“Those who teach about humanity aren’t always humans” the said notion directly pinches the slumbering humans who themselves coined the term ‘Humans’ and used it synonymous to ‘Civilized’ which both conjointly made the term ‘Humanity’ but again the acts of humans make us ask ourselves that “Do we deserve the term Human?” which clearly depicts the notion of humanity according to us. As we all know, it does not take a penny away from humans to be kind to animals. Our country has endeavoured animal-human relationships since centuries and more. Animals have been the part of our daily lives. We can’t even picture India without rural areas and rural places are indeed incomplete without these fellow beings. They have been a great contributor to our economy too by providing us with their skin leather, milk, ivory from their tusks, meat, wool, etc. How come we are allowed to take away the lives of these silent creatures? Just because they can’t express it well, doesn’t mean that they have no feelings or pain. Thus, trying to reveal the harsh reality of what happened in Kerala’s Silent Valley on 27th May, 2020 by dint of this article.
Just try to imagine a pregnant elephant wandering here and there in search of food. What would you do if you come across this situation? Well, you might be hoping that it should be offered something to eat. Same was the case reported from fringe areas of Silent Valley in Attappadi, Kerala on 23rd May, 2020. The wild elephant had left the forests in Palakkad district, roaming into a nearby village in search of food. And yes, it was offered something to eat but unfortunately that thing wasn’t edible. Locals of that area proffered it fire to eat. They put firecrackers in a pineapple which was eaten by that innocent elephant. It became the victim of act of human’s cruelty. The pineapple filled with crackers exploded inside its mouth when it chewed it. By this, its lower jaw was severely burnt and injured. The explosion in her mouth was so powerful that its tongue and mouth were badly injured. The elephant walked around in village in pain and in hunger. It was unable to eat anything because of its injuries. Elephant walked up to the Velliyar River and stood with her mouth and trunk in water for relief from the unbearable pain. Local people informed the forest officials about the injured elephant. By God’s sake, this elephant found relief from this pain permanently on 27th May, 2020. It lost its life and went away from this world with its little piece of heart.
Mr. Surendra Kumar said the elephant died at Velliyar River in Malappuram district on May 27. The post-mortem revealed that the pachyderm was pregnant. “I have directed the forest officials to nab the culprit. We will punish him for ‘hurting’ the elephant,” he said. Elephants are said to be very social mammals and they are more intelligent as compared to many other animals. This elephant had sensed its death after this incident and without harming any of the residents of that place, it quietly went and took Jalasamadhi in Velliyar river. “When we saw her head dipped in the water. She had a sixth sense that she was going to die. She took the Jalasamadhi in the river in the standing position,” Mr. Krishnan, who was deputed to bring the elephant back to the shore, wrote.
Efforts by Forest Officials to Bring Elephant Out:
The forest officials brought two captive elephants, who were called Surendran and Neelkanthan, to lead it out of the river. “But I think she had a sixth sense. She didn’t let us do anything,” Mohan Krishnan wrote. As these officials mention and state in interviews, they say that they put efficient efforts to bring it out. But, on the contrary, many news channels are broadcasting that even doctor was called after one whole day. This clearly indicates whether they took the situation seriously or were negligent. After three days of attempts by the officials and locals to rescue the elephant, it died at 4 p.m. on May 27, standing in river.
Was It Intentional or Unintentional?
On a clear note, it is evident that this could have been stopped if the Kerala government and forest officials worked optimally. Kerala government allowing bomb/ explosives in public hands is not well justified. If we look deeply into the issue, we will see that not only in Kerala, there are many other states too that smuggle animals to various countries. Animals are transported for insurance claims and are handed over to private bodies illegally. This is not the first case of such inhumanity. 500-600 elephants die annually in Kerala only. The elephants are smuggled to Nepal and other countries. They face cruelty while in private hands. It has been observed that Kerala cabinet had given special permission to farmers in the state to kill wild boars attacking their crops, under the most stringent of conditions. Permission would have to be applied from the forest officials and the permit will carry strict stipulations. The carcasses should be burnt and not used as meat. Chief Minister Oomen Chandy announced this decision. Now, we get to know that the pineapple filled with crackers was not exactly for elephants but was for wild boars. But this too is not justifiable according to Animal Laws in India. Other than the state of Kerala, elephants in Haathi Gaav of Rajasthan bear somehow similar kind of brutality.
Another Example of Animal-Human Relation Controversy: The Jallikattu Festival, Tamil Nadu’s Most Controversial Sport:
This sport is normally seen as bull fight which is being conducted in Tamil Nadu from generations. Originally, Jallikattu is known as Sallikattu. Salli means coins and Kattu is the string bag. The sport was also called “Yaeru Thazhuvuthal”, which means hugging the bull. After some instances when 43 participants and 4 bulls died in avoidable circumstances between 2008-14, this sport was asked to be banned in the state. This sport has been part of Tamil Nadu’s great heritage and culture. In 2017, after thousands gathered in protests at the Marina in Chennai, and thousands more across Tamil Nadu conducting Jallikattu became legal again. This is now a legal sport again in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the state wide protests that erupted in Jan, 2017. But, the sport since then has become a symbol of ‘Tamil Pride’.
Animal Laws in India:
Well, there are some legislations in our country which can help the justice to prevail. These laws protect animal rights in India. They are mentioned below:
~Section 11 In The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960: According to this, any person who as the charge of care of any animal has the duty to take all reasonable and required measures to ensure the well-being of such animal and to prevent infliction of any sort of pain or suffering on that animal.
~Article 51A(G) of The Indian Constitution: According to this, it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for every living creature.
~Section 38(J) of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: According to this, teasing of animals in a zoo has become illegal-No person shall tease, molest, injure or feed any animal or cause disturbances to the animals by noise or otherwise or litter the grounds in the zoo.
~Section 428 and Section 429 of Indian Penal Code: According to this, it is cognizable offence. These sections deal with the punishment for committing mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animal or animals of the value of ten rupees or upwards. This provides imprisonment for up to 2 years or a fine or both.
First Information Report or FIR has been lodged against the unidentifiable culprits. And the voices are also being raised in support of VINAYAKI (as named by Zee News) and against Kerala Government. Intolerant government has lodged FIR against Maneka Gandhi, one of the politicians of BJP, under Section 153 of IPC as an answer to her questions about what happened in Kerala on 27th May, 2020. Three suspects have also been identified in killing of pregnant elephant. “Justice will prevail. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice,” says Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala’s CM. He further tweeted, “We will also try to address the causes behind the increased incidences of Human-wildlife conflict.” But, unveiling the harsh pages behind the superficial story, the truth is that even after the commencement of numerous steps we can’t bring back the lives of thousands of elephants and other animals who became the victim of acts of human savagery.