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...Soon after daybreak, driving through the forests of Sonitpur district in Assam in late 2005 we made a quick U-turn when a herd of around 15-20 elephants, young ones in tow, emerged from the forest to forage right next to the road leading to the fishing camp at the Nameri Tiger Reserve. The night before, we watched as elephants raided paddy stocks in a village near Balipara, unafraid of the mashaals (fire torches), drums and yells of the distressed villagers. Even as we turned, the matriarch followed our vehicle for 20 metres or so, trumpeting protectively from around 30 metres to make sure we got her message loud and clear. I know this part of India well and before my eyes, I have seen some of India’s most precious forests sacrificed to satiate political expediency using mistaken notions of tribal rights as a fig leaf to exchange land for votes. ...Indian Express on Nov. 15, 2016, midnight