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A travesty of justice: Animal ‘rights’, not wrongs

India has always been a country that has worshiped animals for centuries, where animals have been considered to be incarnations of God. But lately, it seems that only human life matters.

VIDUSHI NISHANK: A nationwide outrage was triggered after a pregnant elephant in Kerala died as a consequence of consuming a fruit-laden with explosive. It has been referred to as a ‘premeditated murder’ by some, but for many, it is just a general practice to protect their fields against wild animals, especially boars. The issue is not whether this alleged incident was a murder or an accident — it is much larger and serious than that. The question is whether these kinds of practices are legal under Indian law.

The news sparked reactions all over the country condemning such abhorrent human conduct while also calling for severe punishment against the offenders. But this is not the first time animals have been treated with cruelty in India; just a day before the Kerala incident, the jaw of Nandini – a pregnant cow – was severely injured after being fed dough stuffed with firecrackers in Himachal Pradesh. In April this year, another jumbo had died in a similar fashion at Pathanapuram forest range. Every day, animals are mistreated, slaughtered and killed with such instances of inhumanity towards animals going unattended while the majority of these cruel acts are not even reported, let alone tried and punished accordingly.

For real change, there needs to be a change in the mindsets of people, who rather than mistreating animals, start respecting them and begin treating them better. It is only through stringent reforms and legislations that such acts of violence towards animals can end… In order to prevent such suffering, unnecessary infliction of pain, and brutal conduct towards the animals, the Indian legislature needs to amend the existing provisions to incorporate stringent punishments as compared to the mockery it is right now, especially the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 that has not been amended since its incorporation.

It seems that only human life matters in this country and seldom do animal rights get due attention. Does the Constitution of India only guarantee rights to the citizens? Don’t we have any obligation towards our country, our community, and the environment that we live in? Do we, the citizens, want Mother Earth to be treated according to our whims and fancies? Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution of India clearly outlines the fundamental duty of every citizen to have compassion for all living creatures, but since our duties are not legally enforceable, the citizens do not feel their responsibility towards anything but themselves.

India has always been a country, a land that has worshiped animals for centuries, where animals have been considered to be incarnations of God. But lately, India is coming across as a nation whose citizens are self-absorbed, who are complacent and no longer can differentiate between legal and illegal actions, let alone the concept of morality… The alarming rise of such instances of barbaric animal cruelty and inhuman exploitation in the pet industry makes it not only our legal duty but also a moral obligation to respect, protect and prevent brutality towards any being. The Question Is Not, Can They Reason? Nor, Can They Talk? But, Can They Suffer? (Jeremy Bentham).  SOURCE…


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