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Friday, October 22, 2010

Vishnois of Rajasthan (India)

There is a small group of elders here and we meet regularly. Once in a month we also arrange for an outing to some worthwhile secluded place. I used to consider myself an Environmentalist and used to pick up all the garbage left behind by picnickers. Truly speaking this act of mine is probably driven by an instinct  for recognition and not out of any real concern. This awakening came to me very recently.

There is a  conservative community referred to as Vishnois living in an otherwise arid state of Rajasthan in India. Their dedication to nature is well known and I wanted to delve  upon them in one of my posts. It was a mere coincidence that I was going through a Hindi blog, a travelogue on  the City of Patna  (in Hindi) which was devoid of any pictures. The kind of language used was itself  picturesque and in fact the words explained everything. Then there was a comment by one Mr. Gourav Ghosh who although appreciated the presentation but was underlining the need for supplementing with photographs. In my own comments, I lent my support to him in a veiled manner. Thereafter I tried to locate him  and landed up at his own site  which had a picture of a Vishnoi women breast feeding a Chinkara   fawn. The photograph was taken by Mr. Vijay Bedi at great pains. Here it dawned upon me that I need not write anything about the Vishnois. No words need to be used. The photograph could speak volumes.

It stirred me up and in my curiosity I searched the web and found yet another photograph taken by Mr. Himanshu Ghosh, a photo journalist working with Hindusthan Times.

Continuing with Nisha's argument that the mother and the child and chinkara being the same in the two photos, thereby making us wonder if they were two different poses,  a third one above  "Ashes"  could google up.

A blogger friend Mr. Ratan Singh Shekhawat, who hails from Rajasthan, sent in a link to the Youtube video. This animation video depicts the sacrifices made by the community.