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Monday, September 17, 2012

killing snake in defence lands farmer behind the bars

Have you heard of or know what ‘Herpetophobia ‘ is ! – Appaiya did what a rational man would do – but is behind the bars now due to a rule !!  

Sure you have lot of dogs in your area – stray dogs many a times behave violently and there are instances of dog bite.  Even pets dogs can be ferocious –for those not so inclined to dog behaviour, every dog is a mongrel, capable of physical harm.  King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the world's longest venomous snake, with a length up to 5.6 m (18.5 ft).  It preys chiefly on other snakes, is found predominantly in forests from India through Southeast Asia to Indonesia and the Philippines.  Reportedly it, flicks its tongue to gauge the prey's location and attacks with venom, then swallows its prey.  

Read a newsitem of  Congress legislator Ajit Singh Mofar moving  a resolution in the Punjab assembly seeking to tackle stray dogs in the state by sending them to China, Mizoram or Nagaland.   He reportedly wanted arrangements for catching dogs and sending them far off.  He said ‘ Stray dogs are a big nuisance now, even going on an evening walk has become dangerous because of them’.  The state is reported to have had an increase in dog bites with an estimated 15,000 such cases reported annually.  Mofar's suggestion was accepted much to the amusement of the House, though his leader in the house, Sunil Jakhar, disagreed with him. The resolution has angered animal rights groups to whom it was an inhuman thought and completely against ethics.

The simple question was when the animal chases ferociously, would anybody stop to think whether it will really bite, whether it can do possible harm – fear, fear is what drives man to defence.   At Srivilliputhur, in Virudhunagar District, a  farmer has been arrested for  killing a 13-feet long king cobra.  Indian Express and TOI quoting Forest officials report that Appaya Naicker of K Kammapatti had sighted the cobra in his field while watering plants. When the highly venomous reptile raised its hood, the farmer panicked and tried to back out.  The  snake tried to bite him, after which he hit it on the head with a spade, killing it on the spot. He later buried it. Forest officials, who came to know about the incident from local people, exhumed the snake.

They arrested the farmer for killing a rare species of snake and produced him before a court which remanded him to judicial custody for 15 days, officials said.  According to Wildlife authorities, the 13 ft cobra was not a ferocious reptile as often projected but had a calm nature and avoided confrontation. 

The Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam has questioned the arrest of Appaiya asking if the law meant that  farmers could risk their lives in the name of safeguarding the species. “Does the forest department expect Appaiya to allow it to bite him,” asked P Shanmugam, State general secretary of the ryots body.

Fear is defined as painful emotion caused by impending danger or evil. Being fearful of something that has the potential to harm us is quite normal. Being afraid of snakes is perfectly natural; people fear snakes for their venom, and the possibility that their lives may be in danger.  Some fear the very thought of snakes, cannot watch them on television, nor even look at a picture of one. This is an "irrational" fear.   Herpetophobia is a common specific phobia, which consists of fear or aversion to reptiles, commonly lizards and snakes, and similar vertebrates as amphibians.

One feels sorry for Appaiya !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
[photo and cobra news courtesy : The New Ind Express, Chennai edition]

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