By Shambhavi Saxena:
Those affiliated with the BJP have an impressive track record when it comes to being violent. Last year, MP Sakshi Maharaj (who calls cows “our mother”) issued a very broad death threat to beef-eaters. The Party’s IT Cell guy, Sanjay Rathod tweeted his urge to kill JNU students and professors. DUSU President Satendra Awana, of the ABVP, abused The Quint’s journalists in January, and was booked for dowry harassment this week.
And now we have BJP MP from Mussoorie, Ganesh Joshi, who allegedly mercilessly beat a police horse till he broke its leg.
Before somebody gets defensive about their preferred political parties, allow me to clarify that no party has animal cruelty on its manifesto. But it may as well be when individuals use party ideology to harass non-savarnas over beef, and don’t give two squats about the welfare of actual living animals.
And what did this man have to say about his actions? Lo and behold, the words of an unrepentant alleged criminal:“The horse was not given any water throughout the day. As soon as some water was given to the horse he was fine, he was just thirsty. I am not at fault at all.”
Shaktimaan, the 13-year-old horse in question, who has served in the Uttrakhand police force since 2007, suffered multiple fractures, and after a four-hour operation, has now been put in isolation to allow him to heal. But have you ever seen a three-legged horse? No. That’s because there is literally no way to be a disabled horse. It’s euthanasia, plain and simple.
Now, have you ever seen a horse-assaulting madman? Possibly many times over, because one might even be a part of Uttrakhand’s legislative assembly. This gross display of violence did not go unnoticed, as many offered up their genuine disgust and shock at the act:
BJP MLA beats up a horse. No confirmation whether the horse was anti-national https://t.co/oeTt5xhUwb
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) March 14, 2016
Dehradun: Horse injured during a BJP protest against State Government. pic.twitter.com/Tm4lsuYrbp
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 14, 2016
BJP not helped by folks defending the indefensible. Clear that @mlajoshi swung lathi at the horse. That’s barbaric and deserves punishment.
— Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) March 15, 2016
That horse should’ve kicked him in the face.
— Sonakshi Sinha (@sonakshisinha) March 15, 2016
Shocking footage @IndiaToday BJP mob beating police horse to pulp in D-Dun. You deify stray cows but thrash a horse with 15th Cent. cruelty
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) March 14, 2016
The only problem with the Horse is that it is not a Cow.#IsHorseAntiNational
— Lepidopterophobiac (@IchhadhariNaag) March 15, 2016
Several accounts have taken to black humour and pot-shots at the recent saffron “cry wolf” of “anti-national”:
— Vinod Mehta (@DrunkVinodMehta) March 15, 2016
And journalist Madhavan Narayanan raises an important question here:
If you assault a police horse, this is an attack on an officer on duty, no?
— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) March 15, 2016
In Texas, a K9 unit police dog Ogar, who was killed in the line of fire, was honoured by the whole police force and other community members. However, given this incident, and the brouhaha over Jallikattu (bull fighting) last year, extending any sort of respect to fellow living beings does not seem to be a part of the ethos here in India. In spite of animals holding an important and even sacred position in a lot of traditions and beliefs. But forget about tradition. There’s a reason we have a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act! It’s because the constitution of this state believes that animals have a right to dignity.
An FIR under this very act has been lodged against Joshi, but it remains to be seen whether yet another BJP MP will escape the long arms of the law. After all, if humans in this country have to wait decades for some semblance of justice, what chance does this poor horse have?