It was a beautiful evening in one of the towns in northern Kerala. Sipping a cup of tea at a street shop, as I was standing, I found a dog approaching in search of the leftover food. As I was feeling content looking at the dog filling its tiny belly, I noticed the owner who was busy serving tea to others filling a pot with boiling water.
Before I could stop, the man splashed the boiling water upon the dog and I found the dog screaming and disappearing from the scene with its skin burnt all over! I asked the Hindu man what he did with that poor creature. His answer was simple: “I am sorry, but no Muslims would come if they see a dog in the surrounding!”.
It is a shocking fact that in many parts of the country, even Hindus are forced to abide by the Muslim community in order to run their business. This is similar to that of meat shops being forced to keep ‘Halal certified’ meat in order to ensure Muslim customers visiting their shops!
In a shocking incident, over 100 stray dogs were poisoned to death and dumped into the waste yard of Thrikkakara municipality in a span of nearly 12 months by a four-member gang allegedly on the orders of Thrikkakara municipality. After the incident came to the light, the Kerala High Court directed the municipality to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken with the killing of stray dogs by the gang in Thrikkakara.
Though municipalities in Kerala often deny their role in the killing of dogs to ‘stop menace by street dogs’, a councillor of Thrikkakara municipality also admitted that the dogs were killed due to the increasing complaints about the menace. This is an act carried out in each local body. But no one will leak this to the public, he says. It is a fact that street dogs in Kerala are wilder compared to other parts of India, just because they are used to eating raw flesh that are found abandoned across the state.
The act of cruelty is one of many such horror stories surrounding wild animals across Kerala, one of India’s greenest states and home to a deepening people versus parks conflict. However, if we look deep, the killing of dogs has another dimension in the state which is closely connected to Islamic terrorism. Traditionally, dogs are considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam as they are thought of as impure.
This idea taps into a long tradition that considers even the mere sight of a dog during prayer to have the power to nullify a pious Muslim’s supplications. Raising or keeping a dog inside the house is not allowed in Islam under any circumstances, and even prevents the Angels of Mercy from entering the house, and deducts a large amount of a Muslim’s worship reward on every single day, say Islamic scholars.
The concept of haram has evoked a sense of hatred of Muslims towards dogs across the world, however, it is more in Kerala which has been a fertile land for Islamic fundamentalism. Soon after the supreme court directed states to stop the killing of street dogs, an incident was reported from Northern Kerala where an animal rights activist approached Ajanur gram panchayat officials seeking stopping of the killing that was going on in the panchayat.
The answer of the panchayat officials was that they have been receiving a number of complaints that made them act, the later investigations revealed that the number of complaints, in fact, was from the majority of Muslim members who considered dogs are a threat to children who start their day visiting Madrasas. Nevertheless, after the intervention of the then district collector Mohammed Sagir, the act was stopped.
There are a number of incidents reported from Kerala that shows the extend of cruelty towards animals in the state. The images of dogs where their heads are chopped off have been viral whereas swards are often used to kill them too. The reported cases are minimal, however, the real statistics could be something that would question the very conscience of humanity.
The local authorities, which has now a majority of Muslims in most of the places in Kerala, silently supports these inhuman acts just because that innocent creature is considered haram in the religion. Every creature, including a tiny insect, has its undeniable right to live in the world which is now being questioned by an extremist religion.