India is a nation that stands strong with a population of over a billion people and is also a land of diversity. This multiplicity is also perceptible in the sphere of religion. Billion people in the population recognize themselves in different religions and inculcate the customs and accept all norms and traditions that their religion demands them to follow. One is so immersed in their religion that nothing comes before or is above their religion. All religions have different values, beliefs, and traditions and one is expected to adhere to these. When so many communities live together in a society then the existence of communal disharmony is no surprise. Hinduism, the oldest religion in India believes that most gods have an animal as a symbol of themselves and their connection to it. Although the animals are not the direct extension of god in some spiritual form or anything but they are considered as a part of god’s personality.
The cow is considered very holy and to protect it from all harm is the utmost priority. According to data released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, 278 people were killed in 2098 communal incidents in different parts of the country. But the protection of other animals is not as prominent as to the extent of the measures taken to protect cows. While a man is lynched in the name of religion or rather for the protection of the cow, it can be concluded that a man who is worthy of protecting himself is numbed in the name of religion, although the Article 21of the Indian constitution reads as “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law”.
In a country like India, where even a man falls prey to beliefs of religion, animals are mere objects that act as an aid to the needs of humans. Animals are regarded as sheer objects for wanton human use and consumption. Many religions still practice the ritual of animal sacrifice and do not find it villainous in any way as to them it is an act to please god and goddess which in return will bring them good fortune, prosperity, or happiness.
National Law Banning Animal Sacrifice: 2018–2019
At least since 2010, there has also been a recurring discussion of a national law banning animal sacrifice in Hindu temples. In the previous scene of the Chilaw controversy, the Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, said that there would be a national prohibition on animal sacrifice in Sri Lanka, as he was meeting with Hindu commanders in Gampaha. Jayaratne contemplated that animals sacrificed in the disgusting view of religious events. After 2 years as the Chilaw case was pending before the appellate court, Nishantha Sri Wamasinghe, a spokesperson for Jathika Hela Urumaya “JHU” ones again was known for a nationwide ban on animal sacrifice. Bikya News encapsulated Wamasinghe’s remarks, by telling that he contended that “as a Sinhala Buddhist country Sri Lanka has the right to protect animals which are in accordance with Buddhist teachings’ ‘ (Sri Lanka’s Buddhist 2012). They stated another anonymous JHU official as arguing that animal sacrifice needs to be scrapped because “today’s modern world these practices or exercising are not required to perform religious service”.
Around the same time, a third JHU official, Omalpe Sobitha Thera, called for Kovil minister (of religion) to broadcast the ritual so the country could see the animal sacrifices. Then they mourn that priests were moving down with the ceremonies and rituals even though the “All Ceylon Hindu Congress has acknowledged that this animal sacrifice is not a ritual of the Hindu religion but a myth which was surviving amongst the people” (JHU wants the animal sacrifice telecast 2012). In September 2011, the Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva organized a 200-300 people’s march in the protest of the sacrifices at Munneswaram.
In 2016, forcibly one month before the Jaffna case was presented to the High Court, discussion resurfaced about a national ban, led by the Minister of Improvement, Displacements is on Reforms and Hindu Religious Affairs, D. M. Swaminathan. According to the Daily News stated that the Minister by saying that his individual beliefs were that “animal sacrifices or offering in religious temples should be prohibited” and that he trusts the majority of people supported such a ban, it’s a “ritual or business 2018”. In the month of February 2016, Minister Swaminathan pronounced that he decided to initiate the Prevention of Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Shrines Bill which, as the name recommended, would criminalize animal sacrifice in all Hindu temples. Despite public oaths, it took two and a half years before Swaminathan gratified his guarantee.
In September 2018, the Minister presented and handed such a bill to the Cabinet (Cabinet Proposal to Ban Animal Sacrifices 2018). According to this came after “more than 300 to 400 Buddhist monks and brothers handed over a petition to the administration with 750,000 signatures rivals in the exercise of animal sacrifice”.
In the current time famous and mostly known Hinduism is affected by many practices and faiths. In aspects of rituals and worship practices, both Tantric and Sanskrit effects have come up with shaping lived Hinduism. Tantric and Tantra-guided practices, including but not restricted to blood donations and animal sacriﬁce, have found their way into the popular or conventional Hinduism, for example, into ojha practices. These practices and exercises as well as others connected to Tantra have been against the Smarta Hinduism and continue to be for a number of reasons. It is true that the Tantric textual tradition of uccatana in general and as related to the goddess Dhumavati includes blood offerings; moreover, self-protective and destructive Tantric rituals use animal sacriﬁce in a very speciﬁc form and for a very speciﬁc reason, namely, to get rid of Blood: Text and Context of Animal Sacriﬁce boost the ritual with the potency of an ostensibly powerful animal species.
The goddess Dhumavati, despite her highly specialized textual representation as just Tantric deity with a limited and exceptionally dangerous sphere of action and ritual, was largely adapted to normative Brahmanic standards and transformed into a widely respected, benign and protective goddess whose sphere of action and ritual exercises meet the needs of her present enthusiast. Combining textual and civilized research has also come up with understanding how changing environments and conditions, such as changes in communal structures, changes in the backgrounds of devotees, or the rise of sanskritizing and norming tendencies, have exerted an essential and straight away inﬂuence on modifications in the pantheon, on ritual and worship exercises and practices, and on the belief system of present Hinduism.
The alteration of both self-defense and destructive rituals and of the deity Dhumavati, who is frequently related to these rituals in the textual traditions as well as in her ﬂourishing temple in Banaras, distinctly follow general tendencies in Hinduism.
Animal welfare board–
The Board advises changes to laws, rules, and regulations about animal welfare issues. In 2011, a new order for the Animal Welfare Act was issued for comment. Directions are also offered to organisations and officials such as police to help them elucidate and apply the laws.
The Board issues printing to raise perception on different animal welfare issues. The Board’s Education Team gives views on animal welfare subjects, and trains members of the community to be Board Certified Animal Welfare Educators. The Animal welfare board also designates people to the position or spot of Animal Welfare Officers, who serve as the point of contact or communication between the people, the administration and law enforcement agencies.
Animal abuse appears in many types and forms, but for purposes of simplicity, it can be distinguished into two crucial categories: abuse that comes as a result of carelessness or harm that results from deliberate acts. The lines are sometimes obscure between what is intended and what is not, and cases are pronounced on the basis of case-specific facts. Every nation-state now has faulty laws against animal cruelty, but they vary tremendously from state to state in the acts they designate as faults, and in the punishment, they foist for those crimes.
In the instances of neglect, abuse can be the result of incomprehension, such as when a pet owner didn’t recognize that a pet needed veterinary treatment or therapy or when it is the result of behavior that a person should have known would cause harm to animals but permitted to continue.
In today’s world, the myth and practice of animal sacrifices cannot be considered relevant because in the name of the custom, rituals and worship killing animals and offering them cannot be ideal. There are creature penances conveyed as a religious custom in numerous religions. They are killing innocent animals in the name of sacrifice just to fulfil their beliefs and it is sometimes merely for the fun factor. In everyone’s mind, they have a wrong belief that if they will sacrifice an animal everything which is being wrong will be fine with that sacrifice. So that the animal sacrifice in the name of religious activity should be banned because animals also have feelings. Animals are sacrificed mostly because of their specific ideal god which is not at all important. Killing animals can only make a person satisfied according to their respective superstitious feelings.
- P.K. Doraiswamy, ‘Animal Sacrifice: a corrective’, The Hindu (Tuesday,16 September,2003)
- Palaniappan Subramanyam, ‘Meet Apatanis, a gentle tribe from Arunachal Pradesh’, The Hindu (27th February, 2019)
- Tom Regan, Animal Sacrifices (1st Edition, Temple University Press, 1987)
Frequently asked questions-
- What is animal cruelty?
Animal cruelty includes unprovoked inflicting harm, injuring, or killing an animal. The brutality can be intended, such as kicking, burning, stabbing, beating, or shooting; or it can involve neglect, such as depriving an animal of water, shelter, food, and required medical treatment.
- What is animal welfare?
Animal welfare may be explained as the “state of an individual in relation to its environment.” This involves “how much has to be done to cope and how well or badly coping attempts succeed”. Animal welfare ranges on a continuity from very good to very poor and is able to be measured scientifically.
- What is the difference between animal welfare and animal rights?
Animal rights are against any use of animals; “animals are not for our eating, wearing, experimenting on, or use for entertainment”. Animal activists believe that there is not a relevant difference between humans and animals, and the oath to recognize and uphold the individual rights of all species.
- What is the Pregnant Mares Urine Industry?
The pregnant Mares industry includes the variety of the urine of pregnant mares from which estrogen conjugates are extracted for the production of hormone renewal therapy, Premarin, for the treatment of menopause and osteoporosis.
- What is PETA against for?
PETA is an animal rights organization and, as such, it rejects behaviorism and also opposes the use and abuse of animals in any way, as food, clothing, enjoyment, or testing subjects.