Tigers as pets in the US

Nowadays much hue and cry is being made about the imminent extinction of the tiger from the world. No doubt, the future of the tiger is bleak in Asia. According to a recent book, “Tigers in Red Weather”, tigers once inhabited 20 countries of Asia, but by 2000 they survived in 12 only. In fact, about 20 tigers are poached every month in India. But the extinction of the tiger from the world is not that imminent as being portrayed by wildlife enthusiasts.

According to the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the US has 12000 tigers as pets. In fact, for every tiger in the wild two are kept as pets in the US. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that just 5000-7200 tigers remain in the wild whereas there are 4000 pet tigers in Texas alone — more than the number roaming free in India. Most of these are surplus cubs bred and sold by zoos.

So, rather than jumping to a conclusion about the imminent extinction of the tiger from the world, we should analyse the current situation of the tiger in totality. The fact is that even if all the tigers from the wild disappear, the tiger will not became extinct from the world, thanks to our dear Americans who are spending enormous amounts to maintain their 12000 pet tigers.


Indians in Afghanistan

This has reference to Mr G. Parthasarathy’s article, “Indians in Afghanistan” (May 18). He has raised genuine security concerns. Really, a practicable strategy is the need of the hour to meet the security threat to the Indians engaged in the laudable task of reconstruction and rehabilitation, especially in the provinces bordering Pakistan.


The writer has exposed General Musharraf’s game-plan of extracting maximum mileage from America in the name of fighting Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and tracking down Osama bin Laden. By now the US should have realised that Pakistan has been befooling it all along and India can prove a far better and more reliable ally in its fight against terrorism.

Now that the US has been contemplating to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and substitute them with NATO-led ISAF forces, India should emphatically say ‘No’ to the deployment of its security forces in Afghanistan keeping in view its bitter experience of sending/deploying the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka during  Rajiv Gandhi’s regime.


Ecology vs development

Reports frequently appear in The Tribune regarding the indiscriminate felling of trees for some development work — widening of roads, construction of a chools/college, a public facility building, etc. It is quite logical that space has to be created to get these development works through and trees if falling in that space have to be cut. Highlighting this with photographs is not fair.

Certainly, cutting fully grown trees is tempering with the ecology. As it is done for a necessity, a solution has to be found. The simple solution is to make a regulation under which the one who needs to cut a tree must plant double/triple the number at a nearest possible location before cutting. This aspect should be inspected by the authorities concerned and a clearance certificate issued before the start of construction. Above all, this must be implemented strictly without favour.

Lt-Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali

Justice in Army

The General Court Martial headed by a Lieutenant-General found a Major-General guilty on seven counts of 18 that the accused had been arraigned for before the court martial. Court Martials are convened depending upon the severity of the crime, otherwise cases of minor improprieties and misdemeanour can be summarily dealt with by commanders at various levels. In this case it is apparent that the charges against the Major-General must have been of very serious nature warranting trial by a GCM.

It is shocking to hear that though the accused was found guilty on seven charges out of 18, the punishment awarded to him is “three years of loss of seniority for the purposes of pension and reprimand” only. This makes a complete mockery of the trial by a Court Martial. At the very face of it the judgement appears to be perverse since the sentence awarded is hardly of any effect or consequence.

Had the accused been a Junior Officer/JCO/OR he would certainly have gone behind the bars for a few years. Evidently, justice in the Army is dispensed according to ranks. This is the impression that the ridiculous outcome of this case coveys to the general public, men in uniform and retired personnel.



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