The cabinet was already in the War Room when the Prime Minster strode in. The War Room, in the PMO, was a room much like any other room except for a picture of the beast on the giant screen. The Prime Minister was preoccupied with thoughts on how to control this menace as he strode in. He had summoned this emergency meeting of the cabinet, the day before.
There were many matters which normally weighed his mind. This one, except for a few brief weeks in the past, was not one of them. However, regular news of wanton killings had disturbed him. Also, what bothered him was that statistics were hard to come by. He understood the difficulties in compiling data but wanted more frequent updates.
He was greeted warmly by his colleagues as the door shut behind him. His ministers knew that the Prime Minister was not his normal self. They knew this, as they had rarely seen him pouring over data of this nature with the same seriousness and application that he applied for statistical data on the economy.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am sure that you are completely briefed of the situation. While I am aware that this matter does not directly concern many of you, I think this has to be treated as a matter of national importance. It is essential that ministries like Defence, Foreign, Home, Tourism, Surface Transport, Environment & Forests and others put their heads and resources together to come to a sustainable long term plan. “I need your thoughts. “We can begin with inputs from the Defence Minister”:
Defence Minister: “I have spoken to the three service chiefs. They have assured of me of their full co-operation. To start, the army is providing men for combing operations in the effected areas. They expect to bring down incidents of killings significantly with their mere presence. Given the nature of the issue, for the time being, no assistance has been sought from the Navy and the Air Force.
Foreign Minister: “I have asked our missions abroad to inform all foreign governments that this is an internal matter and we will brook no interference from any quarter on our policies on the subject.
Tourism Minister: We have taken up the matter strongly with the Foreign Office of key countries to remove travel advisories to India. More tourists will help our cause.
Minister for Science & Technology: I have spoken to the chief of Space Research. He has assured me that our satellites are capable of providing "locate and identify" services. This will be useful to the forces combing the area.
Surface Transport Minister: We have, for the time being, shelved our plan to build additional roads in the area. This will ensure that forces inimical to it find it difficult to traverse through the area, thus forming a natural protective barrier.
Environment & Forests Minister: We have tapped our contacts with tribes in the area. They will help the ground forces in combing the area as well as provide intelligence inputs when there are sightings.
Home Minister: All paramilitary forces have been instructed to tackle insurgency in the region very seriously so that the forces conducting combing operations are not hindered in their work.
“That is very good indeed. “Any more deaths will be bad for the reputation of our country.” It could affect foreign aid in the area”. “The next time we meet, I hope it is not in the Sit Room but in “Sarsika” celebrating the success of our initiative”
"The number of tigers in our country has dwindled to 1411. Let’s pledge, that, in the “Year of The Tiger” – we don’t let the dragon slay our tigers for its parts. Our national animal deserves our support in enabling it co-exist.Let's make no bones about this - their right to exist on this planet is as good as ours.We have to ensure its survival so that future generations may continue to enjoy its beauty, grace and majesty".