Conservation needs a humane approach: Mahesh Rangarajan

Updated - August 21, 2016 08:08 am IST

Published - August 21, 2016 12:00 am IST - CHENNAI:

Mahesh Rangarajan with the winners of the Nature Writing Award 2016, organised by M. Krishnan memorial lecture. Photo: M. Karunakaran

Mahesh Rangarajan with the winners of the Nature Writing Award 2016, organised by M. Krishnan memorial lecture. Photo: M. Karunakaran

Calling for a more humane approach to conservation, author and historian Mahesh Rangarajan on Saturday said that the efforts could not be limited to the State alone.

“There are many organisations that work in various spheres of nature preservation. Let a hundred flowers bloom,” he said, quoting Mao Tse-tung and asked for more such efforts to come up.

Speaking at the 5th M. Krishnan memorial lecture organised at IIT-Madras, he cited the example of how kings in India looked after elephants as they were needed for war. The king not only looked after the elephants, the forests but also the people living near them, he explained.

Underlining the importance of water conservation, he said rivers were not just sheets of water but were entire eco-systems by themselves. If the animals depending on the rivers were protected, the rivers too would be protected, he said. Film historian and wildlife conservationist Theodore Bhaskaran said that in his writings in Tamil on natural history, M. Krishnan used traditional names for birds, mammals and plants, which were becoming obsolete.

Mr. Rangarajan recalled how Krishnan was a prolific writer, photographer and artist, and Tamil was central to his heritage. Hari Krishnan, the son of M. Krishnan also spoke.

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