Know the story of Jim Corbett!
In the foothills of the Western Himalayas, India’s most famous hunter-naturalist was born one hundred forty-seven years ago on this day.
His name has been given to the country’s oldest and perhaps most famous national park, as well as to the cottage industry that has developed around it. From guesthouses to hair salons, from general stores to gift shops, Jim Corbett remains a familiar name in and around Uttarakhand’s forests, where the man lived and whose efforts led to the creation of a national park.
Born in Nainital in 1875, Jim Corbett lived in India until Independence, when he left for Kenya, where he died in 1955. In addition to hunting man-eating tigers and leopards, Corbett is also credited with killing over a dozen of these cats.
Corbett was regularly called upon by the government to hunt and shoot man-eaters in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal and Kumaon villages. Additionally, he was a storyteller whose shikar yarns and forest tales kept his audience spellbound, and he was a conservationist later in life.
One of many siblings of a postmaster, Corbett, and his family would come down from the hills every winter to their winter home in Kaladhungi, which is now a museum. Those foothills would be his training grounds, where he would learn, absorb, and absorb much about the forest life, jungle lore, etc.
He wrote, “I have used the word ‘absorbed’ instead of ‘learned’ because jungle lore cannot be taught from textbooks.” Hence, his hunting expeditions were captured vividly in ‘Man-Eaters of Kumaon’ (1944), ‘The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag’ (1948), ‘The Temple Tiger and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon’ (1955), and many other gripping accounts.
It is as much an account of nature as it is of people in his books. ‘My India’ (1952) is an intimate account of the people he encountered both in the hills and in the plains – in Mokameh Ghat in Bihar, where his work in the railways took him; ‘Jungle Lore’ (1953) wanders through forests to capture animal and bird calls, and even a banshee from time to time.
With a racket-tailed drongo who “can imitate to perfection the calls of most birds and one animal, the cheetah,” to Corbett himself comprehending and imitating the calls of birds and animals, ‘Jungle Lore’ shows how much of a storyteller he is, letting the forest come alive instead of being a textbook.
He spent much of his life with his sister Maggie, who served in both World Wars as a volunteer and was awarded the honorary rank of Colonel. Later in life, he all but gave up hunting in favor of wildlife photography and conservation. ‘In the Jungles of the Night: A Novel about Jim Corbett’ author Stephen Alter writes that Corbett was one of the first people to take cine-films of tigers in the wild.
In the Himalayan foothills near Nainital, Corbett National Park spans 520 square kilometers and is part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve, which covers 1,288 square kilometers. Corbett Tiger Reserve is made up of both the national park and the adjacent 301-square-kilometre Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
There are hills, grasslands, and streams in Corbett that make it an ideal habitat for tigers. It boasts one of the highest tiger densities in the country and the largest tiger population in a tiger reserve today, thanks to Project Tiger, which was launched here in 1973. In addition to 600 elephants and over 600 bird species, the majestic forest is a popular tourist destination.
However, the park wasn’t always called Corbett. As India’s and Asia’s first national park, Hailey National Park was named after Sir Malcolm Hailey, the governor of the United Provinces. Ramganga National Park was christened Ramganga National Park soon after Independence, and Corbett National Park was christened yet again in 1956.
It was one of the few instances after Independence when something was named after an Englishman. “Usually, things named after the English are renamed after Independence, but here it was the other way around,” Alter said. “The park was renamed after Corbett at the insistence of Govind Ballabh Pant, the first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, to honor his conservation efforts,” he said.
During the park’s creation (in 1936; hunting was prohibited in 1934), there was not a shortage of forest or prey base, so Jim Corbett was able to see much before anyone else that roads, motor vehicles, and the loosening of arms were threatening tigers,” said Rajiv Bhartari, who was the reserve’s director from 2005 to 2008.
He (Corbett) used his skills, contacts, and resources to establish the first national park on the Asian mainland. In Corbett’s view, the tiger needed protection. Today, the national park represents more than eight decades of conservation,” Bhartari said.
One of Corbett’s greatest legacies may be his early understanding of the connection between conservation and community. The path between protection and local welfare is a very challenging one, and Jim Corbett had a very coherent philosophy.
Bhartari, who has overseen research both on Corbett’s legacy and the history of Corbett National Park at the Wildlife Institute of India, says that Corbett was equally sensitive and compassionate towards villagers. As a result of his efforts, Chhoti Haldwani became a model village for Kumaonis. When the Corbett National Park was formed, the initial boundary was carefully drawn to ensure villagers’ rights were not violated. The unique relationship between people and conservation is what I consider to be his legacy. Corbett spent most of his later life trying to improve agriculture in Chhoti Haldwani by spreading seeds, strengthening irrigation, and encouraging villagers to produce not just for consumption, but for sale.”
As Bhartari remembered, Corbett had allowed a worker to run a tea shop in his own house so that he could make a living. According to Bhartari, when he went to Kenya, he gave all his land to the villagers he had settled in Chhoti Haldwani.
Who is standing against Rishi Sunak for the PM run of the UK?
Liz Truss, the UK Foreign Secretary, is currently leading the race to become the next Prime Minister.
Liz Truss faces off against Rishi Sunak, an Indian-origin leader of her party, for the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Several rounds of voting have shown that Sunak has the support of Conservative Party MPs, but Truss enjoys strong support from the party’s grassroots members.
Party members across the country, not just MPs, will vote on September 2 to elect the next prime minister. The election will be held after several televised debates and campaigning among the people.
In several polls conducted by conservative websites, Truss has come out on top, and The Economist magazine’s live tracker estimates her chances of winning at 66 percent.
46-year-old Truss hails from the north of England, which is historically a Labour Party stronghold. Formerly, the Oxford native identified as a Social Democrat, a party with policies similar to those of the Centrist party.
In a BBC report, Elizabeth Truss said she became more inclined towards Conservative ideals after studying philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University. Among other jobs in the private sector, she worked as a commercial manager in the energy and telecommunications industries for ten years.
Following a few unsuccessful attempts to run for office in the 2000s, she was elected to the House of Commons in 2010. A former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare, Truss later held portfolios in the environment, food, and rural affairs and has used this experience in her campaigning.
Since September 2021, she has served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs or Foreign Minister, which is the most prestigious position.
Foreign Secretary Truss has often invoked sanctions against Russia during the ongoing war in Ukraine, strongly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although she voted against the referendum to leave the EU in 2016, she has been in charge of negotiating with the EU over Brexit. She later admitted she had been wrong and now appreciates the “opportunities” that have been provided.
The former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher is revered among conservatives for deeply adhering to Conservative ideals in her policies and being an inspiration to Truss.
Last year, Truss was photographed in a tank, recalling Thatcher’s famous photo from 1986.
Given Sunak’s rise in taxes as Chancellor of the Exchequer, she has proposed immediate tax cuts. During a recent TV debate, Sunak said the raise would fund the country’s public health system.
During her campaign video, Truss emphasized her experience in government and her commitment to core conservative principles, including low taxes, tight spending controls, and driving economic growth. As soon as she takes office, she will work to “ensure Putin loses in Ukraine” and “make the most of the opportunities provided by Brexit.” At the moment, Britain faces three major challenges: economy, security, and environment.
Despite the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) blocking the first deportation flight last month, both candidates support the government’s controversial policy of sending illegal migrants to Rwanda. Truss has also said she will increase the border force by 20%.
Know more about the Myanmar Execution
Myanmar’s execution of four political prisoners, in defiance of international appeals, throws the country back decades. How will the move affect the rest of the world, including India, and how will they engage with the junta?
Myanmar’s junta executed four political prisoners, two of whom are well-known in Myanmar and abroad as pro-democracy activists, despite international appeals not to execute the death sentences and free political prisoners arrested since the February 2021 coup.
Perhaps the executions on Saturday in the infamous Insein prison in Yangon were also intended to spread fear among the resistance.
The United Nations, the United States, and France, as well as international human rights organizations, had condemned Myanmar’s decision in June, but the junta dismissed the criticism as “reckless.” In addition, it did not consider an appeal from a friend. In a letter dated June 12, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is said to be close to the junta, wrote to Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the chairman of the State Administration Council. I would like to urge you to refrain from carrying out the death sentences,” he wrote on June 11, saying he was motivated by a “deep concern and sincere desire to help Myanmar achieve peace and national reconciliation.”
Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the government, is reported to have said: “at least 50 innocent civilians died as a result of them.” It is important to take the necessary actions at the appropriate times.
As far as Amnesty International is aware, the last executions in Myanmar took place in 1988. Although death sentences were handed down after that, there were no executions, at least in the last ten years, when the junta began putting in place a controlled transition to democracy.
A military coup in February 2021, following a sweeping election victory by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), reversed the transition, sending Myanmar back to 1990, when the military annulled her first election victory and jailed her for 20 years. It has been confirmed that the regression is completely based on the executions.
In the 18 months since the coup, thousands of people have been arrested. In a report posted on Myanmar Now, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported that 117 people had been sentenced to death by military tribunals, including 41 absentees.
After capturing power last year, the junta added 23 new crimes that are punishable by death. In March 2021, martial law was imposed in many areas, and the military took over both executive and judicial functions. Military tribunal proceedings are held behind closed doors and have been condemned as unfair.
Four people were executed: Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw. Two of them were convicted of torturing and killing a woman in March 2021 whom they believed to be a military informant.
Ko Jimmy and Phyo Zayar Thaw were accused of leading and planning guerrilla attacks against the junta’s forces and allied militias last year. As all resistance has been labeled terrorism by the junta, they were tried on terrorism charges. The two were well-known, had a high social media profile, and could mobilize people to protest.
Kyaw Min You, also known as Ko Jimmy, was arrested last October. In the days following the coup, the junta issued an arrest warrant for him, accusing him of inciting unrest and threatening “public tranquility” on social media. During the next eight months, he frequently moved while participating in demonstrations.
Ko Jimmy was jailed in 1988 after he led the student uprising against General Ne Win after the military ruler demonetized several currency denominations, rendering student savings worthless. A victory day was celebrated on August 8, 1988, which commemorated the general’s resignation at the end of July 1988. 88 Generation is the name given to those who participated in the protest.
In 2012, Ko Jimmy was released from prison after nearly 20 years behind bars. A teenage daughter and his wife, Nilar Thein, a well-known 1988-generation activist, survive him.The arrest of Phyo Zayar Thaw took place in November. Under the state name Nitric, he was Myanmar’s pioneer hip-hop artist.
The band he was in was called Acid. In 2012 and 2015, he ran as an NLD candidate and worked closely with Suu Kyi. A large number of Buddhist monks participated in the 2007 anti-junta “saffron revolution,” which earned it the name “saffron revolution.”
Countries that have advocated engagement with the junta in an effort to encourage them to pick up the threads of the transition to democracy once again face a dilemma.
With security concerns in the Northeast and concerns about China expanding its footprint in Myanmar, India has so far engaged with the junta while urging the generals to return to democracy.
As a result of the coup, the US, UK, EU, Canada, and Australia imposed sanctions on several generals, including travel bans, asset freezes, and denials of financial, legal, and medical services. Russia and China opposed sanctions against Myanmar, so the UN Security Council instead called on the junta to cease violence and release all political prisoners.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma