I was presented with a request by a reader to delete the photographs of dead deer and black buck on the IIT Madras campus from my blog. The person who supplied the photographs to this reader, wants them taken off because he or she does not agree with me.
The dilemma was - this is my blog and I am entitled to write what I want and was given the photographs. Yet that does not make the photographs mine and now the person who gave them wants 'their' photographs removed.
So what I have decided to do this time is to remove them because I did not take them in the first place.
The people at IIT who introduced me to whats happening to the deer and black buck inside are disappointed that I am swayed by Ranjit Daniels argument of cutting down 30 hectares of trees. But I think I would go with a scientist with 30 years experience than a layperson.
Ranjith Daniels says, "My methods are not based on a whim. A lot of effort has gone into this. Let people be assured of that. Whats destroyed the IIT campus is the Prosopis Juliflora tree. Now we are trying to clear two or three hectares on an experimental basis. World over, loss of habitat is the biggest problem faced by conservationists."
Its no different with the black buck and thats why they are dealing with that threat first.
But people have argued that why not deal with the solvable problems first - like controlling traffic and construction activity? Ranjith acknowledges that traffic is a problem and signs will be put up to request people to drive slowly. But he says that these fears of traffic and construction are not the biggest threat and steps are being taken to ensure that the black buck isn't allowed to go extinct.
As far as the birds and other life in the trees that he plans to cut is concerned, he says, "The Juliflora has not allowed anything else to grow. Birds nests are not just in trees but in bushes also and these trees have destroyed the biodiversity on the campus."