THIS is with reference to the letter ‘Fear, uncertainty, the law of the jungle’ (March 30). Politicians, journalists, writers, academics and the layperson frequently use this term to describe chaos or law- lessness in society. It hurts to note how uninformed even educated people are about nature and the harmony in it.

On behalf of all the residents of all the rapidly shrinking jungles on the planet, I would like to make a fervent appeal to all such people to please immediately cease calling or categorising human situational failures as the law of the jungle. This I say because the law of the jungle in reality is completely opposite to what it is erroneously believed to be. One would do well to spend a couple of minutes going through Zehra Nigah’s famous piece of poetry aptly titled Jungle Ka Dastoor.

As such, the law of the jungle is essentially a complete code of behaviour to promote harmony, balance, sharing of resources and sustainable procreation of all life-forms. Jungle is not about anarchy, chaos and lawlessness that we, the humans, create for ourselves. Instead, in a jungle, all residents diligently follow the law, essentially by establishing a time-space life equation.

In other words, each species and each individual of every species in the jungle spend life in a specific pattern that sees the individual in a particular space (or place) at a particular time. And by time, one means not only linear time, as in the hours of the day and night, but also cyclical time, as, for example, the changing seasons.

In essence, the principal objective of the law of the jungle is to provide a high-quality sustainable life to all inhabitants who abide to consume resources in proportion to their needs; no more, sometimes less. Greed, avarice, nepotism and corruption get knocked out of jungle society as a consequence.

Ironically enough, if there is a negative trait, like greed, amongst non-human animals, it is most likely to be seen in the animals closest to human beings genetically; the monkeys and the apes. But, largely speaking, acceptance of the rights of others means other negative traits, like revenge, parochialism and anger, are not the prime motivators of behaviour.

So, as people, what we really need to do is to promote the idea that we humans establish and follow a code of conduct similar to the law of the jungle if we want to sort out our protracted socioeconomic as well as political mess.

Soon there will be no more jungles. Unfortunately, planet Earth loses 150 acres of rainforest every single minute of every single day. The law of the jungle is fast becoming a victim to the law of human civilisation. Attributing the law of the jungle to the mess the humans have created is contemptuous to the inhabitants of jungles. We must stop using it as an example of this mess for which humans are solely responsible.

Zohare Ali Shariff
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
Updated 29 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...