Govinda Tandon of the Pashupati Development Trust in Annapurna Post, 17 November
Many distortions have sullied the great philosophy of tolerance, non-violence and humanity that is inherent in the Hindu religion. Unfortunately, many superstitious rituals that have nothing to do with Hinduism have now come to be regarded as part of this great faith. Among the distortions of Hinduism is the practice of animal sacrifice. We think we can earn divine merit by killing and sacrificing to the gods innocent animals that trust us to protect them. Our conscience tells us it is wrong, yet we continue with mass sacrifices of animals. No Hindu text or god and goddess has ever asked for appeasement by sacrifice. It is us selfish human beings who have transformed the gods into blood-thirsty ogres.
The Gadhimai Festival of Bara district is starting on Monday, in the next ten days there will be thousands of animals that will be slaughtered there. A thousand people have been hired to do the killing, tenders have been floated for the leather and meat. The sacrifice is being driven by the leather industry mafia, it has nothing to do with religion. The priest of the Gadimai Temple himself is against the sacrifices. So whose interest does this blood-letting serve? Who benefits from turning a place of worship into a slaughterhouse? Publicity about the sacrifices has tarnished Nepal’s image internationally. The following steps are necessary to immediately outlaw religious sacrifices:
- The state should stop subsidising animal sacrifice.
- Animal sacrifices at government buildings, vehicles and aircraft should be stopped.
- Ban import of animals from India 15-20 days before festival
- Ban transport of animals from other parts of Nepal to Gadhimai
- Spread message against animal sacrifices through mass media
- Government should proactively spread the message that animal sacrifice is not religion
Overkill in Gadhimai, Lucia de Vries and Deepak Adhikari
Animal fights, Rabi Thapa