DEMAND BAN ON ELEPHANTS IN INDIA FORCED TO FIGHT AND PERFORM IN FESTIVALS

  • by: Tracey Dengate & Leanne Green - Animal Awareness Worldwide
  • target: Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, Honourable Minister of State, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, The International Organisation for Animal Protection – OIPA in India Naresh Kadyan international@oipa.org In Defence of Animals IDA India info@

WE DEMAND BAN ON ELEPHANTS FORCED TO FIGHT AT SUWORI FESTIVAL BOKO AND THE USE OF ELEPHANTS IN FESTIVAL OF JAIPUR

The word FESTIVAL conjures up images of fun, music, merriment, laughter, celebration! Throw in fireworks, colourful outfits, streamers, singing, games, dancers, food and what could anyone possibly find to object about?

We are objecting to the use of elephants in the festival of Jaipur and specifically those majestic animals which are being forced to fight in the tribal land of India’s north-eastern Assam state.  

What had also 'caught the ire of animal rights activists is embellishment of elephants with chemical laced colours. The activists contended that acts in elephant festival come under animal performance category and needs to be registered before the AWB.'

The gentle elephant is an easy target. For centuries they have been captured, broken and live a life of misery at the hands of humans. Uncaring that to get to a state of meek acceptance, these animals have been beaten, chained, whipped, starved, physically and mentally tortured to allow them to be controlled by the mahouts with their ever present ankus (bull hook). Babies are forcibly stolen from their mothers (and herds) to become slaves used as money makers for uncaring owners.  They are forced to stand hours every day in the one spot as they are revered by the hordes. Again, what could we object to? They are worshipped, held in high esteem. What a crock!

Not widely publicised are the elephant fights in the tribal land of India’s north-eastern Assam stateInformation has not been easy to obtain. I wonder why? (I secretly hope that I will be inundated with emails telling me not only is this banned, but it doesn’t even occur under cover (in secret) – hopefully petition closed).

Sadly, the abuse goes well beyond the fight itself.

Owners starve and confine the elephants to turn them into fighters. Some even attack the animals with iron hooks to alter their gentle personalities and make them more aggressive. Without social interaction, intelligent elephants suffer from mental anguish and a host of physical ailments like tuberculosis and arthritis.

Captivity can decrease an elephant’s lifespan by decades.

More than a dozen warrior elephants are forced to fight each other in front of huge crowds.Two animals are ridden by men brandishing sticks inside a makeshift ring. The elephants (who appear unwell) are branded with white markings, they are then seen wildly swinging their trunks and bashing their bodies and heads against their rivals in clashes which can last for more than 20 minutes, as the crowd in the arena roars in delight.

The objective is to push one elephant out of the ring. The elephant who remains is the winner.

Imagine the mental anguish these elephants are forced to endure by fighting.

Background of the Elephant Festival of Jaipur

The Elephant Festival of Jaipur is a unique event held annually in Jaipur and has become a major drawcard for tourists. Jaipur is the capital of the north Indian State of Rajasthan.  Rajasthan Tourism revived the tradition by including the Elephant Festival in the cultural calendar.  This pageant, devised especially with the tourist in mind only originated a decade ago. Most of the participants are female elephants. These elephants are decorated for their forced performances. The mahouts (elephant keepers) adorn them from tusk to tail with various trinkets, glittering ornaments and embroidered velvets. Painting their trunks, foreheads and feet with floral motifs. Groomed to perfection, glittering in gold.  They were draped in lush fabrics, elaborately painted, ears pierced so more fabric could be draped with large saddles sitting on their backs so tourists could sit comfortably to get their photos taken. Row upon row of elephants catwalk before an enthralled field of spectators.

The festival starts with an impressive ceremonial procession of the majestic animals, along with lancers on horses, chariots, camels, cannons and palanquins, accompanied by the echoing sound of the bankiya (trumpet).

(It is acknowledged the elephants are the centre of attraction in the many races and beauty pageants).

"The game of Polo was a highlight of the festival. Dressed in saffron and red turbans, the teams try to score goals with long sticks and a plastic football. Finally the tourists are invited to mount the elephants and play Holi. Participants dance with great vigour – the excitement rising to a deafening crescendo."

“The inclusion of the game of Polo was more recent, being inspired by a cartoon in “Punch” magazine that showed the Indian Polo team atop an elephant after it won all the international tournaments."

The elephants move gracefully in procession, run races and participate in the spring festival of Holi.

Hallelujah!  It is festival time for the elephants!

Mar 15, 2014

“JAIPUR: The famous elephant festival which was scheduled a day before Holi at polo ground has been cancelled for the second consecutive year. Sources said that Animal Welfare Board (AWB) has not responded on the permission of using elephants in the festival sought by the tourism department.” http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Elephant-festival-cancelled/articleshow/32039002.cms

“This year, the veterinary experts’ report revealed invalid ownership certificates, partially and nearly completely blind elephants forced to work, the use of iron ankuses (rods with a sharp metal hook on one end) in violation of the directives of the Rajasthan High Court, ankus wounds on the elephants, severe foot problems caused by forcing the animals to stand and work on concrete, elephants kept chained or tightly tethered and elephants made to live alone in barren concrete cells.” http://www.petaindia.com/media/elephants-allowed-jaipur-elephant-festival-says-animal-welfare-board/

Centre advised to ban use of tuskers for performances

By Meera Bhardwaj  |   Published: 15th September 2016 The Indian Express

“This advisory says elephants, our national heritage animals, should be included in the list of wild animals that are banned from performances.

Animal welfare experts say this would include animals that are trained, exhibited and paraded for Mysuru Dasara, Thrissur Pooram, Elephant festival in Jaipur during Holi, other temple festivals and events;  animals performing tricks in circuses, joy rides in forest safaris and at tourist destinations such as Goa and Jaipur.

The recommendation is based as per Section 22 (ii) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, that bans training, exhibition and use of wild species for performances in India. Elephants, though protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, were excluded from this law which was, however, applicable for other wild species.

The study report came out with substantial evidence of cruelty where elephants were violently trained, their spirits broken to make them obey human commands, forced to perform tricks that are not natural to their behaviour, and exhibited in crowded, noisy and unnatural environments. The report also drew attention to the increasing number of incidents in which elephants have reacted to human abuse and have hurt or killed many people.”

Read the full report here http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2016/sep/15/Centre-advised-to-ban-use-of-tuskers-for-performances-1519618.html

It cannot be disputed that Jaipur, referred to as “The pink city” is stunningly beautiful, rich in history and reportedly one of the most visited tourist destinations in Rajasthan.

With all this beauty at their fingertips, it should be easy to put an end to the use of elephants, (indeed all animals) in religious and cultural festivals.

Many animal agencies and groups are working for elephant rights, they continue to use all at their disposal to bring an end to these atrocities.  We are supporting them in their fight.  This could be looked at as “just another petition”. But, it is more than that. Every day more people are becoming aware, these people need to be reached and given the opportunity to add their voice.

Please support us in our petition to DEMAND BAN ON ELEPHANTS FORCED TO FIGHT AT SUWORI FESTIVAL BOKO AND THE USE OF ELEPHANTS IN FESTIVAL OF JAIPUR

We do encourage you to read all the reference links.

Please sign, share & tweet this petition.

Photo cred Shariq Allaqaband/UB photos

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sickening-moment-hundreds-cheer-elephant-5654713

Video - YouTube 

Further references

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/government-to-lift-ban-allow-animals-to-perform-in-religious-events/story-Ux7yo2aMOi6FHuOtuZJ8kL.ht

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2016/sep/15/Centre-advised-to-ban-use-of-tuskers-for-performances-1519618.html

https://forcechange.com/142508/stop-cruel-elephant-fighting/

http://www.tourism-of-india.com/events-festival/elephant-festival.html

http://kimberlymoynahan.com/2011/04/a-dozen-ways-to-stop-an-elephant/

http://www.petaindia.com/media/elephants-allowed-jaipur-elephant-festival-says-animal-welfare-board/

http://mindfulwanderlust.com/elephant-festival-jaipur-india/

https://www.cyclinjaipur.com/single-post/2015/02/01/History-of-Elephants-in-Jaipur-Northern-India

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/india/articles/India-considers-banning-elephant-rides/

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/PETA-notice-to-govt-on-elephant-festival/articleshow/4221108.cms

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/elephant-owners-cannot-be-unkind-to-the-animals-must-follow-law-sc/story-6pwcF96khUnCbnpWJBiBmI.html

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Elephant-festival-cancelled/articleshow/32039002.cms

http://www.viralspell.com/a-disturbing-video-shows-indian-elephants-forced-to-fight-each-other-for-villagers-entertainment/

http://www.lcanimal.org/index.php/blog/entry/brutal-elephant-fighting-at-the-suwori-harvest-festival

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi


Shri Anil Madhav Dave, Honourable Minister of State, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, New Delhi anil.dave@sansad.nic.in


The International Organisation for Animal Protection – OIPA in India


Naresh Kadyan international@oipa.org


In Defence of Animals IDA India info@idaindia.org


Amit Deol Pfa Sirohi pfasirohi@gmail.com


Dear Respected Recipients


Ref petition:  DEMAND BAN ON ELEPHANTS FORCED TO FIGHT AT SUWORI FESTIVAL BOKO AND THE USE OF ELEPHANTS IN FESTIVAL OF JAIPUR


We respectfully ask that you place a ban on elephants forced to fight in the tribal land of India’snorth-eastern Assam state and the use of elephants in Festival of Jaipur.


Elephants are forced to endure brutal training which breaks them mentally and physically. These animals are forced to perform unnatural acts for the entertainment of large crowds.


Without social interaction, intelligent elephants suffer from mental anguish and a host of physical ailments like tuberculosis and arthritis. Captivity can decrease an elephant’s lifespan by decades


In the tribal land of India’s north-eastern Assam state elephants are forced to fight for human entertainment.  


Sadly, the abuse goes well beyond the fight itself. Owners starve and confine the elephants to turn them into fighters. Some even attack the animals with iron hooks to alter their gentle personalities and make them more aggressive. The warrior elephants use their heads and bodies to force each other out of the ring


Animal welfare experts say this would include animals that are trained, exhibited and paraded for Mysuru Dasara, Thrissur Pooram, Elephant festival in Jaipur during Holi, other temple festivals and events;  animals performing tricks in circuses, joy rides in forest safaris and at tourist destinations such as Goa and Jaipur.


The recommendation is based as per Section 22 (ii) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, that bans training, exhibition and use of wild species for performances in India. Elephants, though protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, were excluded from this law which was, however, applicable for other wild species.


The study report came out with substantial evidence of cruelty where elephants were violently trained, their spirits broken to make them obey human commands, forced to perform tricks that are not natural to their behaviour, and exhibited in crowded, noisy and unnatural environments. The report also drew attention to the increasing number of incidents in which elephants have reacted to human abuse and have hurt or killed many people.”


It cannot be disputed that Jaipur, referred to as “The pink city” is stunningly beautiful, rich in history and reportedly one of the most visited tourist destinations in Rajasthan.
With all this beauty at your fingertips, it should be easy to put an end to elephants (indeed all animals) in religious and cultural festivals.


Yours Sincerely


See attached list of signatures


Reference


http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/government-to-lift-ban-allow-animals-to-perform-in-religious-events/story-Ux7yo2aMOi6FHuOtuZJ8kL.ht


http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2016/sep/15/Centre-advised-to-ban-use-of-tuskers-for-performances-1519618.html


https://forcechange.com/142508/stop-cruel-elephant-fighting/


http://www.tourism-of-india.com/events-festival/elephant-festival.html


http://kimberlymoynahan.com/2011/04/a-dozen-ways-to-stop-an-elephant/


http://www.petaindia.com/media/elephants-allowed-jaipur-elephant-festival-says-animal-welfare-board/


http://mindfulwanderlust.com/elephant-festival-jaipur-india/


https://www.cyclinjaipur.com/single-post/2015/02/01/History-of-Elephants-in-Jaipur-Northern-India


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/india/articles/India-considers-banning-elephant-rides/


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/PETA-notice-to-govt-on-elephant-festival/articleshow/4221108.cms


http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/elephant-owners-cannot-be-unkind-to-the-animals-must-follow-law-sc/story-6pwcF96khUnCbnpWJBiBmI.html


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Elephant-festival-cancelled/articleshow/32039002.cms


http://www.viralspell.com/a-disturbing-video-shows-indian-elephants-forced-to-fight-each-other-for-villagers-entertainment/


http://www.lcanimal.org/index.php/blog/entry/brutal-elephant-fighting-at-the-suwori-harvest-festival


 

Update #14 months ago
Sadly we have ONLY 2,163 signatures.
Surely there are more elephant supporters than this!.
It has been brought to my attention that the title and format could have been a bit misleading, so I have changed this. All facts remain the same.
Please be advised that the information links are provided for your reference use and I encourage you to read them.
These elephants need to be retired from their enforced roles as entertainment.
Thank you and PLEASE sign, share and tweet. xx
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