PETA India, in a recent press release, has ‘apologised’ for its recent billboard connecting the Hindu festival of Rakshabandhan with leather consumption. However, in doing so, they have only engaged in more Hinduphobia and the ‘apology’ comes across as a shoddy attempt to further cast aspersions on Hindus criticising them for their selective activism.
PETA India said in the press release that the new billboard will carry the images of the cow and buffalo with the words, “I’m Someone, Not Something. Always Go Leather-Free.” Its prior billboard urged people to go ‘leather-free’ for Rakshabandhan.
The organisation said in its press release, “While PETA India’s first billboard generated tremendous interest in vegan clothing, and brought significant praise, it was also the subject of a misunderstanding from people genuinely confused by the message, thinking PETA India opposed rakhis as being made of leather, although the group never alleged this and the message was not about rakhis at all; and a downright hateful attempt to stir up trouble by those opposed to PETA India’s work to end jallikatu and the lifetime chaining of elephants in temples.”
The press release said further, “PETA India’s original ad resulted in a 530% rise in views of our video expose of leather cruelty than normal; a 1000% rise in views of our meat, egg and dairy industry expose; and a barrage of requests on information for leather-free shopping, but meat-eaters are among those who began creating deliberate confusion on social media, even maliciously attempting to communalise the campaign.”
Thus, in what is supposed to be an apology, PETA India instead claims that there was no fault committed on its part and instead, blamed Hindus for the whole controversy. One needs to ask at this point, if they do not even believe that they have committed any fault, then what is even the apology about? Furthermore, its clarification over the billboard tying Rakshabandhan with leather consumption rings extremely hollow as people on social media had reached only the most obvious conclusion.
Even in its excuse of an ‘apology’, PETA India targeted Hindu traditions and festivals. Recently, it even made an attempt to remove Lakshmi the Elephant from her home at the Manakula Vinayagar Temple permanently, claiming that she was being oppressed at her home. After the intervention of the Chief Minister of Puducherry himself, the Elephant returned to her home recently.
PETA India also attacked Jallikattu in its apology, which was banned for a while due to intervention by animal activists. However, the ban was lifted after governments intervened in the matter. It appears that even after their efforts failed, they have not given up on their delusions of having the Hindu festival banned.
PETA India has also accused Hindus of ‘communalising’ the whole affair when it was the animal activist organisation which communalised the issue with their selective activism. Its conduct in recent times has been extremely callous to put it mildly. They have gone after a columnist in cohorts with Congress supporters and Islamists for criticising their selective activism.
PETA India has also lied outright about not having a foreigner as their Chief Functionary when Ingrid Newkirk held that position as per their own submissions to the Home Ministry. And now, it has come up with a shoddy ‘apology’ where it has engaged in blaming the Hindu community instead of truly apologising to people whose sentiments it has hurt through its selective activism.