Criminal Killings and Non-Criminal Killings

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Activism, Friends, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Four to five men had gathered and I got quite anxious as it was mid-night and people usually do not gather in the middle of the road so late, at least in Manipal. It was right in front of the Udayavani (A Kannada daily) office. Shishira was riding the bike Vijay and myself were sitting behind him. Shishira slowed down the bike and we saw a snake lying on the road. The men who had gathered there were hitting the snake hard. It looked like they had decided to kill it. The snake appeared half dead and half alive. It was going to die in a few minutes, I thought as we moved ahead and one of the men there brought a huge stone to smash the snake.

We moved ahead and while we almost reached press cart, to have our late night dinner, we saw, near press cart (an eating joint), police van. Within no time Vijay jumped off the bike and so did I. We both started walking towards press cart and Shishira turned the bike and went back to see the murder. As Vijay and I reached press cart the police van moved. They took a right turn and disappeared.

After the police were out of our sight, they must have crossed the Udayavani building before they reached the station. That means they must have witnessed the killing of the snake. Even if they had stopped there out of curiosity to check what is happening, for sure they wouldn’t have taken the role of a police there, though they were in their uniform. There was no need either for them to take up the role of a police there as it isn’t a crime to kill a snake.

To kill a king cobra is a crime. To kill a python, I am told, is also a crime. To kill a tiger and some rare species is a crime. To kill human beings is also a crime. But killing of a normal snake isn’t a crime. Killing of a crow, for example, is not a crime. Killing a dog is also not a crime and most of the times it is the Municipality people who kill the dogs. What is it that makes only come killings a criminal act and some other killings a non-criminal act? Some species are noted as ‘endangered’ so their killing is considered as criminal and manmade law naturally considers killing of men as a crime. So what makes killing a crime, the murdered or the very act of murdering? It comes across to me as it is the earlier and not the latter. So what/ who decides as to the murdering of which category of species become a crime?

Isn’t this kind of legal structure similar to that of the Sangh Parivar ideology which is making the BJP Government in Karnataka bring in an act which would put restriction on cow slaughtering? Why is that only the slaughtering of cow becomes a crime? Why not ban killing of fish, goat etc.?

03 June 2010

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