbans the trials and tribulations that have turned the islanders, as they themselves admit, crabby and irate the skirmishes that take place between the forest officers and the prawn collectors the squabbles between the prawn collectors and the dealers the family feuds over inter religion marriages the political campaigns all threatening to take on a violent hue Yet, there is sweetness in the islanders ties of a nature seldom seen elsewhere, such as in the practice of elected kin, conferring a special status to close friends The book s own Paro story of a background not very different from the famed Devdas film will attest to this The author has captured all the poignant details and her first account rendering give the stories an immediacy that draws you into the islanders world.The central theme of the book, though, is the Sundarban islanders relation with the forests and the tigers and the associated worship of deities, especially that of Bonbibi in maintaining harmonious relations between tigers and humans There is a lot of lively discussion about the tiger charmers and their beliefs on how to tame the tigers While most of this will appear bogus to the scientific mind, it s worth pondering on the tenet that Bonbibi stands for take from the forest only that what is necessary Isn t that what modern day conservationists preach Who disturbed that equilibrium between tigers and humans The government did, a prominent section of the islanders allege When the government stepped up its efforts on the save tiger campaign and declared several of the islands as offlimits for the islanders, the tigers became conceited The outcome of the Morichjhanpi episode, when migrants were packed out of Sunderbans, seemed only to help the tigers assert their supremacy The tigers thought that humans were now tiger food It is this hurt pride of the islanders that Jalais has given expression to by the medium of many a narratives How much importance can you give such a belief It s up to you to judge And though the arrogance of tigers can be a fine subject for speculation, the question of whether development has reached the Sunderbans hardly is The telltale signs of backwardness and poverty are all too visible absence of electricity, tap water and hospitals, and the islanders inability to meet medical expenses Jalais close rapport with the villagers has provided some rare insights into the thought process of people who are difficult to be engaged in discussions, such as the poachers The prawn collectors may have turned to Kali on account of hermodern outlook but what about the poachers Do they have genuine remorse or are they shedding crocodile tears when they pay obeisance to Kali Dwelling into their minds, the author finds out that it is something else, and evenhorrifying a form of worship that offers legitimacy to their wayward ways.A well balanced view of the ecosphere has come about from discussions with all classes of people on the islands The authors repeated visits and long periods of stay on the difficult terrain of the islands have clearly helped her soak in the life and understand the web of relationships, and this has played no small part in lending the stories in the book the required authenticity One can imagine that if the tigers could talk, Jalais would have lived with them as well The author s secondary research includes a veritable list of studies on the region, many of which hold contrasting views on subjects such as the origin of the worship of deities and the interaction between tigers and humans in the past the author has weighed them and added her own comments The book lacks a story with a high point, as indeed there is none in reality, and Jalais has remained true by not trying to contrive any Readers who are looking for action , as one might picture when the title talks of tigers in forests, are in for disappointment But the book would help you understand and appreciate the people and the environment of our Sundarbans, so that when the alarm bells ring for this environmentally threatened ecosystem, the crouching tiger within you might spring into action and do what is essential to help save the place