Arjan Singh is now 90. But most of those years have been spent leading a
tough and outdoors life, so it is no wonder that he is still a force to
reckon with. He may be touched with a bit of frailty, and his voice
might crack up now and then, but when you meet him, you will find his
handshake rock-firm. He is still the master of all he surveys around
Tiger Haven and Dudhwa, as he was during younger and happier times when
his panthers and tigers co-habited his farm as dominant residents.
More recently, Billy has been accused of having unauthorized possession
of UP Forest Department land in Tiger Haven. I spoke to Billy about a
clarification on this issue. He gave me a copy of the letter he has sent
to the Indian Express - the paper that carried a report on his
'land-grabbing'. It can be read by
The merits of the case will be decided on the basis of land revenue
records, but what is most heart-rending is the fact that Billy has been
made to undergo the mental stress of this accusation when he is 90 years
of age - a time when he should have been allowed to rest peacefully on
the laurels of all his achievements. And the great man is now all alone.
His closest relative - his brother Balram - has passed away, and so has
Balram's wife Mira.
For those who love & respect him, that should be the theme of letters of
indignation to be sent to the powers-that-be, asking that this case be
dealt with rationale and reason, with minimal stress to Billy. I'd
welcome readers to email suggestions on how best to channelize their
collective support to Billy.