By LB THAPA, lately in Bara district, FOR ONTOTHEROAD.COM

AT LAST THE GOVERNMENT HAS PUT A BAN ON ANIMAL SLAUGHTERING AT GADHIMAI FESTIVAL, WHERE OVER 250,000 ANIMALS WERE SLAUGHTERED IN BELIEVING THAT GOD WOULD BE HAPPY

RELIGIOUS MASSACRE OF ANIMALS

In the interval of five years, hundreds of thousands of animals are taken to Bariyarpur, Nepal, where they are sacrificed before the Hindu goddess Gadhimai.

Such a large number of animals are killed in believing that goddess will be happy and she will offer prosperity to their village. It is believed that the villagers have been following this tradition over the last 290years.

Over 250,000 animals were slaughtered at the past Gadhimai festival in 2009. Many traditional Hindus, including many Indians, who believe in this tradition, cameto witness the festival fromvarious Indian states. What an irony!On the one hand, Hindu theology strongly preaches about nonviolence; on the other hand, it allows animal sacrifice.

The previous Gadhimai festival heldin 2009 was massively covered by several national and international media. As a result, foreign media vehemently condemned the mass murder of animals, and asked the government to put immediate ban on such unscrupulous practice.

However, the organizing committee of Gadhimai Festival has said that they wouldfollow the upcoming festival with the killing of even a larger number of animalsunbelievable indeed!

Nepal is the land of Buddha, who is known as the apostle of love, peace and non-violence.

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This is disgusting, unaccepted and extreme degree of cruelty against animals. Photo: dailymail.com

Doesn’t it sound absurd to kill innocent animals in the land of Buddha? Let’s hope our government will come forward and take a stern action to put an end of such a religious madness.

Besides slaughtering the animals, cruel conduct one like physical torture is regularly meted out against the poor animals and their plight seems no end in sight. The level of cruelty against every kind of specie is extremely high.

Walking through the densely populated urban thoroughfare, one can see miserable condition of many animals. It is a common sight wheredogs tied on with short chains or locked up in a small cage. Many of these poor dogs get no proper food or get bathed regularly. They receive no medical attention either and die due to malnutrition, dehydration or by other medical complications.

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The other day I saw an Indian national who had two ill fed monkeys. One of them appeared to be sick. When I looked at the monkey from a close distance, I found the monkey was beaten up mercilessly. There were marks all over his body.

When I asked the man what happened to the monkey, he said thatthe monkey was ill rather nonchalantly. Then I showed him the welts all over the monkey’s body. He became irritated and retorted, ‘it is a monkey. It will not learn anything unless gets beatings.

This is the only way to teach monkeys. This is our family business. I know better how a monkey should be handled. You should better don’t poke your nose into this matter”.  Looking at the pathetic condition of the poor monkey, I felt as if my heart would come out.

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I even tried to offer him Rs.500/- so that I could buy and later release him in the Rani Ban, the other side of Fewa Lake. But despite my best effort, I failed to cajole him. He refused to sell the poor monkey. I saw the man going away and the poor monkey looked at me if saying thank you very much for your effort, but leave me with my fate.

While going to Kathmandubyroad, I usually see a horrifying scene that fills me with anger and frustration. One can easily see trucks loaded with buffaloes, probably he buffaloes. They are stuck in a small space of the truck.

Their noses are pierced and hooked with a nylon rope. Due to regular movement of the truck, the rope rattles against their noses and bleeds profusely. It is the extreme pain makes them unable to move. Once they are taken to the destination, they are dragged down without caring about their wounds.

OK, there is a ban on the continuation of Gadhimai tradition, but animal sacrifice is still continued on the festival of Dasain. Should not it also be banned? Photo: Animal Nepal Campaigns
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On the occasion of Dasain, the biggest festival of Hindus, animals are sacrificed to please the deity. Photo: Asia News
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Donkeys, horses, mules and oxen too suffer extreme degree of physical torment. These animals are forced to carry tons of loads beyond their capacity. As a result, their skins break apart and fester, but their owners pay no attention for their wounds. They flog them with whips and keep them walking on their feet.

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Sometimes I’m surprised how several animal rights group can shirk from their responsibility. Haven’t they seen the plight of these animals? If yes, then why they have not acted so far! The cruelty against animals is being executed rather openly, challenging the authority of the nation.

Now time has come to introduce Animal Welfare Legislation (AWL) so that cruelty against animals can be averted. Similarly, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) should also act more responsibly to protect animal rights.

Those who torture animals must be brought to book and get punished by the law. Strict law and people’s awareness towards animals can help animals to live a dignified life.

LB Thapa, the blogger

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