The Rat Hunters of Assam !

R.D. Bharadwaj “Noorpuri” 

I was very much pained and disappointed after an article in a leading English newspaper – The Hindu, entitled – “The Rat Hunters of Assam” by Ritu Raj Konwer, a few days ago, which portrays briefly the life of a tribal / adivasi family of Ram Soren, who earns his livelihood by hunting and selling rats from nearby rivers and fields etc. They kill rats not only to earn money but also to eat them. The story further states that he had to resort to hunting rats a few years ago, when suddenly his son had fallen ill and he did not have sufficient money to get him cured. He was left with no other option but to sell his small holding of agricultural land and thereby enable him to get medical facility for his son.

It is really very shocking and sorry state of affairs that even after 65 years of India attaining independence, our so called galaxy of leaders could not improve the social and economic position of the common people. It could not have been made possible because our leaders could not provide them some worthwhile employment, which could afford them to have two scare meals a day and a small roof over their heads. Crores of poor people across the length and breadth of the country are not making a good living, and they are just surviving the vagaries of nature by satisfying their hunger, the way animals are doing so – i.e. by eating anything – human or inhuman.

Our democratically elected governments at Centre and all States should awake from their deep slumber and try their level best to provide some good means of employment to the poor people (irrespective of their state, caste, community, religion of region) to enable them to get sufficient income from their work and that they are enabled to make good living; rather than leading just an animal’s life and are compelled to satisfy their hunger and fill their stomachs with anything they could lay their hands on, simply because they can’t buy something better. Thousands crores of funds have been swindled by the innumerable scamsters and lakhs crores of Indian money has been stashed in Swish and some other foreign banks, but precious little is being done by the governmental machinery to improve the precious lives of poor and needy people. Rather they are being forced to lead an animal’s life.

It should also be borne in mind that no country or society can boast of making all round development, progress and prosperity even if a part of it keeps on lagging behind socially and economically. The wholesome development can be made possible only if the entire society moves ahead and their social and economic status makes a discernible improvement. It is true and comparable to the same way and situation as no person can feel healthy and enjoy life if a part of his body continues to ache and give him frequent troubles and thus, puts a dampener or a speed breaker on his well being and smooth sailing. The Central Government and all state governments should sit together and think it seriously and put all scamsters behind the bars, recover their ill gotten money worth thousands of crores and utilise the same to complete the thousands of ongoing projects spread across the country. And if this could be achieved, that will automatically provide employment opportunities to the crores of poor people, which will ultimately uplift and improve their health and life significantly – in more than one manner. And in the scenario which shall emerge after that situation, no person shall have to hunt rats or other insects just to satisfy their hunger.