Peacock: God’s most elegant creation

THE Tribune has earned the gratitude of all Indians who are committed to preserve our wildlife and their habitants. Aditi Tandon’s article (Spectrum, May 2) was very interesting, well researched and thought provoking.

India has two species of peacock, viz, The Indian Peafowl and the Green Peafowl. Males of both species have gorgeous plumages. However , as pair, the Green Peafowl would win hands down as among the most colourful and elegant creation of God. It had a limited range in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram along the Burmese border and an isolated miniscule population in Sikkim. According to the latest publications (2000 AD), the Green Peafowl is feared to be extinct in India. Just one bird was last spotted in Sikkim in 1982.

Aditi Tandon deserves to be congratulated for her timely warning that unless we as a nation act now, the Indian Peafowl, the National Bird, may follow the Green Peafowl into obscurity. This tragedy could strike us as early as 2050 unless holistic strategies to arrest its decline are conceived and put in place soon.

As of now, it is believed that 60-80 per cent of the entire peafowl population lives outside in forests. We need not waste time and energy in taking a census. What we need to do for a start is to save those peafowls (the National Bird) that live mostly in the rural countryside and in a few cities, through community participation. And hopefully, The Tribune will help galvanise the state government into action and motivate the common man by exposing all cases of illicit killings of the Indian Peafowl for its flesh and its feathers.

Lt-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd), 219, Sector 16-A, Chandigarh




This refers to the article “Peacock in peril” by Aditi Tandon. First, one read about the near extinction of the common eagle in our region, later it was the disappearance of common sparrows in some areas and now comes the shocking news regarding the poaching and destruction of the peacock due to widespread use of insecticides and pesticides. With the dwindling population of other common birds, the scenario is frightening.

There has also been a massive change in the tree varieties in the region over the last few decades. As a result, instead of thick, shady bird-friendly trees like banyan, peepal, mango, sheesham etc, you have only euclyptus and poplar. Hence, there is a decline in natural habitat for rest, safety and breeding of birds.

Besides giving more teeth to the anti-poaching laws, there is need to establish bird-friendly habitats by planting trees in every village. The general population should also be made aware of the ways to save our rich flora and fauna.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula


The article was very stimulating and highlights our callous attitude to the endangered species whose very survival is at stake. Strong steps are needed to save this precious bird. The peacock must be included in the list of endangered species. Poachers should be punished.

K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

Centre must help fruit growers, consumers 

THE pictures of apples and grapes, accompanying the write-up “Fruit of labour: A bitter harvest” (Spectrum, April 18) by Aruti Nayar, were beautiful. I have never seen such good and sharp pictures of fruits in The Tribune. I have cut and pasted this picture on the front page of my personal album to keep it for life.

I also read with interest the article. It is good to know that India has replaced Brazil as the largest producer of fruits in the world. But it is pity to note that a large amount is wasted.

I suggested that the government should constitute a national level body for the benefit of both fruit growers as well as consumers.


Umranangal repented

This has reference to Khushwant Singh’s write-up “He could’ve been Betaaj Badshah” (Windows, April 17) and Bhagwan Singh’s letter (May 2) wherein he has stated that it was not Gurcharan Singh Tohra but some other Akali leader who confessed to killing a Muslim during the Partition massacres.

In fact, it was Akali leader Jiwan Singh Umranangal who confessed to killing a Muslim youth. He wept bitterly before the audience. The news report and Umranangal’s photograph (while weeping and wiping his tears) appeared in The Tribune, about more than a decade ago.

R.C. SHARMA, Kurukshetra

Matter of faith

This refers to “The potent Gayatri Mantra” by Khushwant Singh (Windows, April 10) and informed response by the readers to it. It is futile to attempt to make the incorrigible Khushwant Singh appreciate the true import of chanting Vedic hymns. He seems unable to respect the spiritual sensibilities of others. It seems, like unscrupulous politicians, he is in the habit of whipping up controversies to stay in the limelight.

In a multi-religious secular country, one should desist from making any adverse comment about others’ religious practices or matters of faith unless it infringes upon the realm of one’s faith.


Missing the point

The article “Holistic vision of Guru Granth Sahib” by Darshan Singh Maini (Spectrum, April 25) was very informative and stimulating. However, it missed one important point: the hymns of Guru Granth Sahib are not arranged on the basis of the names of their authors or themes as normally done, but by the ragas in which these are prescribed to be sung. The exception is Japji which is in the beginning and is to be recited slowly and quietly.

V. K. RANGRA, Delhi

Of shallow persons

“The fault-finder” (Windows, May 1) brought out the incorrigible nature of fault-finders. They are too fastidious to be pleased despite one’s efforts. Such people can be encountered in all places. They regard themselves as wise but are actually quite shallow. 

TARSEM S. Bumrah, Batala

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