To help further understand, analyse these.
Charles Siebert, “An Elephant Crackup”. The New York Times Magazine. 8th October 2006, 1-19
Anupama Rao, “Death of a Kotwal: The Violence of Recognition.” In The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India, Anupama Rao, University of California Press,241-264.
Man is in the forever need to make himself advanced and supreme. In a rut to reach the top of his own and exceed others’ capacity, varied levels of living are created. The greedy supreme Man reaches the Elite level, while the other exceptional humans and non-humans fall at the subaltern specie level. This paper argues how when these Elite humans, subject to disruption over the subordinate, find humanity those groups to justify their heinous acts. By attributing and hence destroying affection,empathy, courage and other similar key features to the subalterns, humans try to shift the blame of being the cruel and corrupt over to them.
Coexistence of individuals in any group of the living leads to a natural bond of affection and connectivity. Owing to the constant greed of Man to advance, He takes it upon himself, to intervene in the subaltern lifestyle and produce disharmony to reach the top. Siebert in his essay confirms how animals are most comfortable in their natural habitat and admonish any kind of trespassing. He claims that, “Elephants, when left to their own devices, are profoundly social creatures”(5). Their intricately organized community is a symbol of compassion; a common characteristic of the humane. After considering this, the Man gets an instinct to steal such a trait common to him from any specie which is unknown. Upon action, he goes as far as redeveloping their habitats and lifestyle. And hence a sudden challenge of disbalance is created. He indulges in a series of gruesome acts such as hunting, poaching and culling to extract resources off of the non Human, and thereby extracting the humanity off of them. Upon disruption, elephants too rumble in protest. In a maze on who should reach the top, be free and unique, the companionship is lost. Rao expels similar ideas and expresses how exertion of power by the the ones in authority and rule over a minority group renders discontent and division in a unified community. She reflects the incident and writes, “In fact they were dependent on Ambadas. With the entry of the Shiv Sena two years ago , the first seeds of discord were sown.” (252). The community which had recognized representatives and leaders collectively, was now to be in a state of separated opinions because Man in power imposed himself to disturb a tranquil habitat. The police and press, even after submission of members of the Elite party who were thought to be the convicts of Sawane’s murder, the meek humans didn’t settle for the punishment but encouraged further investigation. This act of refusal to admit defeat and crime committed plants seeds in the hearts of the natives from the subaltern to quit their humanity and battle the Human-Monster. Where in both the cases, the Elite Human intervention was out of greed and power, the distortion created rendered the Dalit’s powerless and elephants in pain. In an attempt to make the world rosy for existence where Man leads, he paints the universe with colours of dissatisfaction and disbelief.
In the world where survival of the fittest runs parallely across species, when Man subjugates, he also invokes the emotion of liberation. Humans, owing to their intelligence and constant greed for power and knowledge have called up for a battle from many species unlike his. In Siebert’s essay one can witness a history of disturbance caused by man in the world of elephants. He writes, “It is not leaving without making some kind of statement, one to which scientists from a variety of disciplines,including human psychology,are now beginning to pay close attention”(3). In the need to justify his acts of cruelty and show domination, He attributes a sense of bravery and courage to the rogue species but diminishes their struggle infront of himself. While practicing another selfish act, of creating priviledges for self and obscuring others, the human race dissects on the basis of caste. By introducing differentiated humans, Dalits, form the subaltern group which revolts against the Upper castes, the superiors further impose authority over them. Rao realizes this difference and remarks, “However the resilience of everyday practices of stigmatization also conditions Dalits’ continued quest for social justice and dignity”(263). On one hand where social stigmas are created within this segregated society, there is still an ongoing revolt to attain equity with the Upper Caste Humans. When the media, the legislation, the judiciary see the uneasiness of living caused to Dalits and asserts politics into it, the Hindus reward it by calling it a courageous monotonous deed and a part of their lifestyle. Thereby signifying that the atrocities are nothing but a similar humane act which they are bound to deal with. After interfering with these subaltern groups and categorizing their actions as a testimony of the struggle to regain their individuality, the Man belittles their movements and produces the need to explore these species through his eyes of humanity.
In order to upgrade their behaviors and functions, the Humans wish to understand other species and create an environment of empathy to gain their trust. This need to gain belief stems from spheres of the subordinate groups when they are disrupted by the Human intervention. Anupama Rao expounds on the Kotwal murder case by sharing the impact created by various findings gathered and reported by institutions. In reality, where the elites formed the face of the state and recognized it as ‘progressive’, they themselves gave birth to caste and encouraged discrimination. Rao expresses the urgent upheaval caused and says, “On September 6, the DIGP and the PCR Cell in Bombay demanded that special police officers be sent to investigate untouchability in the villages mentioned in the Maharashtra Times and Times of India articles” (251). Close investigations were then to be charged as a classic way of repenting the wrong done by the authoritarian humans to create a sense of understanding in the minds of the aggrieved specie. At times in order to make themselves more involved with other species, humans prove themselves to be in the same shoes as others. Siebert after having conversed with Abe reaffirms, ““Elephants are suffering and behaving in the same ways that we recognize in ourselves as a result of violence,”she told me”(8). By recognizing an emotion as strong as violence and equating this feeling in their lifestyle, Humans empathize with the elephants to realize their(elephant’s) individuality in relation to themselves. However the cause and effect of disruption maybe, Man declares self to have dealt with same. After perturbing the non animal’s to the animal’s peaceful lifestyle,empathy shown in relation to their own makes up a successful defensive measure against the barbarism caused.
In this ever evolving cosmos, peaceful survival of different species of living beings has taken a backseat. Where species apart from the Elite race unknowingly reflect traits of humanity, Man has learned to extract these subalterns away from traits personal to his. To achieve this, he adopts a series of tasks of ignorance, intervention, destruction and further violence which make the subaltern species ultimately either give in to acceptance or lose their space of existence on this planet. At the summit of this volcano still, Man stands waving his flag of repentance and justification. He started the war and never lets anyone contest or win. With others’ hands tied and his limbs free, the monstrous volcano of humanity erupts. Now he waves the flag for peace.