Link to Article written by a dear friend , who is an animal lover, lawyer and photographer. Instagram Link
There is a steady decline of the Camels in Puskhar fair. – Many researches which have been conducted to identify the factors contribution to their decline- one of them is their over exploitation for so called ‘cultural’ & entertainment reasons. The event is a very sad event if you look beyond. The participating camels had been decked up with kilos of artificial jewellery, heavy carpet clothing, with their front legs tied up making them almost immobile and difficult to breath, while people sit on their backs and make videos of their counterparts pleasing the audience. They have walked hundreds of kilometers to participate in a state sponsored ‘dance’ show, where if they ‘win’, will fetch their respective ‘owners’ some sort of prize money. The gathering of people, the noise of ‘dholaks’ make them very nervous/
As they set to perform, most of them start panting becoming breathless with foaming mouths, waiting in line to ‘perform’ with thousands of eyes eagerly waiting for their ‘masters’ forcefully making them to jump and make postures which can hardly be called as a dance ‘move’. The gathering finds this amusing- people clap and whistle- take photos with their mobile cameras.
The sights and sounds of these poor creatures, being so heavily manipulated for ‘cultural’ entertainment, is disgraceful. On the garb of a ‘cultural’ activity what this state sponsored Camel dance show is doing is just bridging a demand-supply gap, which is slowly converting a ‘traditional fair’ into a growing venue for despicable ‘entertainment’ hiding behind a ‘cultural cloak’. Both Indian and foreign tourists are responsible for patronizing such exploitation as is the Rajasthan government for allowing or offering them to happen.
This post is not against the magic of the Pushkar Camel Fair or to harm the liveli-hoods of the local people. It is a beautiful place with beautiful people. But against a traditional fair getting converted into a tourism hotspot with these kinds of camel dance activities, safaris etc, undermining the romance of these beautiful creatures-as our erroneous understanding of ‘culture’ weakens. #india_gram