Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
   Volume 10 |Issue 27 | July 15, 2011 |


 Cover Story
 Food for Thought
 Star Diary
 Human Rights

   SWM Home


Minding the Wild
a case of legal hypocrisy and social complicity

Shah Husain Imam

Not all conflicts create revulsion; some can be movingly sentimental even for the parties in the fray, and a pure source of hilarity for the on-lookers. It is all about the humorous side of human-animal bondage, or disconnect, if you will.

We are used to such run-of-the-mill duels galore that we cannot imagine any exceptional specimen of these coming our way to give us a hearty laugh inside out.

The first is an unprecedented incident of political rivalry finding an equally extraordinary expression of mutual dislike between the victor and the vanquished in a local poll at Kushtia Sadar upazila. Just not béte noire to each other, even their respective followings repulsed each other. The distraught adversaries set up two bamboo bridges over a canal, one for the use of the winner's supporters and other for the followers of the defeated.

Strangely, the first to lay the bridge was the unsuccessful candidate with a BNP label who named the bridge Oikyajote Shanko. One would have expected the triumphant one with AL loyalty to have led the way wallowing in celebrative abandon. But he merely followed suit, for he couldn't stand being left behind. Not surprisingly, he named it Mohajote Shanko. One only hopes, a pucca bridge is on the way with government allocation. Then, perhaps despite political rivalry, the vanquished will see reason to use a government facility. Or would they boycott it?

One wishes, rather than indulging in duplication, BNP and AL loyalists create new facilities out of even competitive showmanship in private sector, thereby doing some real incremental social good.

On the inter-family level, there can be tiffs of such peculiarity that some specimens can qualify to be in the Guinness Book. A myna had strayed from a nearby jungle into a locality at Gadkhali village in Kolaroa upazila under Satkhira district. It ran into a trap laid by a 14-year-old lad named Nahid. The bird numbed by nibbling a crumb mixed with a bit of sleeping pill thrown to it, settled on a perch in a house belonging to one Zillur Rahman. Rahman's son Al Shahriar, 12, then caught the bird while Nahid had put it in a dizzy state in the first place. The ingenious method must have owed it to the sleeping dart lobbed at wild animals to paralyze them for scientific reason which Nahid might have seen over TV.

The myna would become a bone of contention between Nahid and Shahriar families which brought the local police station in picture. Unable to resolve the dispute, the officer in-charge (OC) put it in the police lockup. A myna in police custody! It was in good shape when last heard of. The official must have by now handed it over to the Forest Office (as he had reportedly decided), with a request to release it to the woods. I have not come by any follow-up story but hope everything went well with the bird.

Incidentally, the myna is Hindi-speaking suggesting it had been domesticated somewhere in India. Since pet animals put to their natural habitat have some initial difficulty in acclimatising, no one can be too sure how the myna would get by in its new environment. An ornithologist would know better.

A news item from The Daily Mail online picked by a prominent Bangla daily has it that a pair of deer walked nonchalantly on to the premises of a British family in Walsall industrial city in mid England. Tim Kitchen, 61, a retired personnel and his son Tom Kitchen who is doing a job, were treated to a rare sight and gifted with a rarer opportunity of photographing the animals which are the most difficult to be photographed because they are known to disappear in quick bursts of elfin steps.

The writer is Associate Editor, The Daily Star.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2011