For the readers of my blog, my latest offering- the art and science of lion hunts in India…read on…
The Indian lion is featured in the state emblem of India. Majestic in size and poise, the animal once roamed large tracts of India.
Today, the actual numbers are just a ghost of the their former size of numbers.The western state of Gujarat, India is today the only reserve of this animal which competes , in every department, with its near cousin, the Bengal tiger.
For nearly 200 years, India was ruled by the Mughals who owed their lineage to Ghenghis Khan and Tamerlame.
Ghenghis is considered one of the foremost emperors of the world-his empire ranging from China in the east to the Russian plains in the west. Tamer Lame was distinguished by his murderous mobs who brought death and deprivation to every country they visited.
Needless to say, this thirst for blood manifested in their descendants, the Mughals who ruled India from Delhi and Agra for a long period of time.
In my last blogpost, I have written about their blood thirsty ways to attain power, how an aspiring king did away his brothers in his quest for power.
Now, when these guys were not fighting amongst themselves, they were hunting the wild animals.This hunt was called shikar.
It was quite an elaborate effort to hunt down these beasts-particularly the lions.
The men in the shikar party used to tie up an ass or a donkey near the cave of the lion .The animal seeing a hapless dinner available to it did not let the opportunity pass.After the dinner, it used to go to the nearest lake or a river, quench its thirst and come back to its cave.
The next day- one more free meal for the lion.Again, the lucky beast quenched its thirst and go back to its siesta.
But, there was a catch, the donkey was fed with opium, like hashish,to invade the systems of its diner.
The lion, now sufficiently overcome with laziness was too weak to even spot the lurking danger in the form of the Mughal emperor hidden on a wooden platform near its cave.
Out came the spears and bows and arrows and the lion was massacred in cold blood.
Seems heroic? No. But, this kind of hunts , over the years, robbed India of her wildlife and today, the kingdom of the lion is restricted to just a colony in an Indian state.