What a cruel joke? The state government of West Bengal has come out with a decision to sterilize elephants for the reason that they are every now and then a cause for train accidents and, as they feel, the remedy lies in arresting their population growth for the purpose, hence their sterilization. Supreme Court of India has since taken a serious view in the matter. If other States in the country follow suit with the West Bengal government, they may possibly propose the same measure against the families of all those who are killed in rail accidents which mishaps are more or less a routine in India. Elephants are a tameable animal, harmless and human friendly. Their services are utilised in many ways besides being a tool of entertainment in events like a circus. Sterilizing is cruelty, the means that can be used by the governments instead are safety measures on the part of the railways to scare them away from the rail tracks. Elephants alone are not the cause of accidents and in several cases they occur as a result of negligence on the part of the personnel concerned and if that factor is duly taken care of the potential accidents can very well be averted. In no case cruel measures like sterilization, too excruciating and tortuous a process, can be the alternative.