“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
Ours is a nation which, in no way, is courteous to animals. Every day either on social media or live on the roads, we are “blessed” with multiple views of sheer cruelty zeroed in on animals. And this “gentle” behaviour towards the poor creatures intensifies on special occasions. Anyone who actively uses Facebook would agree to my previous statement as a lot of weirdly grotesque (to say the least) activity has taken its course over the span of time dedicated to the peak campaign period of the recent general elections in Pakistan. Videos labelled as “graphic”, however, still pop up in our news feed daily, where some helpless animal is being tortured for no apparent reason, even after all the fuss about elections has calmed.
The most significant of the recent events was the murder (actual murder) of an innocent white stray dog somewhere in Bannu. The dog is seen draped in Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf’s flag and is seen badly injured and being hardly able to walk in the very opening of the cursed clip. Soon, the harmless creature is shot, all while the camera is rolling and we get to see the poor creature succumb to the gunshots as he writhe on the ground till death. Many NGO’s, most notably “Todd’s welfare society”, have taken notice of this disturbing video and are planning on going for a lawsuit against the heartless souls responsible for this. On another occasion, a donkey, named “Hero”, was seen being madly beaten on the basis that the supporters of some rival political party are donkeys, hence the madness. On digging deeper into the aftermath of this heart wrenching event, I found out that another poor donkey found itself in similar circumstances. I am not much of follower of politics neither am I aware of public sentiments towards the candidates they support, but I, for one, truly know that this is no way of showing support or opposition.
Our people being who they are do not, however, require any special occasion to display their affection towards animals as instances of cruelty surface almost daily. A few days back, I saw a monkey who was tied to an electric pole, with a very short string. The facial expression of the timorous, helpless clearly indicated how badly it wanted to break free. To add up, this all happened on a cloudy day, increasing the danger of electrocution. One thing which truly upsets me is why these “madarees” (monkey jugglers), treat their monkeys with no respect. I am in no way implying that a juggler was responsible for the electric pole event but just stating what I have been observing as a child. To this date I remember how a juggler once beat his monkey in the face with a stick while I was watching the act. To this date, I consider myself the guilty party for wishing to see the act at the cost of the wellbeing of a noble creature. Are these monkeys not the sole source of income to these jugglers? I think so! They definitely deserve respect from their owners, who should value the animal.
As the days are marching on, people are becoming more and more aware of the rights all the religions and every sophisticated society give to its animals. It is satisfying to know that the murderers of the poor dog are under arrest as the KP police was quick to take action, but it’s absolutely painful to know that such an event happened in the first place. The KP police’s swift action is a proof that people’s voices are being heard and justice is being done. But we need to increase the radius of our knowledge and work, as a team, towards establishing proper rights for the animal s which should form a part of our constitution. This can be done by supporting NGO’s (PAWS, Pakistan Animal welfare organization, Animal care association Pakistan, Tod’s welfare society, to name a few) by not only donating money but also investing time. By visiting the shelters and maybe doing some form of internship will definitely broaden the horizons of the way youth view animals. I am sure that the day we start treating these speech less creatures with dignity, our nation will embark on the journey to success and civility.