Ritual Sacrificing Of Tigers In India

Anadam's Kali Puja in Calcutta in 2002

It must be rare. Perhaps it is exceptionally rare but it appears to happen sometimes, somewhere in parts of India; the ritual sacrifice of the endangered Bengal tiger.

An Indian person living in India, H S Himamshu, wrote a comment on a page about some Indians eating domestic cat meat, which I wrote many years ago. It is a controversial topic. I realise that. In his comment, he writes:

“There are people in Tamil Nadu who have sacrificed a Tiger at the altar of a Goddess for a Chief minister’s well being – Check this link – http://gulfnews.com/letter-from-chennai-jayalalitha-on-the-path-to-settle-old-scores-1.419216”

This got me thinking. I checked out the page and the relevant section reads this:

“But later Sudhakaran fell out with Jayalalitha and formed his own party. He was supposed to have conducted a tiger sacrifice in Warangal (in Andhra) over a year ago, for Jayalalitha’s welfare.”

This indicated that sometimes tiger sacrifices take place in India. The home of the endangered Bengal tiger.

Tiger and Hinduism

Tiger and Hinduism

And then I searched on the Internet for tiger sacrifices and stumbled upon a Hindustan Times article entitled “Tiger believed sacrificed at Corbett”. Corbett National Park is one of the jewels in the crown of the many tiger reserves in India. It is named after Jim Corbett a tiger hunter who became a conservationist (who I said was a fraud although he is well respected in India).

In June of 2012 the Hindustan Times reported that about 20 tigers were believed to have been killed in the Corbett National Park. Incidentally, this park is in the North of India, north of Delhi.

The newspaper reports that the remains of a poached animal were found in Corbett National Park. Animal advocates stated that it was a tiger while the Forest Department denied it. They said the animal was either a porcupine or jackal.

It appears, however, that both parties agreed that there had been a prayer ceremony at the site before the killing.

This was confirmed by the fact that officials from the Forest Department found clothes and an empty box of sweets at the site. A tribe such as the Bawarias usually conduct “pujas” before sacrificing wild animals. My research indicates that “puja” refers to a prayer ritual performed by Hindus to honour and worship a diety.

A small portion of the intestines of the animal was left behind. It was claimed that this was an offering to the deity that they were worshipping. The tiger was skinned. Most of the body parts had been taken away said the former chairperson of the state environment and Forest advisory committee (Anil Baluni). The director of Corbett National Park disagreed with that assessment. He said he was sure that the animal was not a tiger.

It is all but impossible to patrol a tiger reserve such as Corbett National Park and prevent poaching 24/7. Corbett National Park in 2010 had an estimated 214 tigers, the highest number in the world in one place. However these estimates are often inaccurate and optimistic when the estimate is conducted by a person who is interested in projecting the successful management of a tiger reserve.

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Ritual Sacrificing Of Tigers In India — 2 Comments

  1. From what little I know about this National Park, it spans hundreds of square miles.
    That would make security measures impossible.
    Maybe some bright, imaginative person will come along who can figure out how to parcel the place to make it all more manageable but not restrictive.

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