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20 May 2004

'Border' - the Elephantine Issue

Posted by Oblivion in General | 6:04am

This morning I saw, in The Hindu, a photograph of an elephant being 'repatriated' to Bangladesh after it was found to have crossed the 'border' and came to India.

Crossed the border! Crossed the border! Why am I focused on that? Because it makes me laugh. Isn't that ridiculous? As it is, this whole concept of borders, nations, states sounds unimpressive to me when applied as a differentiating label. To me, the good line of such divisive labels stops at identity in the form of passport. Anything beyond that looks cranky. Fine, I understand it's one of those million other things that man has invented to complicate his life, and for the simple fault of being a member of this esteemed species (is that elephant hearing this?) I've but little choice to do anything about the feeling of intolerance for the same. But think of it! To impose such divisions on animals as well - is there an adjective for this in the lexicon invented by man?

Not that the elephant would've cared. True, when your focus is on the right things and to the right extent, you won't ever have time for petty things. Eat, drink, bathe, play, mate, sleep, enjoy life as long as it lasts - the elephant would not think beyond these. Are we, with a million other 'important' things to think about, happier than them? Than any other species, for that matter? Ok, there may be a thousand sound reasons to prove that we are happier, but it still falls short - because the happiest person is the one with no concept of 'happiness-sorrow' and surely animals don't seem to have this, which means they are as happy as we are, if not more.

There could be no other species on any other planet in any other galaxy as 'civilized' as man; nor as advanced as to be able to exterminate his own and all other species as well in no time. Man, methinks, is the only animal to look at everything as if it were designed with the sole purpose of meeting his needs. He applies his criteria - stupid in themselves - to everything else.

Coming back to the elephant - no, it was not a baby elephant that was being sent back to join its mother. So, there's no place for justification. Elephant crossed the border! It still doesn't make sense to me. Obsession itself defies common-sense, and when obsession goes to extreme, what do you call that? Elephant is big enough to be spotted; what are they doing about those ants that are crossing the border every day??

On second thoughts, however, it was perhaps a good idea, considering the maintenance issues of the zoological parks. This just struck me, I'm not taking back my earlier words though. I've spent good enough time writing it. Besides, it's not entirely destitute of an element of truth.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Yuva

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