Dear Prime Minister of India:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
The man and his great words should be India’s pride, and what India should honor by action and reality, that is, if India wants to be the great nation that the great man envisioned her to be.
In this light, the act of extreme cruelty which occurred in Uttarakhand in March this year would render India less than great, much less. I, who have been to India three times, who love India only next to my own land, cannot help but be saddened by this India’s great fall from grace.
I am referring to the incident in Uttarakhand in March this year, now world famous, world-infamous, rather, where 300-400 villages burnt a caged-leopard with kerosine – unto death – while the local authorities – supposedly 30-40 wildlife officials and 3-4 policemen – stood idly by, doing nothing to intervene, and subsequently arrested open two persons (that we know of), each given 2 weeks in jail – what many consider a secondary act of cowardice and/or corruption. And the matter is considered closed – in India.
Pardon my belated self-introduction. My name is Anthony Marr, with various achievements. Relevant here is that I was honored with the prestigious [Henry Spira Grassroots Activist Award] at the 2010 Animal Rights National Conference (~1000 attendees) in Washington DC. I mention this for no other reason than that I speak for thousands for animal advocates in dozens of countries around the world, and am also closely in touch with the sentiments especially in the West. Of course, I am also expressing my own personal opinion.
This matter has finally “gone viral”. It has raised quite a global uproar, and smells to the high heavens, with the name of India plastered all over it. I have received dozens of emails complaining about your country in the most unflattering of terms, to the point where I had to chastise some of the most virulent of them for being racist. This of course is their fault, but what caused them to err is yours.
If I may be so bold to suggest, India can restore its hitherto good reputation by doing two things:
1. Issue a statement to the world that such an atrocity cannot and will be tolerated, and back this up by
2. bringing the perpetrators (at least the core 30) of that extreme act of cruelty to justice with the full weight of the law; we will be watching the news.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)
http://www.DearHomoSapiens.blogspot.com (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)