The recent incident of a pregnant elephant being killed in Kerala after being fed a cracker filled pineapple is all over the internet for the last two days. The level of outrage shown by society is really heartening. It implies that we care about our innocent and voiceless animals.
People are voicing their anger using social media platforms demanding strict action against the culprits. Some demand arrests while some want nothing less than a death penalty for those responsible behind the barbaric murder. Celebrities are also taking to Twitter and Instagram to express their shock over the incident.
As per the officials, the probe is on and they still don’t know where the elephant had suffered injury weeks ago citing elephants can walk about 100 kilometres a day. The incident came to light on May 30, 2020, after a section forest officer, Mohan Krishnan had written a heartfelt note on Facebook that went viral. The officials suspect that the death may have been caused by the illegal practice of using explosive snares to kill wild bears and pigs, that was accidentally consumed by the elephant. Even if it’s true, it doesn’t belittle the barbaric killing and instead brings out a larger worrying issue. So far, so good.
Scrolling through social media trends, a very disturbing pattern that comes out of this incident is the demonization of Kerala. Some of us can’t stop ourselves from politicizing each and every issue depending on the convenience of the narrative that suits us. A large number of users can be seen mocking Kerala with jibes like literacy can’t earn common sense. Even if the killing was deliberate and for fun, it was done by a few people. Is it right to organize a hate campaign against Kerala and dehumanize them by slurs like Literacy: 100 % and Humanity: 0 %? No.
Digging deep into the propaganda, you will also find how conveniently fake news peddlers have shifted the geography of the incident from Mannarkad range of Palakkad district to Malappuram district. Shockingly, Union Ministers like Maneka Gandhi and Prakash Javadekar have also reported the place as Malappuram. This organized hate campaign looks more like an attempt to create another virtual community of enemies in the form of Keralites, just the way Nizamuddin Markaz incident was used to propagate hate towards a particular community. So, stand up for humanity and be aware of hidden propagandas run in the name of showing empathy towards animals.