Dogs of War

Answering questions raised by students of journalism at a model press conference organised recently at Surana College, Bangalore, BBMP Commissioner Mr Jairaj said

that people evade tax, litter in public places, allow unauthorised developers and then blame the Palike for poor service.

In short, he felt that public apathy was hurdle # 1 for BBMP. Well, he can’t tell me that I haven’t done my bit.

Terrified that packs of strays near our residential locality might endanger our kids(this is not to say that my kids are not frisky/friendly with canines either!) I called their newly installed 24-hour helpline — 22975585 — to request for their assistance with the problem. To my relief, a person manning the line took down the details. As of now, I really don’t care whether they leave the strays with NGO’s** or take some other action. Memories of Manjunath have hardened me and turned off whatever sympathy I had. That these outwardly docile creatures can assume killer status at the slightest provocation is terrifying. Sure, maybe only some are the bad apples but you know what they say. Somehow, for once, it seems dangerous to let sleeping dogs just lie. At night we regularly hear these overzealous packs chase motorists especially two-wheeler riders.

Why do they do this? This answer is attempted in this report in the Hindu of here:

“As the city has grown, the availability of food has increased. So we see food waste being dumped at many places. In such areas, dogs start to form packs and roam around together.”

** According to this report in Deccan Herald,

The shelter homes run by animal welfare organisations in Bangalore are overcrowded with dogs, thanks to BBMP. Four NGOs – CUPA, Krupa, Karuna and ARF – received over 280 stray dogs on the second day of ‘Dog hunt operation’ by the civic body.

A news report mentions that NGO’s in charge of stray dogs in Bangalore are outraged at the way these animals are being captured by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). According to them, the ongoing Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme is the only solution. Any move to kill stray dogs on a large scale will lead to imbalance in society and result in an outbreak of dreaded plague. Imbalance in society and plague?? This seems too farfetched to believe. I wish they’d clarified. Or, perhaps, they did and the media thought it was not interesting enough to print?

Hmmmm. Unwittingly, the canines might have given a war-cry but us humans seem to be winning the battle.

Or, are we?

10 Comments so far

  1. Chitra (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    I don’t understand one thing, how are we responsible for unauthorised development? Aren’t they the guys sanctioning anything and everything that is coming their way?

  2. Ravi (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 10:22 am

    Strange, isn’t it? But then he must have meant something else altogether and the MEDIA must have coined these two words! ;)

  3. KART (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

    “humans seem to be winning the battle”

    ever been to the crocodile park in chennai?
    there is an sign which reads “Open door to see the most destructive animal ever”.
    sadly, its a mirror thats kept behind the wall.

    you say – canines “might” have given a war-cry.
    oh really?? did you hear it??
    wow..u and the health minister have sixth sense..
    the ability to communicate with dogs!!!

  4. M O H A N (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

    Actually the people of surath had similar experience in 1990’s and killed all dogs. Plague visited them next year. Dont know if there is a relation but that is what is being claimed here.

  5. Ravi (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

    @Kart: That was a figure of speech, sure you are aware of it?!

    @Mohan: Wow, that IS a co-incidence!

  6. Sanjay Pandey (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 3:02 pm

    @Mohan, Dogs are omnivores and hence they might eat rodents. But I am yet to see a dog eat a rodent in the urban areas.

    In the urban areas the easy availability of food does not require them to eat rodents.:)

    And in my opinion, there the problem lies. In order to make our cities clean, we have gone the western way and started dumping everything in garbage dumps, from where they are removed. So that creates a food scarcity.

    The natural supply of food is being threatened and that is at the root of the problem.

    If only we could provide dedicated food dumps for them in the localities, they will become docile again.

  7. Ravi (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    Thanks for reading and your comments, Sanjay.
    Use of that word ‘might’ ought to be tempered. One never knows when people ‘might’ object! ;)

  8. George Matthew (unregistered) on March 9th, 2007 @ 9:39 am

    The problem is that the public bribes officials into sanctioning illegal layouts/violation from plan etc. Both public and officials are guilty

  9. rubic_cube (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

    Mm.. good thought provoking post. btw – “dogs of war” is also the name of a song by Pink Floyd. :-)

  10. Anirban (unregistered) on March 11th, 2007 @ 12:15 am

    Dear Ravi

    Good to read your views. I have sent emails to over 600 ids across India, and the responses are fantastic.

    It was based on my first-hand experience yesterday how these dogs are being caught and killed.

    Come to the rally at Mayo Hall tomorrow (Sunday). And bring your heart along.



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