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Tracking tigers

This neta spends his spare time photographing India’s national animal, campaigning for its survival.

entertainment Updated: Jun 22, 2011 15:50 IST
Shweta Mehta
Shweta Mehta
Hindustan Times

When he’s not busy pursuing his political career, chances are you’ll find ex-Union Minister Kamal Morarka roughing it out in the wild to get the perfect shot of his favourite muse, the tiger. Several such images have now made it to Morarka’s maiden photography exhibit, which will be displayed in the city, starting tomorrow.

“My first trip to the Bharatpur bird sanctuary in 1995 swept me off my feet. I wasn’t prepared for the sheer variety of birds I saw there. It engaged me for many years, but I was very interested in seeing tigers,” says Morarka, recalling his first brush with animals. “Some enthusiasts invited me to come to Madhya Pradesh with them, but I made it clear that I wanted to come close to a tiger, not just spot stripes behind a bush.”

In 2002, that moment came for Morarka. “It was barely 20 feet away and I was merrily taking its picture. You just can’t
prepare for that kind of enchantment. Since then, I’ve made several trips to Bandhavgarh, Kanha National Park and even to South Africa and Kenya,” he enthuses.

Morarka claims that while he was initially hesitant to display his work, his friends convinced him to do it to promote wildlife sensitisation. As chairman of the Sariska Tiger Foundation, he rues that all the tigers have disappeared from there. “I want the forest to come alive again. Tigers are national assets and we should be proud of them. It’s a great shame that for a few lakh rupees, people kill them and sell their skin and tongue,” he says.

Meanwhile, Morarka also plans to release a book featuring the pictures that will be displayed in the exhibit. “They aren’t works of art, so I know that selling them will not raise too much money. I haven’t planned ahead yet, but I’m really interested in conservation. We must do whatever is humanly possible, to save our jungles and wildlife,” he says.

Wildlife photographs by Kamal Morarka can be viewed at Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda from June 23-30. Call 9820030065 for details.

First Published: Jun 22, 2011 13:54 IST