"The Life of the Rhinoceros: Where Wise Owls There" | Dealing with poachers
“It is a falsehood that has been cultivated by unscrupulous people for their own gain.”
Gautam Prasad Baroowah’s ‘The Life of the Rhinoceros in Kaziranga, Where Owls Dare’ is a fervent attempt which is based on the poaching of rhinoceros in Kaziranga for personal gain. The story that has been set up in future, spanning around five years, and deals with the struggle that eventually helps in the implementation of new laws. Baroowah does not fail to irk the insensitivity of humans towards wildlife in his book.
‘Wise Owls’ indeed plays an incredible role as the tale revolves around their struggle and constant efforts to catch poachers and bring peace and harmony to the land. Each and every character, whether its Lalita, Padmini, Dr Faulkner or Dr Brahma Choudhary, all of them fight with only one purpose in every possible way. Their faith in saving their homeland and their wildlife remain unshaken.
“Assam has passed through the thralls of gloom and darkness, to face the brilliance of hope and sunshine in 2045, following the general elections.” Post these elections, the newly elected chief minister is a ray of sunshine upon the people of Assam. His support to the ‘Wise Owls’ proves to lead the state into advancement and attain love of his people in a short span of time. Although the novel has rhinoceros in its centre plot, it also explores love, cruelty, human passion, hope and growth. Lalita, a prostitute who has grown up being fond of wildlife, ends up challenging the hunters and supports the vision the government has for the state. Her childhood, no matter how miserable and emotionally harrowing it was, doesn’t stop her from doing what she has to do. Like her, another strong-willed protagonist, Padmini feels pure joy in defending those who can’t defend themselves. These characters and their own beliefs make for strong sub-plots which dig deeper than saving the endangered species.
The story also questions the deeper roots of the entire issue including educating people and creating jobs so that they do not easily accept bribes from poachers. Dr Faulkner being a ray of hope, does everything in his power to rectify the situation. In order to save any endangered species, the government and people should be brought together. Baroowah thought it out well and pinned down the possible strategies to overcome this deeply worrisome issue. The poaching of one-horned rhinoceros has been prevalent for many years, for personal gains or false medicinal values and is supported by guards of National Park because of their greed. Depicting a crystal clear picture, he ensures awareness of this grievous situation in his own way and urges everyone to participate.
There are things in life that are worth standing up for, and ‘The Life of the Rhinoceros in Kaziranga, Where Owls Dare’ is a perfect example of it.