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How J&K’s former Sadre Riyasat is responsible for changing India’s national animal from lion to tiger?

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Ahead of 50th anniversary of Project Tiger, former Sadre Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir Dr Karan Singh recalled how he played a role in changing the national animal of India from lion to tiger.

“In the late 1960s when | was in her Cabinet Indira Gandhi asked me to take over the Chairmanship of the Indian Board for Wild Life. The first meeting was simply introductory, but in the second meeting, I realized to my astonishment that till then it was the lion that was our National Animal, based obviously on the Ashoka Lions in our national symbol. The lion is found only in one corner of India whereas the tiger stretches all the way from Himachal Pradesh to Kerala and from Gujrat to Meghalaya.”

“We, therefore, passed a Resolution in our meeting requesting the Government of India to change the national animal from the lion to the tiger. I took the proposal to Indira ji who got it through the Cabinet and made the necessary amendments. In this way I was responsible for the tiger becoming our National Animal,” Karan Singh said. [KNT]

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