#WildWomenInterviews with Janaki Lenin: Episode 7
Annu Jalais has had a lifelong association with the Sunderbans. In 2005, she wrote a heartbreaking tale, called Dwelling on Morichjhanpi: When Tigers Became ‘Citizens’, Refugees ‘Tiger-Food’, of a massacre of refugees on Morichjhapi, an island in the Sunderbans, that occurred in 1979.
Tens of thousands of people were evicted and sent back to their far-flung camps, and many lost their lives. Conservation, the excuse given for this traumatic incident, fundamentally changed the relationship of the remaining islanders with tigers. They rightfully thought the state and the Kolkata elite cared more about the cats and that their lives amounted to no more than ‘tiger food’.
In this interview, Annu talks of fishers and poachers, of tiger charmers and science, of the belief systems around Bonbibi and Kali. The mangrove forest is among the few frontline areas affected by climate change. What does it take to create a living in these islands? What does the future hold for this area?
Watch what Annu has to say.
Annu’s Twitter handle is @AnnuJal
You can watch more WildWomenInterviews with Janaki here: