K. Sowmya -- Courtesy : The Times of India
"But when we play the fool, how wide the theatre expands!
Beside, How long the audience sits before us! How many prompters! What a chorus!
Seven year old Nita clapped her hands in delight as the newly captured, two month old, trapped chimpanzee relentlessly tried in vain to escape from the strong iron cage that was now supposed to be its home.
The agonising fact is that little Nita is not the only one who finds pleasure in pain. Most of us, young and old alike, relish watching animals in captivity. This being so, the question arises whether we are any more civilised than our barbarous ancestors? Is watching a circus any less savage than enjoying a cockfight? The answer in both cases is no.
The animals in the circus are put through untold brutality while undergoing training. Merciless torture techniques are applied in order to get a dog to jump at the right time, or on an elephant to kick the ball at the correct place. Is it absolutely necessary to put them through such ruthlessness just for our pleasure?
One of our most prized possessions is freedom. Countless wars have been lost and won just to attain freedom. But do we really respect freedom? If we do, then why do we keep animals in bondage (zoos)? We see how pretty a deer looks or how beautiful a tiger's coat seems, but we never see the agony it experiences or the pain it feels on being alienated from its natural environment.
Man, in spite of conquering the moon, finding cures for some incurable diseases and inventing machines that are capable of solving problems within seconds, has morally changed very little. Thanks to sophisticated technology, life has become a bed of roses for us but we have forgotten the less fortunate -- the tormented animals.
The modern idiot box is often subjected to the contempt of parents. These same parents then find great bliss in taking their children to the circus. But the idiot box does not torture helpless, innocent animals. In fact, it can educate, if selectively viewed.
Computers, one of the most brilliant inventions of man, has probably helped animals more than it has helped us. Modern technology has made going to the zoo obsolete. Today, we can sit in the comfort of our homes and enjoy the beauty of nature as realistically as if we were actually in the great outdoors.
Man has always taken great pride in claiming to be the most intelligent creature on earth. But now, we need to prove to ourselves that we are not sadists, but humanists. We don't need circuses and zoos.