In a letter written to the chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-based lawyer-activist Gauri Maulekhi sought immediate action against the Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh alleging that the snakes were illegally procured and she “aided the act of hunting by encouraging and instigating people to touch the snakes”.
The lawyer also wrote in the letter, “Such acts of casual hunting for petty profits and its abetment such as this have led to a sharp decline in the snake population in India. The present case deserves nothing but the highest priority so that such blatant hunting and poaching is brought to book. “Please consider this notice under section 55 of the Wildlife Act to take suitable steps to file a complaint against Priyanka Gandhi and her unknown accomplices under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972” Gauri Maulekhi is an animal rights activist from Uttar Pradesh. Maulekhi is a close aide of the Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and a trustee of her NGO, People for Animals.
The issue behind snake charming is, the practice is illegal in India and has been for a number of years, although snake charmers do exist still. It is necessary to understand that snake charming has never been prevalent all over India. It was mainly practiced in Rajasthan by the nomadic Kalbeliya tribe, a snake charmer caste. It was banned and declared illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act to save snake killing and selling of snake skins. The Wildlife Protection Act was brought in in 1972 for protecting special plant and animal species.
Recently, Priyanka was seen handling three protected varieties of snakes in Purwa village in Rai Bareli, knowing well that the rare reptiles had been mutilated, Maulekhi said in her letter to the state’s chief wildlife warden. Priyanka Gandhi, who is claimed to be the saviour of the last resort for Congress, is irresponsible and blatantly violating laws of the Indian Constitution.
It is not surprising to see Priyanka Gandhi not only violating the laws, but also reinstating the stereotypes related to snake charmers and India. The tactics of grabbing unwanted attentions runs in the family. On one side where Rahul Gandhi is facing constant back lash of the Supreme Court, Priyanka decides to dig another hole for herself and the party. The Congress leaders have made controversial statements during their campaign, joining the league is the party’s general secretary for eastern UP, Priyanka Gandhi. The Congress Party has given no reaction on these developments.