My letter on PM aspirant’s headgear published in Outlook this week:
“So, when nmodi_hornbill on headfeatures the myriad hats adorned by’ political leaders, it fails to mention that one such crown worn by PM aspirant, in this case Narendra Modi, is that of critically endangered species. BJP Prime Ministerial candidate wears a hat which has the rufous-necked hornbill, protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. That’s the highest level of protection-like accorded the tiger. It is amongst the most endangered hornbills in India, has a restricted distribution, and is threatened by habitat loss and hunting.
The cap is also covered with bear–also protected under the Wildlife Protection Act–fur, and those impressive tusks are of wild boar, also protected by law.
Yes, it is an ancient tradition to wear such hats among such tribes, but there is an ongoing effort to desist from such a practice and wear fiber-glass faux beaks instead—so as to keep traditions, and conserve hornbills.

That a leader has disregarded the law of the land-and the message it conveys, bodes ill for conservation.”
Prerna Singh Bindra, Bagh Trustee, former member, NBWL, member SBWL Uttarakhand

As an aside, i am thrilled to note that Outlook places me in Uttarakhand

Trustee, Bagh; Former member, National Board for Wildlife