Uttar Pradesh elections: Know why Amitabh Bachchan promotes wild asses of Gujarat

The wild ass, locally known as Ghudkhar, was last year declared a 'nearly threatened' animal

The campaign for the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh elections has so far seen political bigwigs pulling all stops to target their rivals even at the cost of making personal remarks against them. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Kabristaan’ and ‘Ramzaan’ remark, Akhilesh Yadav raised eyebrows after he urged Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan not to promote donkeys of Gujarat.

Ek gadhe ka vigyapan aata hai, main iss sadi ke sabse bade mahanayak se kahunga ke ab aap Gujarat ke gadhon ka prachar mat kariye (There’s an ad on TV which shows donkeys. I urge to the century’s biggest star to stop advertising for donkeys of Gujarat),” said Akhilesh Yadav while referring to Amitabh Bachchan at an election rally in Raebareli on Monday.

“In Gujarat, even donkeys are being promoted and then we are being accused of overspending on advertisement,” said Yadav, who had so far refrained from making any controversial remark.

The remark was bound to ruffle a few feathers in BJP, with Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu leading the charge.

“He is disturbed hence using such language and making such comments. He is insulting the people of Gujarat. I don’t know from where this ‘donkey comment came in between,” said an agitated Naidu.

In the tourism video, Amitabh Bachchan can be seen saying “ek aisa Gadha jo saare Gadho ka naam roshan kar raha hai (An ass which is bringing good name to the entire species). But these are not ordinary donkeys etched in our conscience as a washerman’s pet. Let’s have a detailed analysis of the wild asses of Gujarat.

The wild ass, locally known as Ghudkhar, was last year declared a ‘nearly threatened’ animal by the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from earlier endangered category.

These are one of the sturdiest animals in the world that has survived the scorching heat of Rann of Kutch. These asses can even run with a speed of 70 km per hour and are good enough to make a decent horse envious.

With an adult wild ass weighing 240 kg, it has the height 120 cm and a length of 210 cm. In 2004, their number was 3,863 which has increased to 4,000 in 2009. As per the latest available data, the Indian wild ass population has increased to more than 4,800 individuals in 2015.