Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

Why Our ‘Celebration’ Of Snakes Is A Curse On Them

The season of Nagpanchami is drawing close and Sumanth Bindhumadhav knows he has his work cut out for him. As a consultant with Humane Society International/India, he is trained to rescue animals, including snakes. He received word recently that a group of people, purportedly from the snake charmer community, had captured and were holding snakes. With World Snake Day taking place on 16 July, it's important to remind everyone that it's illegal to capture, display and kill snakes in India under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
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Why Snakes Should Matter To The Make In India Mission

One risks being mocked for juxtaposing snakes with the "Make in India" initiative which recently was spoken of in the same (albeit a bit laboured) breath as Apple Inc. Inspired by 'pop patriotism' many Indians are eager to sever from popular imagination any associations India has with snakes. But of course, snakes aren't going anywhere. Just because snakebites hardly occur in the posh neighbourhoods of Lutyens' Delhi or the cosy newsrooms of media-houses doesn't mean they have disappeared from India.