Like NRC, what if endangered species thought like humans

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(This is the second in a two part fictional series. First part of this article is already published here)

“Sapiens perceive spaces such as oceanic water and space as international spaces. Till now, the atrocities recollected were done by Sapiens within lands, which they perceive as sovereign and national. International spaces are, according to Sapiens customs, owned by none. Hence one might perceive since there is no Sapiens sovereignty, we must be saved. But alas that is not true. Although oceans are international, yet instead of individual ownership, they have the notion of collective ownership of Sapiens, irrespective of national boundaries. Hence Sapiens of every nation have exploited us since ages.”

Mr Solomon Dolphin took a moment of pause.

“Don’t forget about your gill and scales brothers in national water bodies like rivers of Ganga and Brahmaputra. We too have and are suffering,” popped in Mr Xihu, the Gangetic River Dolphin (mascot of Namami Brahmaputra? Isn’t it ironic as in the case of Rongmon?).

Continued Mr Solomon, “They say us to be messengers of the Sea God Poseidon. But they have ignored our message since they themselves became Poseidons. Our declining populations should have been a warning to their eyes to put an end to their oceanic activities. But no. They continued to spill their oil tankers, over-fish us, dump plastics in the ocean, and now test their hydrogen bombs under-water. They compensate this with their filthy aquariums and water parks. We are made to work like slaves there. How many of our turtle brethren have died due to suffocation from plastic straws stuck in their noses? How many of our whale friends have fallen prey to their hunger for delicacies and oil? O Poseidon bring out the Kraken and unleash it upon the Homo Sapiens.” 

As Mr Solomon was led away by Mr Xihu and the latter trying to console the former’s inconsolable lamenting, flew in Mr Jatayu the XXXI the representative of Avian and the Vulture Federation. “My numbers have declined to such an extent that my species is listed as Critically Endangered. Diclofenac, kite-flying, mobile and radio towers, smog-filled skies. Do I need to say more?” coughed up the old geriatric Vulture. “Is this what I get from humans after my ancestor sacrificed his life to help the Sapiens God Rama?”

“Now stop crying around like helpless sissies. The Sapiens are busy hacking each other. Let us over-throw them once and for all. Jai Pashu-Pakshi Rashtra (PPR),” cried out Mr Markhor Khan again. I thought about running away from the conference but the bellowing roar of King Narasingha Simba brought to an end the pandemonium and I froze on the spot. “After hearing all of the testimonies, there is no doubt that the crisis looming overheads is not a galactic asteroid or a dormant volcano but our evil former brethren the Homo Sapiens. Even the current era has been named by them as the ‘Anthropocene’- an age where a single species (Homo Sapiens) have earned the power of an earth-changing geological force. 

As we speak, the doomsday approaches nearer. The wounds opened on the bosom of the earth has festered too long. It is time to apply the ointment on the wounds. Firstly, we must drive off or annihilate the parasites feeding off those wounds. We now know who those parasites are.”

“But, wait a minute …..” I muttered. “Silence parasite” growled King Simba. “Now since we know the parasites, we must find a Final Solution to it. The sooner the better. Cause these parasites breed like rats. No offence to Mr. Mooshak Rat ji. What are the options you offer my dear brethren?”

The pandemonium arose to new levels of cacophony. All the while praying to God that they let me walk free. But my hopes were dashed when I heard options. “World War 3 between the Homo Sapiens Front and the PPR Front,” growled Mr. Brown Bear Putin from Russia. “We will be doomed before the Sapiens nuclear arsenal, fool!” quacked Donald duck. “How about having them for food instead?” came a quick response from Mr. Tiger Corbett of Kumaon, all the while eyeing me hungrily. “You know what end was met by my grand-uncles at Tsavo, Kenya during 1900s. Thinking of them now, they were heroes.” My heart dropped in my mouth as I heard this from the Chief Secretary himself. “Why not attack and invade their cities as we did?”. When I found out the source of this bellicose suggestion, my jaw dropped. It was Caesar, the chimpanzee leader of the Apes from the Hollywood franchise Planet of the Apes!

Weren’t the events and characters from those films supposed to be fictional? Wasn’t Caesar supposed to be functional? Does that mean Caesar and the apes were building up their strength and intellect all this time? As I wondered about these questions Caesar said, “I have lived half of my life in the city of Los Angeles with my master- a mad Sapiens scientist. In his obsession to find the ‘missing link’ between our species he often exposed me to radio-active substance and various sort of mad mixtures of chemicals. Unknown to him I picked up Sapiens’ speech, cunningness, war techniques, weapon handling and politics. When two Sapiens nations go to war, other nations, try to benefit from their quarrel. That has been their policy while maintaining their façade of international peace and disarmament. Since Sapiens are busy hacking each other to death, we must drive benefit from their quarrels. They are not united as we are, and at their weakest moment, we must attack them. I will train you all in the use of guns, grenades, and missiles.” 

“Stop dreaming, Caesar. Hollywood movies aren’t reality. These Sapiens are much cleverer than we are. Besides as Donald Duck mentioned, their nuclear power will lead to mutual destruction of both-us and them” replied back King Narasingha. “We need saner and practical and sustainable approaches.” Caesar again started, “I have heard the native Sapiens here are starting something called the National Register of Citizens (NRC). They claim with its help; they would flush out illegal immigrants from their nation. I was wondering whether we could have our own NRC for PPR.”

Suddenly Mr. Kalia Crow began cawing madly. “Thanks Mr. Kalia” Caesar continued, “Mr. Kalia’s Kaa-Kaa reminded me of a crucial thing. Along with NRC, Sapiens is also bringing the KAA, sorry, the CAA. The CAA or the Citizenship Amendment Act is built with the aim of defining which category of Sapiens can be a citizen of India. This is it. We too need define ‘citizenship’ or speciezenship for our Rashtra”. The suggestion was met with approval by the esteemed gathering as can be made from the roaring, cawing, growling, clicking, etc. made in its favor.

“An excellent suggestion Caesar” roared King Narasingha Simba as pin-drop silence enveloped the gathering. “Every Rashtra is built and defined by the idea of its membership. Since unlike Sapiens we do not have nationalism but specism. However, the Pashu-Pakshi Rashtra (PPR) will be opened to all species except Homo Sapiens. This is a Rashtra of, for, and by every living organism except Sapiens. Hence this idea shall be put into the SAA or Speciezenship Amendment Act- an Act that would define who can be a member of the PPR. Closely following on its heels, we shall enact the exercise of the NRS or National Register of Species (NRS). I assure the august gathering here that no mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, insect, fish, micro-organism, or plant would be left out except the parasitic Sapiens. No identity proof is required. Your existence and unique place within the Circle of Life itself is proof of your devotion to PPR. Again, I assure you the NRS exercise is being done only to filter illegal and terrorist elements from the Circle of Life. To wipe out parasites who have sucked the life from earth and still search for means to satiate their insurmountable hunger. They shall either be killed or deported.”

At this I couldn’t hold myself and shouted, “Respected Chief Secretary Sir and His Majesty, allow me to make my point as representative of the Homo Sapiens. I agree and confess to every heinous crime committed by my ancestors as well as current members of my species. But we too are bearing the consequences of our folly and actions. I think I do not need to mention the wars, occupation, the nuclear crisis, famines, genocides, natural disasters, etc. which have wrought havoc on our population as well. Besides, not all humans are the same. There are members of my species, such as tribal and indigenous populations who still follow the dictums of the Creator and Earth. Some like the Sentinelese tribe inhabiting the pristine islands of Andaman and Nicobar are ever vigilant in their protection of our common green homelands. Do not forget the names of Sapiens like Gautam Buddha, St Francis of Assisi, Amrita Devi Bishnoi- Sapiens who understood you all and even sacrificed their lives to protect you. We even have numerous laws and legislations for your protection like the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 1975, Rio Summit Declaration (1992), and many others. We, too, care about you and the earth. It’s just a few and motley groups of powerful families and individuals, comprising 10% of our entire population, that is responsible for this mess. Not all humans are the same. We, too, want peace and seek to go back to the ways of our ancestors who lived as your neighbors in the jungle.”

“ENOUGH,” roared King Simba. “Enough of your excuses. Your legal resolutions are nothing but pieces of paper. While you pass laws for the protection of biodiversity and, on the other hand, sanction ‘developmental’ projects of smoke-bellowing factories, commercial farming, and damming of rivers. You never saw us as equals but as a resource. We were to be utilized, but our existence and aspirations were never acknowledged. You never asked our permission before clearing our homelands. We were treated as your pets, pack animals, cattle, sport, laboratory specimens, etc. You never saw the Circle of Life. But you saw the Pyramid of Life where you clinched the top position within the pyramid by virtue of your pride, greed, and ignorance while were relegated at the lowest rungs. You all are nothing but a bunch of selfish, cannibal, self- deceiving parasites. Too long, your terror and idiocy have ruled the earth. Now it is time for you all to be shown in your place.”

“At least spare the Adivasis and indigenous populations of Sapiens. They have followed the laws of nature to date,” I cried. But my plea fell on deaf ears. “They are the same as you. They are potential eco-terrorists waiting for their time. All of you Sapiens, have the same blood of treachery flow in your veins. By the way, don’t you often act mercilessly towards your kind? Doesn’t your social constructs and identity formations of racism, nationalism, religion inspire you to hate members of your species? Isn’t the CAA-NRC buttressed by the hatred for your own fellow Sapiens just because they look, dress, speak, eat, and pray differently? We are following your footsteps Sapiens. You have only to blame yourselves for digging your own grave.” After a brief pause, King Simba resumed, “Now the question remains that after the detection of these Sapiens, where shall we deport them.”

At this, Mr. Santa Polar Bear exclaimed, “How about the North and South Poles? The only reason Sapiens isn’t there is that its inhospitable to their physical and biological systems. Of course, we should remember without their fancy ‘technology’ and equipment Sapiens are the weakest among us. Given the vast expanse of these areas, the building of gigantic deportation camps won’t be a problem. Besides, the Poles are shrinking rapidly as a result of the ozone depletion started by Sapiens themselves. This should be the ideal punishment. Put them in those fast-shrinking icebergs and sheets and let them drown as a result of their actions.

Meanwhile, the natives of the Poles like the Penguins, Seals, Lemmings, Arctic Fox, and my Polar bear clan could be rehabilitated temporarily in Alaska, Iceland, and Greenland.” “Excellent suggestion Mr. Santa,” remarked King Simba. “Although in the past we have put new resolutions to the vote, I believe we need no votes this time on the SAA-NRS as it is a unanimous decision agreed by every single member present here.” The gathering erupted into a crescendo of approval of every known animal sound. 

“Where’s my vote, King Simba? I, too, am a member of the conference and the Earth,” I shouted angrily. “Foolish Sapiens, you were a member of our Rashtra. You were a part of the Circle of Life. But you never saw it. You were blinded by a false sense of pride, greed, and arrogance. You disobeyed the Creator and instead reduced him to mere pages of scriptures, idols, and Holy Books. You searched for Paradise in empires, conquest, industrialization, and in imaginary worlds of Swarga, Jannat, Elysium, Heaven, Aaru. You never understood the Creator nor Paradise. Paradise was here, and the Creator was present within each of us. The Holy Spirit lay in harmony and humbleness, tying every single species within the Circle of Life. But you searched for it within the pages of the New Testament, Quran, Vedas, Tanakh, etc. In your foolish interpretations and little knowledge, you saw yourselves as the owners and masters of Creation. Hence you first destroyed the Circle of Life and then massacred each other. Ironic that a Sapiens named Milton wrote ‘Paradise Lost.’ The fool didn’t understand that Paradise was in front of your eyes, but you chose greed over it.” I was left stunned with no words because no justification could de-legitimize the argument of King Simba. 

“This Sapiens has heard too much. He will foil our plans and warn the other Sapiens. He cannot be trusted. Seize him,” shouted Mr. Markhor Khan. “Hold on. We can discuss it. Wait…..!!!”. Bam. My eyes are hazy as I realize that Mr. Haathi Elephant had knocked me out with his trunk. As my eyes are enveloped by darkness, I realize the darkness to be an omen about the fate of my entire species of Homo Sapiens. Gaia’s revenge has begun.  


Featured Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Anuraag Khaund
Anuraag Khaund is currently pursuing Masters in Liberal Studies (MLS) in History at Ashoka University

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