Sir — It might seem shocking to a handful of people, but the murder of 16 puppies would not be big news for most Indians. The bodies of the pups were found stuffed in plastic bags near a hostel run by the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital. This is not the first such heinous incident either. In November last year, four pups sleeping in a garbage dump were set ablaze in a Hyderabad suburb. There are countless other examples of this kind. The only animal which seems to be safe from human depredations in India is the cow. Tigers are being mercilessly gunned down, elephants are regularly run over by trains, rhinos are poached with impunity.
The video of the puppies being thrashed is horrifying. Even more shocking is that the culprits are nursing students, whose calling is to save lives. Did not the sight of the puppies moaning in pain affect them at all? Further, what about the student who recorded this video? Could he or she not have gone down or alerted the authorities to save the puppies? The two women who were arrested have been granted bail. They should instead be made examples of and given the maximum term of five years of imprisonment.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,
Sir — The recent report of two nursing students in Calcutta beating 16 puppies to death not only sends a shudder down our spine but also shows the depths of savagery to which Indians have sunk. How have we become so desensitized to violence against animals?
Brutality against the defenseless is the worst kind of violence. As long as the general attitude of society towards animals remains that of contempt or indifference, such incidents will recur.
Sir — Animal lovers across the city expect that the police will conduct a serious and proper inquiry into the killing of 16 puppies and the perpetrators will be given the maximum punishment under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code. Besides, the case must be dealt with swiftly for the punishment to have any prohibitive effect.
Sita Ram Behani,
Sir — In 1958, Mao Zedong ordered all the sparrows to be killed in China in order to save crops. Traditional Chinese medicine fuels a large part of the international trade in poaching of tigers and rhinos. Japan has made whaling legal again. In India, the princely sport of shikaar decimated animal populations. As such, the killing of 16 puppies is no surprise. Cruelty towards animals has just scaled new heights.
I can foresee a terrifying future where there will be no trees and no birds or animals in the world, only ‘inhuman’ beings.
Sir — Murder is considered a heinous crime because no one has the right to take the life of another. Yet, this logic seldom applies when it comes to the killing of animals. Such incidents only draw outrage from a select few as animals do not have votes. Our society is not evolved enough to understand that every creature has the right to safety, survival, and compassion; and the more vulnerable the creature, the greater its claim on humanity. Unless the police and political leaders understand this and take proactive steps to counter cruelty against animals, the society will become increasingly brutal.
Purnima L. Toolsidass,
Sir — There is a new fad doing the rounds on social media. It is called the ‘10-year-challenge’ and it invites people to share a picture of themselves from 10 years back alongside a current image. But reports suggest that this is just another method devised by the technology companies to gather personal data to train artificial intelligence-powered machines. Facial recognition and aging software are key tools in the Surveillance State. What better way to teach machines how human faces age than feed it actual before and after images of thousands of real persons? People should stop giving in to trends blindly and think before sharing personal data online.
Date: 19 Feb 2019