The new Galapagos

A preliminary catalogue of Delhi's unique biodiversity

Delhi is famed for its biodiversity. It boasts of an astonishing array of animal and bird life. Like Galapagos, it is an ecosystem of its own. So the marvels of evolution, with an extraordinary range of mutations, can be seen in its full glory. More than any other city, Delhi requires ornithologists, evolutionary biologists and zoologists to understand its rhythms. Political scientists and economists are useless. Delhi's biological riches have not been catalogued in their full glory. The evolutionary trends are not fully understood. Delhi awaits its Darwin. But here are some preliminary results. They will shake up the fields of behavioural zoology and ornithology alike.

Member of Parliament: No law against cruelty to animals has been able to ameliorate the fate of this animal. It is always under a whip. And to make the fate even crueller, it is always found in the well of a House. But it is not allowed to drink. How this species will adapt is the biggest question in evolutionary biology.

Homo Lutyens: This is a very Delhi species. All its life it fights to make Lutyens its Habitat. It likes the white nest. And then, come hell or high water, will not leave it. No matter what the cost. No matter what the compromise. The only species known that governs its entire life around a particular habitat.

Econocrat: (This species named by Kaushik Basu). This is an economist who turns bureaucrat. A unique species. Like those species that are happy in all kinds of weather, this one also thinks all news is good news. If the rupee falls, it says, good for exports. If it rises, it says, good for imports. Have unusual powers of prognostication. No matter what happens to inflation, this species will repeat: inflation will come down next quarter. No matter what happens to IIP, it will repeat, IIP will go up next quarter. Precise role in ecosystem not clear, except that like a rooster will always be heard.

... contd.

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