The Tiger King is a satire by the path-breaking author Ramaswamy Aiyer Krishnamurthy, famous by the pen name "Kalki". This story brings out the result of stubbornness and pride that the powerful kings of the olden days used to have. The protagonist here is the Maharaja of Pratibanapuram. He is presented as an arrogant king who considered himself to be the greatest king of all times but did not think about his subjects' welfare. The chief astrologer of his village predicted that the cause of his death would be a tiger. In order to prove this prediction false, he treacherously killed 99 tigers in his life. However, he could not change his destiny. He was killed by an inanimate tiger that was made of wood. This part of the story makes us question who is the real beast? Is it the tiger or the King?
This story, written in the colonial backdrop, shows how men are weaker than nature. Egotistical individuals who are boastful will have to pay for their misdeeds. At the same time, the text deals with power and pride and gives us a lesson that pride should never overpower one's humanity. Man is not beyond nature; he is just a small part of it. The story also covers many themes like colonialism, the importance of ecological balance, extinction of wildlife, etc. The text has relevance in the present times as well.
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