A butterfly as a bellwether in Arunachal Pradesh’s fight against climate change

The Kaiser-i-Hind, which recently got state butterfly status, could prove useful in measuring the success of the northeastern state’s efforts to get its environmental act together.

I want to start this newsletter with an episode from Calvin and Hobbes, one of my all-time favourite comic strips.

Calvin, as fans would know, is the mischievous sort. One day, he traps a butterfly in a glass jar. “Look,” he tells Hobbes, all excited, “I caught a butterfly.” Hobbes isn’t impressed. “If people could put rainbows in zoos, they’d do it,” he says. Calvin considers it. Then he sets the butterfly free.

A similar crisis of conscience probably prevailed in the minds of Indian policymakers in 1972. The Wildlife (Protection) Act they enacted that year identified vulnerable species from …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

Senior Features Writer