In Kerala there are around 750 elephants in captivity. To boast the tagline of “God’s own country”, Kerala, rich in temples, culture, arts, crafts celebrate their festivals with much fervor with Elephants in forefront.
The winter spring season of festivals (known as Pooram, Vela, Ratholsavam) in Northern and Central Kerala which begins around January and which lasts till early May is a witness to usual hot and dry season. This doesn’t stop the organizers of these festivals from making the lives of captive elephants any comfortable.
The elephants are adorned with rich ornaments, and is made to walk long distances on asphalt during middle of the day under the hot sun. These elephants also acts as a carriage for 3-4 men. Soon, they will be made to witness thumping noises of intoxicated men, loud percussion and soon (vedikettu) crackers.
There are laws and regulations supposed to protect these animals, but to nobody’s notice. The cruel treatment paves way for elephants reaching musth (madness) which results them becoming raging violent beings oft
en resulting in property and human loss. The last season was witness to many such bouts. Live footage of these violent acts are available on YouTube and all. The truth that these creatures are only reacting to continual torture is brushed aside. The continual madness bouts of elephants haven’t made any change in the authorities’ stand fearing backlash from the community.
-Santhosh K Ramachandran
P.S: Elephants are intelligent beings having a brain mass to body mass ratio higher than Human beings. Elephant is also the state animal of Kerala.