I am like a dog barking, and you are the one who is interpreting the spaces between the sounds and giving meaning to it.
— UG Krishnamurti
A few days ago there was a poll in Mumbai Mirror about how we should treat stray dogs. As you are aware, in Mumbai there are plenty of stray dogs everywhere. Some people love dogs and regularly give them food. Others are scared or disgusted and then blame it on the folks who give them food.
In the poll, a lady answered that we should treat stray dogs well, quoting Gandhi – You can judge a society by the way it treats stray dogs.
Unfortunately that quote is out of context and perhaps she didn’t bother to read the entire crux of what Gandhi actually meant. A civilized society would have no stray dogs. Stray dogs belong in an animal shelter. Healthy ones are treated, fed, trained and put up for adoption or they live their life in the shelter. Dogs who are diseased, old should be put out of their misery.
Feeding stray dogs is not the answer. The Government has to step up and ensure that our streets are free of stray dogs.
What is even more appalling is our attitude towards the humans who live on the streets. We turn a blind eye to them, but give food to dogs? I’m not talking of beggars, or people who choose to live on the streets. But think of the mentally ill people wandering the streets. Where is your empathy now?