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Hunting Ritual: Hurting the Ecosystem of Jaldapara National Park

Written by (DIVYA) 10/June/23 You must be aware that Jaldapara National Park one of the national parks with rich flora and fauna. West Bengal is a state with rich culture and tradition where this national park is situated. Indeed Jaldapara National Park is the place to explore. You can explore the national park with the help of Jaldapara Online Safari booking because online booking will help you in avoiding the mess of later.

Hunting is a ritual of the tribal communities who live there called ShikarUtsav and Sendra. Because of this ritual, the national park was closed for 10 days because the guards of this national park were engaged in protection work. As they are protecting animals from hunters. So in today’s blog, we are going to discuss the tribal hunting ritual.

environment jaldapara
jaldapara wildlife hunting

Tribal Beliefs on Hunting Ritual:

In the year 2021, the forest official tried to educate the tribals that they are destroying the ecological balance of the forest through this hunting ritual. Then they replied that the hunting ritual is a very important part of their culture.

People in thousands take part in this hunting ritual, according to the data. Even meetings were conducted to make them understand why this hunting ritual is dangerous for the habitat and why hunting practices should be stopped.

But these tribals believe that this festival is not only about hunting but comes with many other social norms. It is a way where tribal men passage their power and status to the next generation. This festival is about teaching the next generation about some major issues such as sexuality, culture, responsibilities, and traditions. And this is the reason they believe that hunting should not be banned completely.

How do They Perform This Ritual?

This Sendra is not only about killing animals but they sing and dance before starting this ritual. Tribal men dance and sing tribal songs for the whole night, it is because they seek protection and permission from ShendraBonga, the god of that tribal community. The tribal song is all about self-protection and also it is about that they respect nature.

Why The Human and Environment Alliance League (HEAL) Against the Ritual?

The HEAL is a non-profit organization working against wildlife crime and helps in controlling the crime happening in wildlife. As HEAL believes that tribals are using their culture as an excuse to hunt because it is not a need-driven activity, which should be stopped for the sake of humans and wildlife. They say that they are not against the festival but they are totally anti-killings.

They also believe that the tribals are not dependent on wild meat for food because food is not at all an issue for their survival because tribals are provided employment in the conservation sector and through hunting tribals cannot even meet 1 per cent of their food need. This festival and ritual are just for their fun and to show off their power against the animals. They are not in support of banning the ritual but yes they want to ban the killing of animals for sure.

What Steps Can Be Taken to Stop the Killing of Animals?

According to AniketKundu who is a professor and does not belong to any tribal community, who has been living in Jhargram for over 15 years, also believes the same as HEAL. His view about the hunting ritual is that the rituals should not be banned but the killing must.

He said that “Many in mainstream society are able to get access to education and new ideas. But in these distant villages, tribals still follow and believe in traditions, and this is the reason social changes are slow. We cannot change them in a single day and it will surely take some time. We need to show them alternate ways to observe their traditions,"

It is true that it may take some time for them to understand the whole concept of not killing but gradually it will happen with proper guidance. And meanwhile, we should be ready with an alternative way to celebrate their traditions because we can’t stop them to celebrate or cherish their culture and tradition.