The birth centenary of India’s best known Nature writer M.Krishnan (1912-1996) is being celebrated across the country this year.
Writer, naturalist, nature photographer, ecological patriot - Krishnan wrote about wildlife conservation at a time when hardly anyone cared for it. His work spanned six decades. He was an outstanding field biologist who prepared plans for creation of many wildlife reserves in our country. He applied the astounding depth and breadth of his intimate field knowledge to these plans. For many years he served on the Indian Board of Wildlife and also on the Project Tiger Steering Committee during its crucial formative years.
His amazing prowess as a writer both in English and in his mother tongue Tamil was widely acknowledged. He has the distinction of having run the longest personal column in the history of Indian press. His ‘Country Notebook’ in the Statesman, was published for 46 years without a break, until his death. He made the Indian forest and countryside come alive in his writings.
The Asian elephant was his special subject. In 1972, Krishnan propounded the theory that elephants could communicate using sounds that were inaudible to the human ear. This use of infrasound communication was later established by the studies of the famous Elephant biologist Katherine Payne.
He was a pioneer in the field of Black and White nature photography. He used photography to illustrate and supplement his field observations as a naturalist. Kodak Company held an exhibition of photographs in his honour. His book of photographs - Nights and Days was brought out by the Government of India. He was a skilled artist in a number of media – colour wash, scraper board and ink drawing.
He was awarded Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fellowship for his ecological survey of larger mammals of Peninsular India in 1968.The result of this work was published in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society as a series of papers. And a popular book titled ‘India’s wildlife from 1959-1970’ was also brought out by BNHS. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1970. In 1995, he was nominated to the Global 500 roll of honour for awakening interest in India’s wildlife.
Venue - Alliance Francaise, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar, Bangalore - 30th June
4.00 pm - Commencement of Wildlife Photo Exhibition (Black & White Photos of M. Krishnan)
5.15 pm - The 3rd M. Krishnan Memorial Lecture by Bittu Sahgal - editor of Sanctuary Asia
Two Books that contain selected works of Krishnan will also be on display and sale
The tittles are:
Eye in the Jungle
Of Birds and Birdsong