home General, Social Ratan Tata condemns the elephant death; artwork floods social media: Opinion piece

Ratan Tata condemns the elephant death; artwork floods social media: Opinion piece

Ratan Tata condemns the elephant death; artwork floods social media: Opinion piece

The death of the pregnant elephant, after it consumed cracker filled pineapple has had a lot of people emotional and grieved. The incident sparked outrage from across the country on social media. While a lot of social media users have condemned and expressed their shock over the incident, Ratan Tata had taken to twitter to convey his feelings.

In his note, Ratan Tata has demanded justice for the elephant and stated that “such criminal acts” against animals are “no different than acts of meditated murder” against humans. His note read “I am grieved and shocked to know that a group of people caused the death of an innocent, passive, pregnant elephant by feeding the elephant with a pineapple filled with firecrackers. Such criminal acts against innocent animals are no different than acts of meditated murder against other humans. Justice needs to prevail.”

Ahead of this, a huge furor broke out on the internet, bringing the issue an entirely new communal angle. To complicate the issue further, some section of people misreported the incident to have happened at Malapuram, (a district that has a majority of Muslims), while in reality, the incident took place in Palakkad. Yet another section of people reported that the feeding was done intentionally.

The clarity of the incident is that such country made cracker filled eateries are kept by the villagers for the wild boar to feed on. The wild boar usually destroys the crops and is thus a mechanism to ward off the boars. On one such attempt, this time, a pregnant elephant happened to consume it. What further moved people is the fact that despite the pain and suffering, the elephant did not destroy any house, neither did it attempt to harm people. It was during the post mortem that the officials came to know she was pregnant.

Soon, the social media users came up with beautiful artwork of the elephant and the baby. Mr. Sudarshan Pattanaik, a renowned sand artist, came up with sand art.

What is shocking is the way we are reacting to this. Man-animal conflict cannot be seen as a simple act of torture. Much of us are oblivious to how we are ourselves contributing to this. Illegal mining in ecologically sensitive areas, deforestation, etc. are significant factors to the destruction of animal habitats. Coupled with this, such blame on one set of people (here, the villagers/farmers of the village) removes the government of any responsibility or reflection on the issue.

Take a minute to think, if only people reacted with the same spirit to killings and lynching of people, irrespective of religion, color, and caste? Why is this furor very selective?