Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Some American links to Indian ornithology

One of the joys of being in India is the complete lack of access to a good library, and that makes one keep a list of books to find so that you know how to make the best of limited time when one get an opportunity to visit a well-stocked library. It took me nearly ten years before I finally managed to browse through Max Nicholson's Art of Birdwatching (1931) on a brief visit to the library of the Zoological Society of London. I had been looking for the context in which he had talked about how a so-called "open mind" was absolutely useless for scientific enquiry [a belief that starkly contradicts the argumentative Indian].
"One cannot observe without a theory, and what seems the simplest of ornithological tasks - to go out of doors and look out for something worth recording - is in reality one of the hardest… It is a mistake to imagine that complete impartiality and freedom from preconceived ideas is the qualification for the perfect observer. The cow has a remarkably open mind, yet it has never been found to reach a high degree of civilisation."

Nicholson also inspired another writer across the Atlantic. This was Joseph Hickey, a student of literature who moved to ornithology. I had heard of his work through a rather tenuous series of connections.

From The Auk
One of the leading lights of bird study and popularization in India, Dr Joseph George, a major influence on the Bangalore bird-enthusiasts circle, had undertaken several of his earliest and pioneering studies on bird populations in Dehra Dun. In 1948, a Mrs M.D. Wright conducted a census of birds in Dehra Dun and wrote out her observations in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. One of her inspirations was the book by Joseph Hickey, A Guide to Birdwatching (1943). It is unclear if Dr George actually took part in her census but she influenced his own studies in Dehra Dun (since he cites her work) and they doubtless met and I strongly believe that Dr George actually read this book too given his own censuses of birds in Dehra Dun. It was not until a few weeks ago that I got my hands on Hickey's book thanks to the Internet Archive and their emergency pandemic-response library which allows in-copyright books to be borrowed and read online. Now Hickey was influenced by many giants including Ernst Mayr and Aldo Leopold. He recounted among his ornithological mantras, the one from Ernst Mayr about having a long term line of enquiry while watching birds - in Mayr's words "everybody's got to have a problem". On the first person Hickey met on the field watching birds, he writes:
The pleasures of meeting a kindred spirit are much more subjective but they are nonetheless real and they often ripen into lifelong friendships. In grade school it never occurred to my chums or to me that bird books were written for anyone other than boys, and that grown men and women liked to watch flickers and killdeers just the way we did. Our beloved scoutmaster, the Reverend Basil Hall, had given some of us a helping hand, but bird study still seemed like a boys' game. It was an almost stupefying shock when Richard A. Herbert and I, aged 14, quite by accident found an elegantly dressed gentleman watching a chickadee one February day in New York City's Bronx Park. Charles Johnston, who looked not unlike Charles Evans Hughes to us, had been a distinguished member of the British Civil Service in India. He was kindly and apparently ready to answer questions. He answered them for two full hours, probably with no little amusement. The decades between us seemed to vanish and from that point on, our bird study took on dignity and purpose. He helped us many times more in the years that followed.
I tell this story to illustrate how an interest in ornithology can span any barrier, and how people of widely diverse cultures can rapidly find a common bond of understanding. There are several ways to get in touch with other bird students. One is to attend meetings.

Now an Indian Civil Servant interested in birds had to be examined and I searched the internet for Charles Johnston and found one that was interested in theosophy (but the Wikipedia entry then had no mention of any interest in natural history). I found also that a Johnston had been active in New York birding circles but was not sure if the two were the same until I found an entry on the Theosophy Wiki. The other major Theosophist (at least briefly) and ornithologist was Hume and I had to check for encounters between the two. It seems that the two could not have been in great contact. Johnston was married the niece of Madame Blavatsky (with whom Hume had fallen out) and entered the Indian Civil Service only in 1888, well after Hume's exit from government service. Johnston worked only for two years before suffering from malaria led to his resignation and he moved to the United States in 1896 after treatment in Austria. His close friends in New York included fellow theosophists W. Q. Judge and Clement Acton Griscom, Jr. (1868-1918) who was the father of the ornithologist Ludlow Griscom. It would appear (esp. from the absence of any mention in the Bombay Natural History Society journal) that Johnston began his serious bird studies only in the United States and may well have been an important influence in Griscom's life. Allan Cruickshank's Birds around New York city (1942) includes many notes by Johnston, who is described as an "experienced and meticulous observer" (p. 289).

Recommended reading
  • Hickey, Joseph (1975). A guide to bird watching. New York:Dover. [This Internet Archive copy (which can be borrowed) is signed by Hickey. This book was his master's work, under the supervision of Aldo Leopold!]
Postscript
Dr Joseph George  (1st October 1921 – 9th July 2012) was educated at St Joseph's College, Trichy and at St. John's College, Agra, He researched polymer chemistry under Herman Francis Marks  at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Research Institute between 1946 and 1948, returning to the Forest Research Institute at Dehra Dun. He worked for a while at the CBRI, Roorkee and at IPIRI, Bangalore.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Science in disasters and disasters in science

Locusts are powerful agents in history, and just like malaria and other diseases (especially those that affected empire) they helped fund a lot of biological research, both in India and elsewhere. Unlike India, with a short institutional memory, aided by governments that simply cannot maintain archives (or even actively erases inconvenient material), the Chinese rulers maintained meticulous records of locust (Locusta migratoria) damage that go back about 1900 years. As India slowly dismantles long-term government organizations to be replaced by supposedly more profitable contract-only private entities it is worth looking at some pioneers in locust research and what was achieved.

Locust reporting in China (A geographical), B (annual trend), C (decadal trend) over 2000 years
Among the interesting findings was a strong 30-year cycle, as also 10-year cycles - recalling
the era of sunspottery and perhaps an overemphasis on what are now called BEL cycles.

The golden years of locust research were in the two decades following 1945 thanks to an exiled upper-class Russian, Sir Boris Uvarov. Nadia Waloff, herself a Russian emigre, writes in her biography of Uvarov (perhaps they were distantly related) that in the 20 years before his death there were nearly 7000 research papers (that is nearly 1 article a day!) published on locusts, largely from the London based Anti-Locust Research Centre (ALRC). The ALRC itself had been founded by Uvarov, who migrated shortly after the 1917 revolution to England.

Uvarov's Russian passport
From Fedotova, Anastasia; Kouprianov, Alexei (2016). Archival research reveals the true date of birth of the father of locust phase theory, Sir Boris Uvarov, FRS. Euroasian Entomological Journal. 15(4):321–327.
The Russian class struggle of 1917 led to scientists (who were mostly from the upper classes) being either made ineligible for continued work at universities or worse. "White Russians" who conspicuously supported the Tsars or, in the later period, opposed leaders like Stalin routinely ended up in the Gulags, often vanishing without a trace. A few escaped to other parts and found work, Uvarov being among the lucky ones. He became interested in natural history at a very young age thanks to a present from his father of a Russian translation of the German 6 tome  work Tierleben by Alfred Brehm. He then studied entomology, preferring interactive learning at the informal Russian Entomological Society, to the formal courses offered by Mikhail Rimsky-Korsakov (the entomologist son of the famous Russian composer, of flight of the bumble-bee fame). Uvarov's exit to England was possible because of chance encounters with wartime English entomologists, but he had also established a name already in Russia. Prior to his research, it was thought that the migratory locusts were a distinct species but he identified ecological conditions that altered a sedentary grasshopper that looks quite different, and found in smaller numbers to produce young with altered form that became gregarious and migratory. This has been called the Phase Theory (and of course theory does not mean hypothesis) and in a very far-sighted approach he and his team would later work out causes and mechanisms ranging from the spectrum of the ultimate to the proximate - looking at ecology, endocrine function, sensory functions etc. and how reduced "social distance" converted a sedentary high-fecundity breeder to a long-winged less-fecund migratory form. Waloff herself examined the polymorphism of winged- and wingless-ness in various groups of insects and compared them with ideas on ecological stability (and perhaps they were precursors to ideas on r-K selection). They also boldly experimented with new techniques such as using radioactive isotopes to study dispersion (albeit in bugs).

The ALRC had recognized the locust problem as being something that needed collaboration across artificial borders like nations (in other words, not atmanirbharata). Several Indian researchers also took part in this international network of locust research. These included H S Pruthi (who established the institutional framework for collaboration after Indian Independence), Afzal Hussain (now considered the father of entomology in Pakistan)  and Y Ramachandra Rao (who retired to live in Bangalore). With the end of the Second World War and colonialism, research shifted from colonial sponsors to the United Nations, an attempt at a democratic trans-national institution.

From Haskell, P.T. (1970). The future of locust and grasshopper control. Outlook on Agriculture 6(4):166-174.
The range of influence of Schistocerca gregaria

Now, it is hard to imagine what might have happened to Uvarov if he had stayed on in Russia. The future for people who understood Darwinian evolution and were capable of synthesizing it with ideas from genetics was positively bleak. Russian science went from this class struggle which evicted traditional intellectual actors from the leisure class (often assisted by royal patronage) [with access to books, intellectual circles (often with entry bars), space to hold material, and ability to buy tools] to a more accessible system with tax-payer funded universities, supported by libraries, museums, journals run by democratized organizations, and other infrastructure. The transition was truly ugly and sad. On its way it had to encounter demagogues like Trofim Lysenko who drew an easy to understand (simple but wrong) connection between the idea of genes determining organism outcomes, to eugenics, and to fascism - and that simple communication to the powers-that-be led to the killing of many scientists, and the removal of many into the margins. Lysenko's appeals were what ordinary people wanted to hear, he came from a working class upbringing unlike the supposed snobs he was up against and, in his breeding experiments with wheat, or in his tree-planting methodologies (to combat a famine that was thought to be climate-induced) he made use of ideas that organisms could change their characteristics when faced with challenges, the idea that outcomes were not limited by genes - ideas which had a social appeal that fitted with egalitarianism.
A S Serebrovsky (c. 1925) who worked on chicken
breeding, conservation, genetics, and evolution -
a little-known figure in science.

It would be wasteful to write more here about the political history of Soviet science as there are numerous works on the topic. It is worth noting however that Russian scientists, contrary to Mayr's version of biological history, had indeed synthesized ideas on evolution with ideas from genetics. Unfortunately there seems to be little written about it in English, but it includes scientists like Nikolai Koltsov (who was probably poisoned), and many of his students including A S Serebrovsky (who is credited with coining the word gene pool, producing an early evolutionary synthesis, and thinking up the sterile male technique of pest management - fortunately he was spared his life - Mayr credits Dobzhansky (escaped to the West) among others in the synthesis but many of his ideas may well have come from Serebrovsky), Efroimson, Simon Levit (killed), Izrail Agol (killed), Nikolai Vavilov (killed) ... the list goes on.

India is now in a very interesting phase where ordinary plants, cow dung, and urine, with miraculous properties are touted as cures for coronaviruses. We will soon see similar claims to rid us of locusts. These are claims that appeal to those without resources. These claims are made by many including politicians and while they receive sniggers from the English speakers across social media, it is hard not to sense that this is a reaction against the snobbery of the English speaking and scientific upper classes. There is an opportunity for progressive thought and action in this disaster but it is not going to be an easy one, most certainly not if gross inequalities cannot be seen and tackled.

Further reading

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Ornithologists in cartoons

From: The Graphic. 25 April 1874.
It is said that the modern version of badminton evolved from a game played in Poona (some sources name the game itself as Poona). When I saw this picture from 1874 about five years ago, I gave little thought to it. Revisiting it after five years after some research on one of A.O. Hume's ornithological collaborators, I have a strong hunch that one of the people depicted in the picture is recognizable although it is not going to be easy to confirm this.

I recently created a Wikipedia entry for a British administrator who worked in the Bombay Presidency, G.W. Vidal, when I came across a genealogy website (whose maintainer unfortunately was uncontactable by email) with notes on his life that included a photograph in profile and a cartoon. The photograph was apparently taken by Vidal himself, a keen amateur photographer apart from being a snake and bird enthusiast. Like naturalists of that epoch, many of his specimens were shot, skinned or pickled and sent off to museums or specialists. He was an active collaborator of Hume and contributed a long note in Stray Feathers on the birds of Ratnagiri District, where he was a senior ICS official. He continued to contribute notes after the ornithological exit of Hume, to the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. This gives further support for an idea I have suggested before that a key stimulus for the formation of the BNHS was the end of Stray Feathers. Vidal's mother has the claim for being the first women novelist of Australia. Interestingly one of his daughters married Major R.M. Betham, another keen amateur ornithologist born in Dapoli, who is well-known in Bangalore birding circles for being the first to note Lesser Floricans in the region. Now Vidal was involved in popularizing badminton in India, apparently creating some of the rules that allowed matches to be played. The man at the left in the sketch in the 1874 edition of The Graphic looks quite like Vidal, but who knows! What do you think?

PS: Vidal sent bird specimens to Hume, and at least two subspecies have been named from his specimens after him - Perdicula asiatica vidali and Todiramphus chloris vidali.

For more information on Vidal, do take a look at the Wikipedia entry. More information from readers is welcome as usual.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Some little-known bird books from India - M.R.N. Holmer

A fair number of books have been written on the birds of India. Many colonial-era books have been taken out of the clutches of antique book sellers and wealthy hoarders and made available to researchers at large by the Biodiversity Heritage Library but there are still many extremely rare books that few have read or written about. Here is a small sampling of them which I hope to produce as a series of short entries.

One of these is by M.R.N. Homer (Mary Rebekah Norris Holmer - 6 June 1875 - 2 September 1957) - a professor of physiology at Lady Hardinge Medical College who was also the first woman board member in the Senate of Punjab University and a first for any university in India. Educated at Cambridge and Dublin University she worked in India from 1915 to 1922 and then returned to England. She wrote several bits on the methods of teaching nature study, and seems to have been very particular about these ideas. From a small fragment, it would appear that she emphasized the use of local and easily available plants as teaching aids and she deplored the use of the word "weed". Her sole book on birds was first published in 1923 as Indian Bird Life and then revised in 1926 as Bird Study in India. The second edition includes very neat black-and-white  illustrations by Kay Nixon, a very talented artist who illustrated some Enid Blyton books and apparently designed posters for the Indian Railways.

A rather sparse Wikipedia entry has been created at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.R.N._Holmer - more information is welcome!

A scanned version of her bird book can now be found on the Internet Archive - https://archive.org/details/Holmer Holmer came from a Christian Sunday School approach to natural history which shows up in places in the book. Her book includes many literary references, several especially to R.L.S. (R.L.Stevenson). In another part of the series we will look at more "evangelical" bird books.



John Stephenson, the writer of the preface, was a zoologist and a specialist on the oligochaetes. He wrote the Fauna of British India volume on the oligochaetes and was the series editor for the Fauna of British India from 1927 following the death of the editor A.E. Shipley.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

On a germ trail

Hidden away in the little Himalayan town of Mukteshwar is a fascinating bit of science history. Cattle and livestock really mattered a lot in the pre-engine past, especially for transport and power,  on farms and in cities but also and especially for people in power. Hyder Ali and Tipu were famed and feared for their ability to move their guns rapidly, most famously, making use of bullocks, of the Amrut Mahal and Hallikar breeds. The subsequent British conquerors saw the value and maintained large numbers of them, at the Commissariat farm in Hunsur for instance.
The Commissariat Farm, Hunsur
Photo by Wiele & Klein, from: The Queen's Empire. A pictorial and descriptive record. Volume 2.
Cassell and Co. London (1899). [p. 261]
The original photo caption given below, while being racy, was most definitely inaccurate,
these were not maintained for beef :

BEEF   FOR   THE   BRITISH   ARMY.
It is said that the Turkish soldier will live and fight upon a handful of dates and a cup of water, the Greek upon a few olives and a pound of bread—an excellent thing for the commissariats of the two armies concerned, no doubt! But though Turk and Greek will be satisfied with this Spartan fare, the British soldier will not—not if he can help it, that is to say. Sometimes he cannot help it, and then it is only just to him to admit that he bears himself at a pinch as a soldier should, and is satisfied with what he can get. But what the British soldier wants is beef, and plenty of it : and he is a wise and provident commander who will contrive that his men shall get what they want. Here we see that the Indian Government has realised this truth. The picture represents the great Commissariat Farm at Hunsur in Mysore, where the shapely long-horned bullocks are kept for the use of the army.
Report of the cattle plague commission
led by J.H.B. Hallen (1871)

Imagine the situation when cattle die off in their millions - the estimated deaths of cows and buffaloes in 1870 was 1 million. Around 1871, it rang alarm bells high enough to have a committee examining the situation. Britain had had a major "cattle plague" outbreak in 1865 and so the matter was not unknown to the public. The generic term for the mass deaths was "murrain", a rather old-fashioned word that refers to an epidemic disease in sheep and cattle derived from the French word morine, or "pestilence," with roots in Latin mori "to die." A commission headed by Staff Veterinary Surgeon J.H.B. Hallen went across what would best be called the "cow belt" of India and noted among other things that the cattle in the hills were doing better and that rivers helped isolate the disease. Remarkably there were two little-known Indians members - Mirza Mahomed Ali Jan (a deputy collector) and Hem Chunder Kerr (a magistrate and collector). The report includes 6 maps with spots where the outbreaks occurred in each year from 1860 to 1866 and the spatial approach to epidemiology is dominant. This is perhaps unsurprising given that the work of John Snow would have been fresh in medical minds. One point in the report that caught my eye was "Increasing civilization, which means in India clearing of jungle, making of roads, extended agriculture, more communication with other parts, buying and selling, &c, provides greater facilities for the spread of contagious diseases of stock." The committee identified the largest number of deaths to be caused by rinderpest. Rinderpest has a very long history and the its attacks in Europe are quite well documented. There had been two veterinary congresses in Europe that looked at rinderpest. One of the early researchers was John Burdon Sanderson (a maternal grand-uncle of J.B.S. Haldane) who noted that the blood of infected cattle was capable of infecting others even before the source individual showed any symptoms of the disease. He also examined the relationship to smallpox and cowpox through cross-vaccination and examination for resistance. C.A. Spinage in his brilliant book (but with a European focus) on The Cattle Plague - A History (2003) notes that rinderpest belongs to the Paramyxoviruses, a morbillivirus which probably existed in Pleistocene Bovids and perhaps the first relative that jumped to humans was measles, and was associated with the domestication of cattle. The English believed that the origin of rinderpest lay in Russia. The Russians believed it came from the Mongols.
Gods slaandehand over Nederland, door de pest-siekte onder het rund vee
[God's lashing hand over the Netherlands, due to the plague disease among cattle]
Woodcut by Jan Smits (1745) - cattle epidemics evoked theological explanations
The British government made a grant of £5,000 in 1865 for research into rinderpest which was apparently the biggest ever investment in medical research upto that point of time. This was also a period when there was epidemic cholera epidemic, mainly affecting the working class, and it was noted that hardly any money was spent on it. (Spinage:328) The result of the rewards was that a very wide variety of cures were proffered and Spinage provides an amusing overview. One cure claim came from a Mr. M. Worms of Ceylon and involved garlic, onion, and asafoetida. Worms was somehow related to Baron Rothschild and the cure was apparently tested on some of Rothschild's cattle with some surprising recoveries. Inoculation as in small pox treatments were tried by many and they often resulted in infection and death of the animals.

As for the India scene, it appears that the British government did not do much based on the Hallen committee report. There were attempts to regulate the movement of cattle but it seems that the idea that it could be prevented through inoculation or vaccination had to wait. In the 1865 outbreak in Britain, one of the control measures was the killing and destruction of infected cattle at the point of import. This finally brought an end to outbreaks in 1867. Several physicians in India tried experiments in inoculation. In India natural immunity was noted and animals that overcame the disease were valued by their owners. In India natural immunity was noted and animals that overcame the disease were valued by their owners. In 1890 Robert Koch was called into service in the Cape region on the suggestion of Dr J. Beck. In 1897 Koch announced that bile from infected animals could induce resistance on inoculation. Koch was then sent on to India to examine the plague leaving behind a William Kolle to continue experiments in a disused mine building at Kimberley belonging to the De Beers. Around the same time experiments were conducted by Herbert Watkins-Pitchford and Arnold Theiler who found that serum from cattle that recovered worked as an effective inoculation. They however failed to publish and received little credit. Koch, a German, beating the English researchers was a cause of hurt pride.

The Brown Institution was destroyed in 1944
by German bombing
Interesting to see how much national pride was involved in all this. The French had established an Imperial Bacteriological Institute at Constantinople with Louis Pasteur as their leading light. This was mostly headed by Pasteur Institute Alumni. Maurice Nicolle and Adil-Bey were involved in rinderpest research. They demonstrated that the causal agent was small enough to pass through bacterial filters. In India, Alfred Lingard was chosen in 1890 to examine the problems of livestock diseases and to find solutions. Lingard had gained his research experience at the Brown Animal Sanatory Institution - whose workers included John Burdon Sanderson. About six years earlier, Robert Koch, had caused more embarrassment to the British establishment by identifying the cholera causing bacteria in Calcutta. Koch had however not demonstrated that his bacteria isolate could cause disease in uninfected animals - thereby failing one of the required tests for causality that now goes by the name of Koch's postulates. There were several critiques by British researchers who had been working for a while on cholera in India - these included David Douglas Cunningham (who was also a keen naturalist and wrote a couple of general natural history books as well) and T.R. Lewis (who had spent some time with German researchers).  The British government (the bureaucrats were especially worried about quarantine measures for cholera and had a preference for old-fashioned miasma theories of disease) felt the need for a committee to examine the conflict between the English and German claims - and they presumably chose someone with a knowledge of German for it -  Emanuel Edward Klein assisted by Heneage Gibbes. Klein was also from the Brown Animal Sanatory Institution and had worked with Burdon Sanderson. Now Klein, the Brown Institution, Burdon Sanderson and many of the British physiologists had come under the attack of the anti-vivisection movement. During the court proceedings that examined claims of cruelty to animals by the anti-vivisectionists, Klein, an east European (of Jewish descent) with his poor knowledge of English had made rather shocking statements that served as fodder for some science fiction written in that period with evil characters bearing a close resemblance to Klein! Even Lingard had been accused of cruelty, feeding chickens with the lungs of tuberculosis patients, to examine if the disease could be transmitted. E.H. Hankin, the man behind the Ganges bacteriophages had also been associated with the vivisection-researchers and the British Indian press had even called him a vivisector who had escaped to India.

Lingard initially worked in Pune but he found the climate unsatisfactory for working on anti-rinderpest sera. In 1893 he moved the laboratory in the then remote mountain town of Mukteshwar (or Muktesar as the British records have it) and his first lab burnt down in a fire. In 1897 Lingard invited Koch and others to visit and Koch's bile method was demonstrated. The institution, then given the grand name of Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory was rebuilt and it continues to exist as a unit of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute. Lingard was able to produce rinderpest serum in this facility - producing 468,853 doses between 1900 and 1905 and the mortality of inoculated cattle was as low as 0.43%. The institute grew to produce 1,388,560 doses by 1914-15. Remarkably, several countries joined hands in 1921 to attack rinderpest and other livestock diseases and it is claimed that rinderpest is now the second virus (after smallpox) to have been eradicated. The Muktesar institution and its surroundings were also greatly modified with dense plantations of deodar and other conifers. Today this quiet little village centered around a temple to Shiva is visited by waves of tourists and all along the route one can see the horrifying effects of land being converted for housing and apartments.


The Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory c. 1912 (rebuilt after the fire)
In 2019, the commemorative column can be seen.
Upper corridor
A large autoclave made by Manlove & Alliott, Nottingham.
Stone marker
A cold storage room built into the hillside
Koch in 1897 at Muktesar
Seated: Lingard, Koch, Pfeiffer, Gaffky

The habitat c. 1910. One of the parasitologists, a Dr Bhalerao,
described parasites from king cobras shot in the area.

The crags behind the Mukteshwar institute, Chauli-ki-Jhali, a hole in a jutting sheet of rock (behind and not visible)
is a local tourist attraction.
Here then are portraits of three scientists who were tainted in the vivisection debate in Britain, but who were able to work in India without much trouble.
E.H. Hankin

Alfred Lingard

Emanuel Edward Klein


The cattle plague period coincides nicely with some of the largest reported numbers of Greater Adjutant storks and perhaps also a period when vultures prospered, feeding on the dead cattle. We have already seen that Hankin was quite interested in vultures. Cunningham notes the decline in adjutants in his Some Indian Friends and Acquaintances (1903). The anti-vivisection movement, like other minority British movements such as the vegetarian movement, found friends among many educated Indians, and we know of the participation of such people as Dr Pranjivan Mehta in it thanks to the work of the late Dr. S. R. Mehrotra. There was also an anti-vaccination movement, and we know it caused (and continues to cause) enough conflict in the case of humans but there appears to be little literature related to opposition to their use on livestock in India.

Further reading
Thanks are due to Dr Muthuchelvan and his colleague for an impromptu guided tour of IVRI, Mukteshwar.
Postscripts:
The Imperial Bacteriologist - Alfred Lingard in this case in 1906 - was apparently made "Conservator" for the "Muktesar Reserve Forest" and the 10 members of the "Muktesar Shikar Club" were given exemption from fees to shoot carnivores on their land in 1928. See National Archives of India document.
Klein, Gibbes and D.D. Cunningham were also joined by H.V. Carter (who contributed illustrations to Gray's Anatomy - more here).