Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has condemned the Indian one-day cricket team captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni’s reported participation in a goat sacrifice at a temple in Ranchi during a thanksgiving ceremony.

PETA claims that its office has been flooded with phone calls and e-mails from people across the country who are outraged by the cruel killing. In its letter to Dhoni, PETA which is dedicated to fighting animal abuse has expressed concern that the cricketer’s young fans might be inspired to perpetrate similar acts of cruelty.

Pointing out that animal sacrifice has no place in Indian culture, PETA chief functionary Anuradha Sawhney says: “Even in sacrifices that claim to be ancient practices like Sati, child marriage and caste differentiation have been strictly banned because we now see them as cruel and exploitative.”

Informing that animal sacrifices have been specifically banned in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala and Rajasthan, the PETA chief functionary says: “Article 51 of the Directive Principles of the Constitution states that individuals should show kindness and compassion towards all living beings. Killing an animal to celebrate a sports victory hardly seems to adhere to the spirit of this law.”

Appealing to Dhoni to use his influence to spread a message of compassion among young people, Sawhney says: “As a talented athlete, you are a role model for young people. We hope that you will consider the enormous influence you have over children and in the future refrain from cruel acts that your young fans might be inspired to imitate.”