Friday, February 21, 2014

Stray Dog Menace in India-A Curse Inflicted Upon Indians By Meddling Bureaucracy, Insensitive Politicians and Pseudopetans!

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine who is the habit of walking a few kilometers in the evening to keep his diabetes under control had a narrow escape when he was pounced upon by a group of viciously looking stray dogs. My friend fortunately was in the habit of walking with a baton in hand and that helped him to scare those modern day wild animals from tearing him apart. Moreover, he also got the timely help from a few security guards who manned the gates of the well guarded, walled township where he stayed.

But he told me that he got one of the biggest scare of his life that day. What would have happened had he been bitten by some of those owner-less beasts? More than becoming a customer to the anti rabies vaccine makers, his wounds would have become a chronic health hazard to this diabetic man. 

Me and my wife, too have become cautious, that we have reduced our evening and morning walks. I am scared of my office too now because of the increasing numbers of dogs that are multiplying in the well guarded complex, unchecked. During the normal working hours these beasts are no where to be seen, but in the early morning hours and late evening hours when the offices are thinly populated with people, these beasts would boldly roam around the corridors as if it belonged to them. I hear incidences of my colleagues getting some sudden dog scares when some of them got viciously cornered by these beasts when they chanced to be in the office to do some over time duty.

I have been hearing about stray dog attacks on children and adults for quite some time. There have been news about children and even adults getting fatally attacked by these beasts. There have been news about some administrative actions being taken up at the highest levels of authority in India in some states. In the place where I live, there were only a few stray dogs visible an year ago. Now they are visible in scores every where. And they are becoming ferocious and malicious waiting to attack any one at any opportunistic moment. Fortunately, no rabies yet. But that could happen at any time.

Stray dog population in the Indian cities and towns are increasing rapidly mainly due to three reasons. Firstly, the Indian city and town administrations are poorly and inefficiently managed with regard to waste disposal. Either the people concerned with this have no idea about these things or they are least concerned. This provides ample opportunities for the stray animals to find enough food for survival and multiplication. Secondly, the dogs in the cities and towns of India have no natural predators. Thirdly, there are no effective pet keeping rules. People are so casual and uncaring about such matters. I have seen some people religiously feeding stray animals with waste food without taking any other responsibilities from their side. 

Curiously, the civic authorities of India are maintaining a silence that is causing immense anger in the minds of many of the citizens who have faced the stray animal menace. I discussed this with a person who is supposed to take actions for control of such perceptible threats to the health and safety of the public. He told me that the stray dog menace cannot be managed in India so long as there exists the present day Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act) together with the meddling bureaucrats, insensitive politicians and the pseudopetans in India. According to him nothing can be done even if the media and the affected people make hue and cries here and there and now and then.

I took some time to check the facts about this. To my utter dismay, I found that what my acquaintance from the administration had revealed is true.

Now, before I go in to that further, let me explain the meanings of the words I mentioned above. 

Meddling bureaucrats are those fellows who cleverly introduce some clauses in the bills they draft for the politicians to pass in the parliament or the assemblies that eventually become the laws of the land. They introduce such clauses which prima-facie appear as good but do much damage later than good. 

For example let us see the first definition of the PCA Act of India .This act defines an animal as ' any living being other than a human being'.  So, this act could be used to frame a criminal charge against any body who killed or tried to kill even a mosquito which was a nuisance in his house! This situation could have been avoided if the bureaucrats who drafted the bill were a bit more careful and honest to their work. But then, bureaucrats and their assisting staff work under pressure and they are often required to draft the bills in haste under some arbitrary time schedule fixed by some higher authorities with least consideration to realities. By experience, the bill drafting staff know the competency levels of their seniors that they could afford to take such liberties in drafting the bill clauses in this fashion. Sometimes it is overlooking due to incompetency. Other times it is willful meddling!

Then comes the insensitive politicians who make the laws. In India, the bills are presented and passed by the ruling party. It is simply a formality. If you watch the parliament proceedings where the bills are getting passed to become laws, you would probably think much more fortunate than the poor parliamentarians as many of the latter have absolutely no role in making any changes in the bills drafted by the lower rung staff of the ministry. I even doubt whether a majority of them even understand what they actually pass or oppose! So, most likely our PCA act also became a law in India because of the ill fate of the country because the law does not address any complications that would arise out of such a law.

Lastly there are the pseudopetans. PETA is the acronym for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. So anybody who is an activist for the animal rights is a Petan. Pseudo means falsehood. Pseudopetan means any body who blindly makes a hue and cry for animals and try to run some agency or NGO supposedly taking their mission as if to protect animals from exploitation or cruelty without any consideration to the human society. A true petan becomes pseudopetan when he or she becomes an activist without human wisdom. And the present day world has more such pseudo activists for every cause.

So PETA and PCA together with the meddling bureaucrats and insensitive politicians have all contributed to the insolvable problem of stray dog menace in India. In India as the human population on a daily basis is increasing faster than the total population of many other nations, for all practical purposes, human life has become cheaper than that of animals. Affluent Indians interested in getting publicity may prefer to take up the animal cause than the cause of the people.

In short, impractical laws like the PCA, drafted, passed and amended many times with least consideration to its ultimate effects on the society at large create much hurdles in the lives of the Indian people if they think of living in their country as 'law abiding' citizens. But then, no one really abide by the laws in India. Laws are not for abiding and that is a well known thing for the law drafters, en-actors, enforcers and the interpreters. Normally nothing happens when you break an impractical law, but you risk to be booked if some one has some scores to be settled with you for any reason.

When laws like PCA are in vogue, the local administrations of the cities and towns would be handicapped to manage issues like these. It is not that they cannot do it. They can do it. But they get more excuses and shelter in the PCA act not to do any thing to control the stray dog menace in their jurisdictional areas. 

Added to the complications of public administration and management is the indecisiveness that is inherent with any democratic system of governance. There cannot be any immediate solutions in the near future or in the times of the immediate few generations!

So, use your own ingenious methods if stray dogs are a perceivable threat to your peaceful living in India.

   

3 comments:

  1. Sadly I have to agree with you. With increasing incidents of rabies and people getting bitten everyday, the stray dog menace is becoming uncontrollable in India. Shoddy maintenance of garbage, pathetic laws and the PCA act is scaring the AAM admi. Somebody who was least bothered about human life has made this act. Animal activists and fanatics are preventing any modifications to this law.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for recording your response in this forum, my friend!

      The law of the nature is survival of the fittest. Humans are above animals because they have been provided with certain mind capacities to think wisely and act according to their own free will. But most of us have not yet mastered the technique of adjusting our thoughts and consequent acts in the most appropriate way ensuring overall good for all. The net result is our imperfections in our attitudes and acts that eventually cause trouble and pains to everyone. We make imperfect and unwise laws, get afflicted by those and keep worrying or remain antagonistic to all others due to the miseries.
      We may not be in a position to get any relief to such problems immediately because our mind progress is at snail's pace collectively.

      Delete
  2. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts.

    ReplyDelete

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