Sariska’s ‘missing’ tigers have started off a flurry of activity and debate. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a Tiger Task Force; Rajasthan’s chief wildlife warden was suspended, and the Ministry of Environment and Forests (moef) has begun contemplating a Wildlife Crime Bureau. Justifiably, conservationists are up in arms; Sariska represents the dismal state wildlife conservation in India is in.

Why don’t the co-inhabitants of forest areas, forest dwelling communities in and around protected areas facing similar life-threatening situations across the country, fail to provoke such activity? They only manage to provoke a great deal of opposition whenever what is rightly theirs