Alimentary, my dear Watson, alimentary!
Finally a solution emerged out of these discussions
Salt N' Pepper
In response to my previous column (I have a suggestion… GK, Sunday, 22nd July) I received more than the usual number of mails which I must hasten to admit, (howsoever grudgingly!), attest more to the unpopularity of dogs than to the popularity of my column. (Oddly enough no dog responded which means that they are following a wait-n-watch policy on the matter!). Anyway among a myriad of suggestions which these emails presented there was one suggestion in particular that appears to me might just tackle the menace. This suggestion was put forth by a retired Chief Engineer Mr Jawahar Zutshi who though presently residing at Jammu proved that his heart still beats for the land where he was born. Mr Zutshi relates his experiences on the matter under consideration, i.e., the dog menace, when he was posted at Ladakh a decade back. It seems that at that time the situation in Ladakh was similar to what it is in Kashmir presently as regards the dog menace. Mr Zutshi says that the number of dogs probably outnumbered the local population of humans. Majority of the Ladakhi population profess the Buddist faith so killing dogs was not an option at all regardless of the opinion of animal rights activists or Mrs Maneka Gandhi. The local population it seems held long deliberations over the issue over steaming bowls of momos and then they held parleys with the army who are present in large numbers in Ladakh. Finally a solution emerged out of these discussions. Mr Zutshi says that a few regiments from Nagaland were posted in Ladakh and these regiments moved from one place to another. Now it is a known fact that dog meat is considered a delicacy in Nagaland so the local dog population was considered as manna from the heavens by these Naga battalions who made a quick feast of the dog population in Ladakh thus tackling the dog menace by way of digestion.
Mr Zutshi says that this is the most practical way to rid the place of the dog population and I feel that it might indeed be so. I resolved to put this suggestion in the public domain and in fact I was so excited by a prospective state of doglessness that I thought I would myself send an invitation to the army. However when I mentioned this suggestion and my resolve to pursue it actively to my family, my father with a note of triumph in his voice called out to my mother and said, “Didn’t I always tell you that this son of yours will blacken the family name?!” a remark that, by the way, is a regular refrain with Father dear so far as I am concerned. Mom (as moms all over the world do) protestingly came to my rescue, “Why the poor fellow is just trying to get rid of the dog menace! Now how would that blacken the family name?”
“Well my dear as you know the Kashmiri people have never forgiven the people who supposedly invited the army to Kashmir long back and your worthy son is out to extend an invitation of a similar nature which might very well make him the you-know-who of this new millennium!” Father responded.
Though I protested against my father’s words in what I deemed to be righteous indignation they did nevertheless ring true. So I did not follow up my original plan. My mind however remained occupied with Mr Zutshi’s idea. I casually mentioned the idea and the ‘risk’ involved to my page editor, “Well we can always send the dogs over there to Nagaland,” the brilliant guy offered a modification. Not for nothing do they make them editors!
However I still felt that the ‘army solution’ had certain advantages. “ But just think if the army were called in for tackling the dog menace they wouldn’t be bothered by animal rights’ activists or any litigation etc.,” I said.
“How come?” Mehmood countered.
“Because of AFSPA, of course!”
“The army would have that advantage,” he conceded. “Just imagine in that case we would have the local population rooting for AFSPA rather than opposing it!” he added by way of an editorial. “But you see it won’t present any problems if the dogs are dispatched to Nagaland for consumption by the local population. Animal rights have never come in the way of human nutrition.”
Now here Mehmood had a point. Truckloads of sheep and chicken come to Kashmir every day on their way to the local stomachs but nobody – the local animal rights’ activists included – sheds any tears (human or crocodile!) over their fate! So I guess we could send over truckloads of dogs as free gift to the people of Nagaland (with perhaps a couple of bags of spices in every truck as an additional bonanza!). The people of Kashmir will, I am sure, pitch in gladly to bear the transportation costs. And why not, the Nagas feast would be our deliverance!
Mr Zutshi I don’t know if your idea will translate into reality but I would once again say that your idea of utilizing the digestive tract for tackling an otherwise intractable problem is brilliant. Sir, do I hear you say ‘Elementary, my dear Watson, elementary!’ like good old Sherlock Holmes. But then perhaps you mean ‘Alimentary, my dear Watson, alimentary!’”
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 5 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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