India's original potpourri blog. Since 2005. By Soumyadip Choudhury
When the Government of India officially invited the world to come and kill our tigers for fun
There are fewer than 2,000 tigers in India and it is not only because of poachers or environmental factors. When the government of a country actually invites tourists from all over the world to come here and kill our tigers for fun – there is little hope for survival of the magnificent beast.
It is only in the 1970s that tiger conservation was taken seriously by the Government of India (Project Tiger was launched in 1973) but much serious damage had already been done.
This Government of India Tourist Office advertisement from the 1960s shows that besides the Taj Mahal, it was also the ‘sport’ of shikar that India used to attract the world to our shores.
Shikar! The eyes of the tiger in the jungle-black night are two haunting orbs of fire. Many who have seen them have recorded the experience on film. Others have brought the tiger home… the sportsman’s greatest trophy. A Shikar in the jungle of India is a princely caravan, with scores of servants and chefs to tend to every need, expert hunters to guide, and thrills lurking in every rustle of the leaf. Enjoy the excitement of an Indian Shikar – the beloved sport of the Maharajahs. Here’s the first step: Ask your travel agent for full information and literature on SHIKAR – or write to Dept, N.Y. Government of India Tourist Office New York: 19 East 49th Street San Francisco: 685 Market Street