Is sacrifice different from murder?

It wasn’t long time ago, when a video of a Chennai medico throwing a canine off a terrace attracted the ire of millions of animal lovers. The students involved in the act were charge- sheeted with animal rights violation by the police of Tamil Nadu. The dog however is recovering well, thanks to those activists.

Cut to the fact that we have just finished celebrating one of the biggest festivals of animal sacrifice throughout the world. Innocent animals were slaughtered in broad daylight while men made merry by partaking morsels of that meat. Gory pictures of animal blood mixed with rainwater flowing in the streets of Dhaka surfaced on the internet.

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Juxtaposing the two incidents, the latter should have elicited pitiful responses from the empathetic activists, but did it? Can a celebration of this kind kill the mercy from the human heart in the name of religion? Or should we pass off anything under the tag of religion as the will of God? Had it been prescribed in the religious books that throwing off an animal from the terrace would be sufficient for an individual to atone for any mistake committed in his/ her lifetime, the medicos from Chennai would become the next mullas or pundits to conduct this ritual.

As a human being do we inherit the right to eliminate any other life form on this planet? The sad part is that this ritualistic practice has been made as the way of life from ages. Every religion has an incident in the past which depicted pleasing of the deity by sacrificing a part or the whole of a voiceless animal.  It looks as if an inattentive student noted only part of the whole procedure moreover it makes me wonder if our ancestors were so heartless to behead these creatures just to satisfy their deities who in turn would grant selfish desires. The way these rituals are engraved in the human livelihood causes a reason for worry. People have developed their lifestyle based on some of these celebrations. Animals are reared to become healthy looking so that they fetch a good price in the market when sold. Many of these festivities occur once in a year and those helpless families have no choice but to cash in on these occasions, they do have dreams to fulfill.

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Forget the animals, at least pity thy folk.

As if not happy with the effortless sacrifice of the under privileged creatures, there has been an escalation to taking away life of fellow human beings and this too in the name of religion. Should it be argued that human sacrileges were also picked up from an already existing practice or perhaps two hundred years later some other individual would question the sanity of this existing generation? Like how we are trying to care for the sustainability of the planet to the future generations, we must also pass on the practice of empathy towards all the living creatures to them. Atrocities against the humankind have gained a huge momentum in the last couple of years with the Islamic State at the helm. This never ending cycle of “eye for an eye” would lead the whole world blindfolded.

Killing a fellow human being is always questionable. Innocent soldiers always lost their lives owing to “orders” backed by greediness to gain power, wealth and fame. Masses were murdered trying to prove that their religion is superior. Be it the Thugees sect of the Hindus who strangled men to appease the goddess or the crusades of Christianity, the Muslim versus Buddhist conflict in Burma or the Jihad in the name of God, these are just a few examples on how tapping an individual on the religious front can unleash a slew of emotions negating the empathy side for a fellow being.

Whether passing off killing of living beings under the banner of religion is cruelty to animals will always remain as an eternal predicament.  Arguments, debates and discussions on trying to justify this blind faith would definitely not solve the problem. It is when an individual exercises his right to feel pity for every other living being that there might be a hope for a change.

 

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