This is not the kind of behaviour expected from a civilized society
A society is judged not by how economically prosperous it is or how sprawling its cities and towns are -- it is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable inhabitants.
It is nothing short of tragic that it is our stray animals that often find themselves to be the most vulnerable of lifeforms in our country, subjected to human acts that endanger their wellbeing and lives on a near daily basis.
To that end, the recent story of a mass dog culling taking place in St Martin’s Island is an especially egregious example of the sort of cruelty that we have come to expect from certain Bangladeshis.
As many as 200 stray dogs were culled in St Martin’s Island over the last few days, with animal rights activists pointing fingers at the local Union Parishad for having ordered the killings. The alleged rationale behind the culling was that the dogs, and their pups, were disturbing tourists in the area.
This is not the kind of behaviour expected from a civilized society.
Such grave cruelty to the animals comes in gross violation of a law passed seven months ago and a 2014 High Court order to that end. But laws and policies mean absolutely nothing if they are not enforced.
What is all the more worrisome about the St Martin’s case is that the order was allegedly given by the local administration. Are they unaware of the laws that their own government superiors have signed off on? If so, what does this say about the state of government accountability and our overall culture of impunity?
Animal cruelty is an all-too-common phenomenon in our country, and one that needs to be put an end to. We cannot allow ourselves to be so far removed from what it means to be human that the sanctity of life, in all forms, means nothing anymore.