India Uncut

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Elephant vs Government

This Indian Express report by Samudra Gupta Kashyap tells us of an elephant called Laden that has gone on the rampage in Assam. "It has killed at least a dozen people in two months in different villages of Assam," we are told, and "was subject of discussion in the state Assembly today. [sic.]"

Well, an elephant ain't no Veerappan, you'd imagine, and the government has, indeed, "ordered it done to death." But it isn't that simple.
The law says a “rogue” elephant has to be killed in one shot. But there is a problem. In last three years, the Assam forest department has declared five elephants rogues, but killed just one.

The trouble does not end here: If the shikari doesn’t get Laden before the deadline, the licence to kill lapses. The government will then have to repeat the entire process, which reaches all the way to the relevant Ministry in New Delhi and takes a month to complete.
Why, it may be asked, should a license to kill a particular elephant ever lapse? The answer, of course, is obvious and depressing. And it has nothing to do with individuals who are corrupt or inefficient: such idiocy is written into the DNA of our system of government.

(Link via email from Dijo John.)
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