A giant aldabra tortoise thought to be around250 years old has died
in the Kolkata zoo of liver failure, Indian authorities said on Thursday
[23 March 2006].

The tortoise had been the pet of Robert Clive, the famous British
military officer in colonial India around the middle of the 18th century.

He had been witness to the tumultuous course of history- Indian history.

He saw his master (Robert Clive)
and his successors tightening the grip over India, determined to keep
India as the most precious possession of the British Empire. He saw the
first freedom struggle of the Indians (dubbed ‘Sepoy Mutiny‘ by the British) in the middle of the 19th century.

He had been witness to the freedom struggle that brought India freedom from the British in 1947, the partition of India and the largest human migration in history and the communal bloodbath that it had caused and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

He also witnessed the rise of Independent India as a secular democratic state, earning its rightful place in the comity of nations.

And now he is gone!

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