Owls and elections may not be considered a two to tango, but in Indian elections, owls seem to be a vital factor. With the police suggesting that rival candidates in a southern Indian state are using black magic with owl body parts to win elections, social activists advocate that it is time India had a comprehensive law to ban sorcery of all kinds.
The strange correlation between owls and elections came to light when police in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka in southern India questioned six men who were arrested for smuggling two exotic eagle-owls. The Times of India reported that even the police were astonished after listening to the motives behind the smuggling.
Poachers arrested in Karnataka's Kalaburagi with two Indian eagle-owls told police officials that a politician in Telangana 'ordered' the nocturnal birds to bring misfortune to his political rivals ahead of the upcoming elections.https://t.co/volmSAcN6G— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) December 4, 2018
"The arrested poachers said a politician contesting elections in the neighbouring state had ordered the nocturnal birds to help bring misfortune to his rivals," The Times of India quoted an official of Karnataka police.
D Owls have black power 2 make a candidate win or defeated? In Incredible India their black magic (sic!) is being used as Karnataka's owls r getting smuggled 2 Telengana?#OWL2019 #Incredibles2 #ElectionsWithNews18 pic.twitter.com/VRuWGJ1GKD
— Pijush Banerjee (@PijushIN) December 3, 2018
#owls are poached in thousands every year claims reports. Black magic & sorcery, street performances, taxidermy, use in folk medicines- are some of the main drivers. Read TRAFFICS' ADVISORY on owl poaching & trade in India at https://t.co/yISUPjGj2f #EndWildlifeTrafficking https://t.co/VhYrJmLrhW— TRAFFIC India Office (@TRAFFIC_India) December 4, 2018
As the adjoining state of Telangana near Karnataka is going to the polls next week, the owl population in Karnataka has drastically decreased and it could be because of the sorcery trend that has caught on among politicians, The Times of India report claims.
Unlike in the West where owls are associated with wisdom, in India owls indicate bad omens.
However, some people on social media have criticised the report describing it as an unnecessary controversy ahead of a crucial event.
Unnecessarily sensationalising the story. Although the ACTUAL SEIZURE was only of TWO owls, the headlines makes it appear as if the elections in Telangana are wiping out owls in Karnataka.— కర్లాపు కిరణ్ కుమార్ (Dr.Karlapu Kiran Kumar) (@scarysouthpaw) December 3, 2018
Sad journalism. pic.twitter.com/1QZGBE7g7d
A social activist does not acknowledge the fact that elections could be the reason for the killing of owls, while he acknowledges that sorcery must be curbed in India.
"I cannot ascertain the particular cause and the relation to the elections but the fact sorcery exists in India is a fact and it is a menace especially in villages where people are taken on a ride by the black magic experts. We have demanded for a law to ban black magic and sorcery in India. Hope it comes soon", social activist Rahul Ishwar told Sputnik.