The legendary Gond tribe’s leader’s followers opposed the name and were planning to start state-wide agitations.

The Gaur calf that was born at the Hyderabad zooBy arrangement
news Controversy Tuesday, June 08, 2021 - 20:20

Two days after the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad announced that a newly-born gaur calf would be called Komaram Bheem, a legendary tribal leader who gave his life fighting for the rights of Telangana’s marginalized people, the zoo officials have decided to drop the name after a controversy erupted. The male Gaur calf was born on June 2, 2021, and was named Komaram Bheem as a tribute by R Sobha, IFS, who is the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Forces) in Telangana. 

The gaur, also known as the Indian Bison, is a huge and powerful bovine that is one of the largest members of the Bovidae family. Announcing its decision to change the name, zoo officials clarified that the Gaur calf was named after Komaram Bheem as a mark of respect for the leader. The zoo had recently celebrated the birth of a one-horned rhinoceros and a gaur on World Environment Day, June 5, 2021. 

On June 8, 2021, the Deccan Chronicle reported that the family members and followers of the tribal leader felt offended that the gaur calf was named after the legendary hero. His followers reportedly strongly opposed the decision and were also contemplating organizing protests across the state in response to the alleged insult against the leader. They also reportedly demanded that the zoo authorities drop the name failing which they would start state-wise agitations.

Along with his followers, Komaram’s family members also reportedly expressed their disappointment by acknowledging that the leader’s legacy was being disrespected by the zoo authorities and forest officials. The family members felt offended and their sentiments were hurt. Taking cognizance of media reports, the zoo authorities respectfully decided that the name Komaram Bheem would be dropped. The officials informed that they haven’t yet thought of an alternate name for the calf. 

READ: Hyderabad zoo gets two new members: A baby one-horned rhinoceros and a baby gaur

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