Monday, 10 April 2017

Indian Elephants: God or Slave

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Soon we speak of elephants, a picture of majestic wild animal with a swinging long trunk with a happy faced two big white tusks emerges our memory. If you’re adventurous and had heard elephant stories, you may also think of a gigantic animal gushing towards you with all his power and speed to chase you off. However, in India, things are slightly different. If you’re an Indian, or have visited India few times, you can also think about a Hindu God resembling elephant face being worshiped in a larger than life manner. Worshiping the elephant-faced, lord Ganesha almost in every house, across entire India.

An elephant at Amer Fort, Jaipur (India)

To another extent, you can also think about these wonderful animals being victim of man-animal conflict especially in southern and north-eastern tea plantation region of India. You can also think about these wonderful animals being murdered illegally to obtain and smuggle their tusks. You can also think about elephants meeting accidents with train almost every month. But, how about thinking of them geared into slavery? 

A wild animal, which has all rights to remain wild, is pushed to slavery right from its childhood until he gives up. Moreover, this slavery has nothing to do with supporting basic lives of people, but for luxurious entertainment. Be it for entertaining wildlife tourists in national parks, a ride in lavish village fair, or a lavish ride in one of the India’s popular fort; Elephants are used as a money chunker machines.  

Elephants awaiting their turn for the next ride at Amer Fort, Jaipur

 The Amer fort, in Jaipur offers tourists a ride from the road, straight into the fort for INR 1100 (one way). This luxurious entertaining trip are carried out mostly by baby elephants, along with some of their elders too. No matter if it’s a cloudy day, rainy day or the sun is beating out the skin, these slaves have to perform for what they are- that is to entertain tourists. Not once, or twice, or thrice, these animals are forced to ferry tourists round the day. The ride is so expensive that it’s not opted usually by Indians, but only the foreign tourists. Often those tourists, who shed a good amount of their money in animal charity, which itself is a sarcasm. Whilst, the entire world has come up together to battle against child slavery, we have shut our eyes towards the animal slavery being performed in front of us in full swing. Not only that, but we barely consider it as a slavery, and instead pay to enjoy.

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