Mahatma Gandhi had said, “A civilized country is known by the way it treats its animals.” We treat them horribly. Every day People For Animals receives dozens of complaints and on its own discovers many more animals who are victims of Gurgaon’s lack of conscience.
Just today, as I write this piece, we have picked up a young male calf not more than a month old, from the Palam Vihar area. Both his front legs have been broken. Reportedly some villagers now break the legs of male calves, leaving them to die of starvation or making them incapable of movement so that they can be easily picked up by butchers and cattle traffickers who pay them to smuggle cattle.
Nandi, the calf, will recover, but he is just one lucky example of many more who are not so fortunate. Pinky the Langur is another one of our recent rescue cases. She was being used illegally by the Mayfield Garden, Sector 51 RWA. Chained to a tree, fed a destructive diet of Parle G biscuits, rotis and every other odd and end.
The Langur (Presbytis enteilus) is a wild animal listed under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and cannot be owned, traded or hired. Contravention carries punishment of upto three years imprisonment or fine or both under Section 52 of the Act.
Owls too are covered under this Act. They are wild birds which are illegally captured, dyes put in their eyes, wings cut and are sold to be sacrificed by tantriks. The trade is underground and difficult to catch. It picks up around the time of Diwali. Snakes captured by snake charmers have their teeth smashed before these crooks stuff dehydrated reptiles into dirty shoulder bags and beg money.
They are illegal and punishable under law, as are all madaaris and monkey men. Dogs are bred and made to fight to the death in cruel illegal dog fights. If you meet your meat in Gurgaon you would be shocked. Every animal is killed most brutally in complete violation of the law.
Near the IFFCO Chowk Metro Station, in broad daylight, last week our volunteer heard pitiable screams and saw some men on a motorcycle. When she went to check this out, she saw six of these louts pinning down a pregnant female pig and electrocuting her with wires drawn from a nearby electric pole. As the pig began screaming for help again, they rammed an iron rod down her throat.
When our volunteer went up to stop this, they hurled abuses at her and shoved her around. She got the number of the motorcycle down. The police caught these goons, but they eventually got away. All pigs in Gurgaon are brutally killed in this or in worse manner. It is an organized mafia often in connivance with the authorities.
Gurgaon’s free ranging pigs carry diseases and pathogens. They end up on your plate. And what people casually pick up and stuff themselves with in buffet breakfasts, is misery, sin and vectors of disease. Terrible price to pay for pork, wouldn't you agree ?
It does not stop at that. Goats, sheep, donkeys, horses, even camels are tortured and transported for slaughter. All in violation of the law. We do not object to the needless suffering and trauma of overloaded trucks full of dehydrated, suffocated, fractured animals riding to a horrible death. All the above are punishable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Indian Penal Code (sections 428, 429)
These are just a few of the countless cases I can recount for our readers. But what’s the point ? This is not a list of our sins. Nor am I trying to adopt a righteous position. I draw your attention to these examples of our missing conscience, because they reveal who and what we have become. Behind the polish of Gurgaon lurks a very dark reality. As educated, thinking, sensible people we must define the contours of our society.
Do we want to live in a cruel, opaque, criminal and insensitive atmosphere or do we want to foster a humane, law abiding and compassionate system. As much as 65 percent of Indians are below 35 years of age, are progressive and have an informed world-view. Most of our readers fall in this category. It is for them to walk the talk.
To prevent cruelty, report it, fight it. In the process make Gurgaon a role model in compassion and governance. Whether we do it or not the repercussions will impact us sooner or later. What use is a life in which we gain the world but lose our soul?