শনিবার, ২২ Jun ২০২৪, ০৫:৩৬ পূর্বাহ্ন

From Trusted Companions to Silent Sufferers: The Untold Story of Historical Horse Abuse by Nahid Aktar

From Trusted Companions to Silent Sufferers: The Untold Story of Historical Horse Abuse by Nahid Aktar

In the annals of human history, few animals have contributed as significantly to our progress as the horse. These majestic creatures, once trusted companions in transportation, have borne the weight of our ambitions for centuries. Sadly, this bond has not always been one of respect and compassion. As we tread the paths of the past, we encounter the disheartening truth of historical horse abuse that has left indelible marks on these noble beings.

Long before the rumble of engines disrupted the natural tranquillity, horses were the engines that powered civilisations. Akin to silent partners, they propelled humanity forward, making their mark in agriculture, warfare, and transportation. Their loyalty was unwavering, their strength immeasurable, yet the pages of history are blotted with accounts of the cruelty they endured.

The industrial revolution marked a turning point, ushering in an era of mechanised progress that should have liberated horses from their arduous roles. Instead, as the clatter of hooves faded into obscurity, the cruelty endured by these equine companions escalated in shocking ways. Where they once carried burdens, they were now subjected to senseless suffering for the amusement of humans.

In tourist havens like Dhaka and Chittagong, horses that should have roamed freely were exploited for pleasure. From beachside horseback rides to leisurely carriage cruises, their innate right to autonomy was lost amidst the jingle of coins. These sentient beings, born with a desire for independence, were coerced into servitude and stripped of their dignity.

One glaring example of such cruelty is the horrifying treatment of horses during the Kedarnath pilgrimage in India. The media has spotlighted this grim practice, where these noble animals are drugged to endure backbreaking loads for pilgrims’ expediency. As their bodies collapse under the weight of human demands, they are abandoned to die, a tragic testament to human greed and disregard.

But where do the lines blur between our understanding of their suffering and our relentless pursuit of convenience? How do we measure the weight they bear, both physically and metaphorically? Unlike humans, horses cannot articulate their pain in words, and this silence has allowed their torment to persist unchecked.

Yet, amidst the darkness, a glimmer of hope shines. It’s high time for policymakers to rise and advocate for these animals. Legislative measures must be implemented to halt the cycle of abuse, protecting horses from unnecessary suffering. Equally vital is the role of public awareness campaigns, which can harness empathy and shed light on the realities faced by these innocent creatures.

As we gaze upon our reflection as the “best of creation,” we must remember that our superiority is not a license to exploit. Horses are not born to carry our burdens, and we must rewrite their narrative from silent sufferers to beings deserving of respect, care, and compassion. Our shared history with these creatures is one of partnership, and it’s time we honour that bond by ensuring their well-being for generations to come.

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