A pregnant elephant eats a pineapple stuffed with fire-cracker(or locally made explosive) and dies standing in a river. That image could break any heart with even a drop of compassion left.
I made this cartoon yesterday with lots of pain and anguish. Lots of people with same pain and anguish shared the cartoon. It was everywhere. It was heartening to see so many people on social media feel the pain of this animal.
But slowly I could see another dimension growing on social media.
In the guise of showing their compassion for the animal, many people were using the opportunity to thrash the state of Kerala! Some people brought in the literacy angle to their post.
And it reached a complete vicious cycle when a section tried to give it communal spin! Unfortunately some people saw an opportunity to push their hatred-filled agenda. It’s tragic!
This incident could have happened in any state of India, as many farmers in many states use different indigenous ways to protect their crop/farm by scaring away wild animals. And some of these innovative ways are cruel beyond words. This poor elephant fell to one such cruel method. It breaks everyone’s heart to think about the pain that this pregnant elephant must have gone through.
To blame an entire state for this incident, to ridicule the literacy rate of a state or to target a community is another level of inhumanity!
Few days back I read another news where a speeding vehicle killed a leopard. And the leopard was pregnant with three cubs! Another heart-wrenching accident. And it happened in Karnataka. I would be disappointed and angry if someone blames my state for this unfortunate incident. Hope people will realise their mistake.
Also some social media pundits were blaming artists for drawing these emotional cartoons/visuals. Because they feel ‘one section’ of people will misuse these creatives to push their agenda!
Is this in the hands of artists? Once you post your creative on social media or on the web, you lose control over who uses them and for what purpose!
Cartoons were used by different political groups, NGOs during Anna Hazare movement, anti-CAA protests, pro-CAA rallies. And also in election campaigns.
People will like and share what matches with their belief or agenda.
So, please stop blaming the artists!