January 02, 2012

Why Buffalo should be declared the National Animal of India

Bubalus Bubalis Male Tiger Ranthambhore
For a long time now, I thought that Tiger should not be considered the national animal of India. In fact, the animal that best represents India is Buffalo. And I have pretty strong reasons why:

1. Population speaks for itself!
India has just about 3000-4000 alive tigers currently while there must be over a 100 million buffaloes alive and kicking all over India! And they make us the world’s largest milk producer (buffalo wise) in the world! Now the question arises, whom do we choose to represent a growing population of over 120 crore Indians: an animal which can only be seen sometimes in the zoo, or one which can be seen roaming around freely in every other lane of every other Indian city?

2. Buffalo is secular!
One can argue that if we do have to make some cattle a national animal then why not go
Cow vs Water Buffalo
for Holy Cow? Well, I can understand their sentiments but I am afraid everyone in this vibrant democracy may not agree with that decision. After all, it’s a known fact that mostly Hindus consider it as Holy. Plus, our government will reject the idea of Holy Cow outright, saying “Ismay to RSS ka haath hai”. Buffalo on the other hand is totally secular. I think Holy Cow is like Sachin, overpowering her contemporaries; it’s time a Rahul (read Buffalo) gets his due course.

3. Who better to represent a country of black people,?
Forget the Miss Indias, India is still and will remain the country of black people (may be not as black as Sri Lankans and West Indians but blacks nevertheless #racist). So, it’s baffling how much we obsess with white skin in here. It’s painful to see people here using crap on their face in the name of whitening creams. It’s totally the case of low self-esteem. So, if instead of “White” Tiger, we have “Black” buffalo, I am sure it will act as a catalyst to change people's perception about skin. Beauty is not dependent on the color. Period.

4. Buffalo represents Indian nature!
I fail to understand how we are the tigers of the world? Everyone from Pakistan to China to Bangladesh to Sri Lanka is invading some part of India and calling it theirs and we call ourselves the tigers? I strongly opine that we should call ourselves the buffalo of the world, which seldom gets angry whatever you do to her and will be happy to serve you (with milk) with just a little bit of love and a bit of fodder.

5. Buffalo represents Bharat, the real India!
Buffalo Washing
All images taken form Flickr under CC Licence.
While there is no doubt that you can easily find buffaloes in metros, taking a morning or evening walk or just hanging out at random places, majority of buffalo population still live in rural areas (just like Indian population). On the other hand, the tigers are mostly reserved into reserves and forests (may be representing Indian tribal population, which is good, but let’s focus on buffaloes). If buffaloes are made national animals I am sure rural areas will also come into limelight overnight. May be a buffalo can do for rural India what dozens of Govt. policies couldn’t do. Amen.