Ban Elephants In Hindu Temple Festivals
Ban Elephants In Hindu Temple Festivals
Why this petition matters
We HINDUS do not want elephant Torture as part of Temple Festivals
The vulnerable captive Elephants of Kerala are tortured to death in the name of participating in the Temple Festivals. Without food and rest, they are forced to walk under scorching sun on the hot tarred roads amidst horrifically loud exploding cracker bombs and drums beats. Naturally the animals sometimes become violent and attack the onlookers. The elephants have to undergo lifelong torture for their training to tolerate such rituals and most soon succumb to their injuries under the torture and heavy lifelong shackles.
Captive elephants in the state of Kerala have reduced drastically due to existing laws curbing interstate trade of elephants and the banning of purchasing and taming wild animals. The elephant mafia in the state submitted a memorandum with Minister of Environment and Forests, Climate Change, Mr. Bhupendra Yadav in his office seeking that captive elephant should be categorized as domestic animal and interstate trade should be allowed, further breeding should also be allowed.
The elephant mafia claim they are deeply worried about the decline of the elephant population and the fact that Hindu temple rituals may not be able to be performed with elephants! Procession and parading elephants is not a Hindu tradition and the rest of the nation does not follow such a tradition. Chariots and human held Palanquins have always been the usual vehicles used in Temple processions. Elephants are not part of rituals in major Hindu temples like Kedarnath, Badrinath, Kasi and Madhura.
Traditionally people in Kerala have a sadistic approach to elephants, so that now in some of the Church and Masjith festivals, elephants are being employed. The Elephants thus generate huge sums of money and a high profile elephant will generate more than Rs. 1 crore ($1.4 million) per year which is four times the value of an elephant.
For making immediate money, the elephants are forced to travel long distance and stand for long hours in the temple processions amidst the thunderous sounds of crackers and loud drums, without adequate water, food and rest. Naturally their health gives way under such horrendous conditions . Once the elephant becomes sick, and if found that it cannot be employed in the immediate future, the owners stop all the food and medicine and let them die in pathetic conditions. For treating a sick elephant the cost would be more than Rs. 100,00.000/- ($1,400) per month and its death will save this money, as well as get the insurance money at the earliest.
For such physical cruelty, torture and ill-treatment, not a single owner or keeper has ever been punished by the Forest Department, showing very clearly how deep routed the elephant Mafia is in the state. Any complaint forwarded by any individual or any organization is not registered, or any enquiry ever conducted by the Kerala Government. A wild pregnant elephant died due to a bomb inserted pineapple exploding in her mouth. The agony of the elephant was highly discussed and a worldwide hue and cry severely criticized the Kerala Government. The government has not yet submitted a charge sheet in the court nor has the government arrested all the accused involved in the brutal killing.
Now the captive elephants in the state is 459 and 127 captive elephants, which is 22% have died in the past 6 years due to negligence and ill treatment alone. With an exception of one female elephant named ‘Dakshayani’ who died at the age of 88 due to natural aging.
The elephant camps run by the forest department of Kerala are true concentration camps, run solely for the purpose of milking funds from the Centre. A petition by Animal Legal Force against Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, Kottoor, Thiruvananthapuram is still pending with Hon’ble High Court of Kerala. The forest department produced photographs of the elephants in the centre, in which except one, all the elder elephants were tied up with the front and back legs chained apart, backward and forward. They were also housed under metal sheets. This is clear evidence of how the Forest department ignores, and often it's officials and workers are not even aware of the existing elephant laws.
The baby elephants were kept in unbelievably pathetic conditions under plastic sheets. They were swaying in deep distress and wailing when poked and prodded to take for their daily "bath" which is a "Tourist attraction" . Elephants are just a ‘THING’, not a living being for the department. The High Court has asked clarification from the forest department for these violations.
Now the elephant mafia is worried about the future of HINDUS without elephant torture. We Hindus have strong voice, belief and faith, we do not need the patronage of elephant mafia to protect our true traditions in our temples.
The Hon’ble Minister Mr. Bhupendra Yadav may please take immediate action for the following :-
The parading procession of Elephants in Hindu Temples & other places should be banned.
Sick elephants should be cared for in Elephant Rehabilitation Centres which should be constructed according to proper international guidelines. Proper Elephant veterinarians and consultants should be employed in these centres.
Possession and ownership of elephants should be nationalized.
In the amendment 2021 of Wildlife Protection Act -1972, Section 48 should be revoked and any ownership of power for individuals should be abolished
Strong steps should be taken against the Kerala Forest Department for colluding with poachers and wildlife criminals.
- Sri Narendra ModiPrime Minister of India
- Mr. Bhupendra YadavMinister of Forests, Environment & Climate Change