India is the only country in the world wherein you can find both lions and tigers in the wild. India happens to be the last refuge of the Asiatic lion, which is currently listed as an endangered species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list of threatened species. To be more specific, the Gir forest and the surrounding areas in the state of Gujarat is the last abode of the Asiatic Lion and hence, the Asiatic lion is the state animal of Gujarat and whenever someone thinks about wildlife in Gujarat, one naturally thinks of the Asiatic lion.
Unless, the person in the picture is Akhilesh Yadav, the current Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh.
To Akhilesh Yadav, the Indian wild donkey is the animal that represents the wildlife in Gujarat. It was wrong on multiple parts on him to make such a statement.
Firstly, there is absolutely no reason for him to ridicule the wild ass or donkey, if I would have to put in much simpler terms. The Indian wild donkey is listed as near threatened species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list.
The Gujarat tourism department must be appreciated for making the ad featuring the wild donkeys, which is in the list of nearly threatened species in the world. Promoting such an animal is appreciable and it also enables people from across India and rest of the world to know more about Gujarat’s wildlife. It enables people to know that there is more to Gujarat’s wildlife, apart from the Asiatic lion.
Secondly, it was very unwise on his part to drag the name of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan into this and ask him to stop promoting the state of Gujarat. The state of Gujarat is at the forefront as far as tourism is concerned and is one of the most visited states in India. Amitabh Bachchan has been the brand ambassador of Gujarat tourism since 2010 and has done a phenomenal job. The “Khushboo Gujarat Ki” campaign under him has enabled tourism in Gujarat to grow rapidly and enabled the state to win the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) award for being the country’s best tourism department in 2011.
If tourism helps Gujarat get better revenue, won’t it be helping India get a better revenue. If tourism in a state flourishes, doesn’t it mean that the tourism in India flourishes?
By asking Amitabh Bachchan not to endorse Gujarat tourism, Akhilesh Yadav has indirectly asked Mr. Bachchan not to endorse tourism in India.
Amitabh Bachchan must be appreciated for being able to significantly increase the fortunes of the state of Gujarat in the tourism sector, which obviously has benefited the country.
Lastly, and most importantly, it was wrong of him to make this statement as an attempt to take a dig on Prime Minister Modi. To target the person who is the highest office bearer in the country, represents 1.3 billion Indians and to call him a person from a state that “promotes donkeys” is downright unacceptable. Moreover, the statement clearly goes against the Election Commission’s rules and regulations.
Mr. Yadav’s statement could and should have been avoided.