Zoo officials drop Komaram Bheem’s name for gaur calf after family objects

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Hyderabad: The Nehru Zoological Park officials on Tuesday dropped the name given to a newborn gaur calf after Telangana’s tribal revolutionary Komaram Bheem after the family and followers of the leader opposed the move, stirring a controversy.

On June 2, which marks the formation day of Telangana state, a male gaur calf was born in the Hyderabad zoo. The calf was named Komaram Bheem by R Sobha, IFS, who is the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Forces) in Telangana, in mark of respect for the tribal rights leader.

Gaur, also known as Indian Bison is the largest extant bovid. It is a strong and massively built bovine. Its population has declined by more than 70% during the last three generations.

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The family members and followers of Komaram Bheem were reportedly offended by the naming of the calf. However, it is clarified by the zoo authorities that the naming was meant as a mark of respect, and no disrespect was intended.

The decision to name the calf ‘Komaram Bheem’ was then dropped to respect the sentiments.

Gond tribal leader Komaram Bheem took up arms against the ruling classes of Telangana, which functioned under Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of the erstwhile Hyderabad state. 

He gave his followers the rousing war-cry of “Jal, Jungle, Zameen“, which surmised the reiteration that the Adivasis living forests have the first right over its resources, not the ruling classes (feudal landlords) or the Nizam.