‘Even Gandhiji didn’t find dog killing as Hinsa’
THANKS for highlighting the dog menace afflicting the denizens of Srinagar City. Your latest report shows that dog bites have registered 80% increase in one year in Srinagar City, from 4230 cases in 2010 to 7257 in 2011. In one single day, 51 persons have been mauled in Srinagar and 13 in Lal Chowk alone.
It is unfortunate that human lives are being valued less than those of dogs. Do we have to remind them that in self defence law takes a lenient view even of the killing of fellow human beings? How then could it be the intention of law to put the lives of people living in an entire City at risk with the stated intention of saving the lives of dogs?
It would be relevant to quote the apostle of non-violence Mahatama Gandhi: “Merely taking life is not always Himsa, one may even say there is sometimes more Himsa in not taking life.”
Ambalal Sarabai, a well known industrialist in Ahmedabad, once had 60 stray dogs killed outside his mill. Being a Hindu, he felt remorseful over his action and went to Gandhiji. When Gandhiji approved of his deed, there was a public furore. The Ahmedabad Humanitarian Society and many other people asked him how he, the apostle of Ahimsa, could approve of the killing of dogs, when religions like Hinduism and Jainism prohibited the taking of life. It is then that he used his paper Young India to explain what true Ahimsa really meant.
He wrote: “Humanity is a noble attribute of the soul. It is not exhausted with saving a few dogs or a few fish; such saving may even be sinful. If I have a swarm of ants in my house, the man who proceeds to feed them will be guilty of a sin…. The Mahajan may feel itself safe and believe that it has saved their lives by dumping dogs near my field but it will have committed the greater sin of putting my life in danger.”
A simple reading of the law relating to prevention of cruelty to animals makes it clear that the authorities are not debarred from the killing of dogs who become a danger to human lives. Even if the extant law requires some amendment, whoever stops the government from doing so, particularly when they have been blowing the trumpet of autonomy and self rule which permits the State a broader amplitude in legislation.
Mohammad Shafi Pandit
(The ideas expressed are author’s own)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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