A letter to the editor of The Times of India yesterday, caught my eye.
An unknown miscreant, evidently strewing around poisoned food, has managed to the mass kill dogs in the Osmania University Teacher’s colony, Hyderabad. (U can read about it here on page 2)
The accompanying pictures were graphic and I could hardly believe what I saw.
I mean, it was like Ginger and Buddy ‘playing dead!’
Couldn’t really believe this was for real. To what pathetic depths are people sinking to now?
Poor souls, survival against nature itself is such a struggle at this time of the year for homeless dogs, what with the mercury touching the roof, not to mention the acute water shortages. I think they can very well do without some fanatic out on this killing spree.
When you think about it, it’s eerie….
The man actually went and got the poison, mixed it deliberately with some food and left it on the roadside! That’s intent to kill. He (no gender bias here, just a figure of speech) definitely has a murderer’s psyche. Now, what extent can such a person go to?
I would like to believe it was the perverse psyche of one man behind this act rather than think it is a planned activity by some self styled Dog eradication group!
There is a general apathy and antagonism towards dogs, for that matter, for animals in general here in place. Many people would be offended by my words but I am speaking from my own experience in the last 5 years here. Many a times I’ve heard discussions about the need for mass culling of strays by the Government instead of the more humane alternative of mass sterilization. This according to most isn’t feasible and ‘isn’t happening in India’ and ‘only seen in the US’.
My experience has been different. Our colony in Delhi has a group a strays happily living in harmony. The females have one of their ears clipped. Reason? She had been neutered and vaccinated. And returned to her pack. Not by Govt organisations but on the initiative of the locals.
All my life, I’ve lived in different parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in India’s north-east. I’ve travelled to almost all corners of our large country. And never until I landed in Hyderabad here 5 years back have I come across the kind of indifference, misconception, antipathy and insalubrious(or any other in/mis/un/anti word you can think of!) attitude towards animals in general. I tried to out-talk many but have now finally given up.
But today, when I read that letter, the least I felt I could do was write this blog. If only to assuage my feelings of guilt and sadness at what a human being had done.
I started writing this while still at the hospital. A colleague who happened by asked me what it was. As soon as he heard my very strongly voiced feelings about the incident, he immediately advised me not to write it!!
The reason he gave was it might create further unrest in the minds of dog lovers like me. It is, he said, unnecessary in these times when the world is already so disturbed. He said it wouldn’t change things if I protest.
And anyways, there were other people who could carry on such protests and stuff!!
I was stumped at first. Here was a senior colleague I kind of liked after all. But then, in as subtle terms as possible, I did tell him ‘I’m one of those others’. I’ve always been.
And, sometimes it does change things, small ways maybe, but it sure does.
Those who know me well would, I’m sure, concur…