The land of Snake Charmers: India


Its not the first time that one might have called India ‘The land of Snake Charmers’
However, the problem lies in the psychological mindset of the people and the inferiority complex that has been rooted deep within our souls since independence.
Yes, Its true that India is a land of snake charmers because this was a tradition followed in our society.

Even though scientifically, it has been proven that snakes are deaf but this act of ‘snake charming’ was a source of occupation for millions of people .
Moreover, this traditional art had been passed down to generations to continue it as a ‘marked identity’ of the community. However, given the advancements in the country its good that the youth is being attracted towards better job opportunities than snake charming.

The notion is that when someone calls India as a country of snake charmers it makes us feel that we are inferior in every domain to the western world.
However, the point that its about preserving an age old tradition and not an ‘identity crisis’ that has been gripping our caged mindset.
Television shows even today promote snake charming or the feminine nature of snakes but when it comes to accepting and conserving a tradition we feel its deprives us of our identity.
Snake Charming is no doubt an act that might disrupt the balance in the fauna of the country but why is it that we enjoy the same culture while traveling abroad?
This is because acts of snake charming exist even in the western countries but they maintain a certain decorum and safety.  The whole ideology of ‘presentation’ is followed in the western countries hence it makes the same thing grandeur than the one in India.  Rural India still has people who are deprived of education and job opportunities.  This, is a way of them earning survive through the hard atrocities of life.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 denies the charmers the right to continue this tradition and keep such animals as pets for commercial use . Here, the government is absolutely right in protecting the animals from exploitation.

We stand against snake charming but sports like Jalikattu or Kambala can be patronized. Are we shamed of our own being ? Why can’t the government find means and ways to keep an old tradition in its own being by finding ways to both provide employment and protection the animals . Traditions and languages need to be preserved before they become a footnote in history. ‘Snake Charming’ is an art that needs to be conserved in the right way for the right means .

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