THE SHAMEFUL PRACTICE IN INDIA HAVE ENDANGERED OWLS FOR YEARS
“When the owl sings, the night is silent. (Quand le hibou chante, La nuit est silence)”
― Charles de Leuss
Considering the fact that the whole mankind lives in 21st century and that there are certain signs of future steps into another planets, I am always devastated by primitive rituals around the world which are not being expired but empowered. The vast majority of them are simply bizarre religious practice and very incompatible with the advanced technology we made and we currently use. Someone would expect that human beings are opened for scientific approach rather than for some shaman visions but unfortunately, that is not the case. In the age of information, as one quote states, ignorance is a free choice. Ignorance with capability to be opinionated by some weird customs is the worst form of chaotic disordered behavior. Individual and collective twisted mind is an introduction into the brainless, hopeless and faceless world.
An incredible India, the country of different colors, specific foods, interesting mix of religions, secret temples and proud mosques, miracles from the rivers, mysterious books, people who are philosophers while they teach us to listen more and talk less. The land of contrasts, the beauty of history, the nuclear giant and the place where magic works if you believe in it.The Untold secrets of India let us feel like we are stuck in the perpetum mobile, waiting to be blessed or cursed.
Some days ago I saw the poster of wildlife activists who were almost screaming on the people to do something and to stand up against the continually killing of the owls in India. I dont know how to express my feeling about it. At the same time I was sad, despair, angry and determinate to do something to help those precious animals to be saved. But, ahead of me was the big challenge of becoming informed about this shameful practice so I could be able to direct the activism in the best way. Who is sacrificing the owls and why? What is the official conservation policy of India regarding this issue? Does anyone do something, anything or nothing to help the efforts so this cruel rituals could be stopped once for all times?So many questions and answers are vanishing.
The story behind the torturing and killing of these beautiful raptor birds is hard to be understood because it is merged with local Indian tradition and diverted religious feelings. The investigation of the Hindustan Times comes up with the following:“Lights, candles and sweets do not complete Diwali for some. So every year, they set out looking for an owl. From the rich to the poor, families in extreme luxury or misery, often end their search at the chaotic Kabootar Bazaar opposite Red Fort in Old Delhi.A few enquiries later, dealers of exotic birds here promise a healthy owl, home delivered on Diwali night, for anything between Rs 6,000 and Rs 15,000. The belief goes that sacrificing an owl — the vahan (vehicle) of Goddess Lakshmi — can force her to stay put bringing wealth and prosperity all year round.’The idea behind this ritual of owl sacrifice is to not let the goddess of wealth leave your house. So, on Diwali night, when Lakshmi ji enters your house, if you sacrifice her vaahan she will stay with you forever,’ a priest standing close to the shop explained.” It is very interesting to follow the observations of the journalist from the mentioned magazine since they even made the camera clip of the dealer on the Kabootar Bazaar and the negotiation with him about the prices of the owls. He offered owls and owlets for the different prices but he was ready to make business deal.You could buy small owl for Rs 6,000 and the adult for Rs 15,000 but he reduced the numbers and promised that he can sacrifice owl for you on Diwali night if you pay him Rs 10,000. Just to note the proportion of Indian Rupee and American dollar is the following one: 1 USD = 66.7046 INR. The Indian Rupee and the Euro:1 EUR = 75.5394 INR. I believe we all do know to make calculation about the worth of this illegal trade with endangered owls in Old Delhi.
One of the famous ornithologist and owls experts, Abrar Ahmed warns that Delhi is the main center for this disgraceful trade and that the birds are being brought from Kanpur, Moradabad, Pilibhit, Lucknow and Nainital. He is also aware that the government is familiar with this crimes against wildlife but that makes ZERO steps to stop it. However, there is some positive feedback from the local politicians like Jairam Ramesh, former Minister of Environment and Forests who warned in 2010 about these backward rituals and how they are non-acceptable for the modern ages and modern tendency of India. On the list of those who terrorize owls are definitely Delhi, on the first place and then come Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal Haryana and Gujarat.A blanket ban exists against the trade of any species of owl under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 but it is the concern if it is implemented since we know the level of corruption in Indian society as well as the worth of illegal trade and black market. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, under the Ministry of Environment and Forests is tracking the illegal trade under the pressure of the Wildlife Foundation and promises the immediate legal actions against the birds dealers and killers.
How colorful Diwali holiday could be connected with darkness and killing of the owls? It is believed that worshiped Goddess Laxmi rides on owl but that doesnt explain the horror number of killed birds and their links with black magic practitioners. According to reports, shamans prescribe the use of owls and their body parts — skull, feathers, ear tuffs, claws, heart, liver, kidney, blood, eyes, fat, beak, tears, eggshells, meat and bones — for ceremonial rituals:“The amavasya (the dark night right before the new moon) of Diwali is deemed the most auspicious time for owl sacrifices It is said that local shamans can kill an owl and take its soul, its power, and put it in an amulet. The owl power will then guide the seeker to find wealth.Black magic practitioners sacrifice owls during Kaalratri hour (after midnight) at remote and lonely graveyards or on the banks of rivers to gain command or strength over supernatural powers.”
Those black wizards are known as tantriks. They claim that they have solutions for all problems and people who are desperately sick or without life’s blessings will do anything to change their destiny, even if that means sacrificing the most precious birds of prey. India has up to 32 species of owls and the festival of light and triumph good over evil is the festival of killing owls in the name of black magic and primitive thoughts. Those tantriks could be found in many newspapers with their business offers. It is a marketing. They start to promote themselves many months before Diwali comes so unhappy people have enough time to decide to go for this paganism. Many devout honorable Hindus even do not know for this practice since they are not supporters of black magic and its tools but this is more than secret problem of India , this is a wildlife problem now.Some owls are stolen even from the Indian Zoo. The goverment is trying to educate people and to include cooperators in hunting on illegal bird dealers but that could be accepted in cities. What about the countryside and lot of illiterate poor people who live for tantriks and from them ? How they can be controlled and monitored? This problems requires long term strategy of Indian goverment because the black magic is like a cancer in advanced society and it also eats up the religion and its crucial ethic credo.
India has lot of political, security, religious and social risks. It is a developing country with full potential but it is still bothered by very primitive and backward elements from within. The idea of fighting with the black magic epidemic in the age of nuclear heads sounds grotesque. It must be something done, it must be something changed. If you are changer, you can sign the petition and spread the information about this ugly, bizarre practice which is hidden behind the glorious light festival Diwali.
Religious Hindus have nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to their own religion.They celebrate light and not darkness. Others….who prefer darkness over light and evil over good, they are monsters of the society as well as the manipulated non-educated mob who is believing to buy future for owls feathers. They are buying their own stupidity on black market and they are selling their own souls to the demons they are afraid of.
The owls are very important animals in our ecosystems. They should be saved and protected, they should be cherished and loved. Whoever does the opposite is nothing but the beasts and beasts must be eliminated when they are out of control.
Save the owls and you will save your soul.