4D Dilemma

From cannon fodder to human feed, humans can create history of hoodwinking.
4D Dilemma
File Photo

The ad for dog feed by Pedigree Petfoods carries the brand manifesto saying, "We're for dogs". Pedigree is for dogs, because the company believes that "Dogs rule" and claims—"Everything we do is for the love of dogs. For us, dogs aren't just our job, they're our life. From dogs in our offices to dog-friendly meeting rooms, we're passionate about paws. Our dedication goes into every product we make – we've even been known to taste our food!"

Well, dogs are becoming important everywhere. Their life is now the life of living. If they are fine, human beings have a lesson to carry. They live a better life than the rest. That's why company like Pedigree emphatically declares that it is for dogs though the plausible reason may also be that for the pedigree company dogs only rule because they can make money off them!  

Interestingly, accused of using 4D raw meat ingredients that have been sourced from Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Disabled animals, Pedigree too has been criticized despite its tall posturing. So, does it mean humans can play foul even with dogs? A tricky question, it seems.

Playing foul with animals appears small in comparison to fooling human beings and taking their toll. From cannon fodder to human feed, humans can create history of hoodwinking. Bihar, the poorest state in India provides a compelling example of this corollary. Many students, most of them under 10 years of age, have lost their lives after eating mid-day meal served to them in their primary schools. The forensic reports revealed that the oil used to prepare the meals contained high levels of monocrotophos, a pesticide substance that is highly toxic to humans. Pertinently, the World Health Organization (WHO) had urged India to ban monocrotophs. The substance is a nerve poison and stands already banned in at least 46 countries.  

The free mid-day meal (MDM) scheme is designed to check malnutrition and draw poor children to school. As reported umpteenth times, mid-day meals are often contaminated with stones and worms. Even midday meals in Delhi schools were found to fail hygiene standards. Poor storage, unscrupulous contractors, weak checks and untrained supervisors combine to serve up a deadly menu for millions of students covered under the food programme across India.

For poor kids who fell to this human cheat, life is cheaper than dogs. The feed is not filled with 4D ingredients but contaminated to render kids 4D. 

Compare this with an ironical travesty as the Ad that was done by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan for a nationwide campaign to eradicate malnutrition 'Kuposhan Bharat Chodho'. The campaign invited lot of criticism, questioning the connect between real and surreal about the issue of malnutrition in India. 

Many critics termed it as another cruel joke on an issue as grave as malnutrition. A columnist in India Today wrote-"To appoint Aamir Khan- who has endorsed junk food like colas and biscuits for a significant part of his career—as ambassador for nutrition or malnutrition is simply absurd".  Was it an Ad(Act) of mocking a condition that is much worse than living dog's life?  Or projection of dogs actually playing dogs? Dead dogs: Conscienceless.  Dying dogs: Senseless. Diseased dogs: Brazen. Disabled dogs: Sick. Thin line between species blurring!

Bottomline: The UN estimates that malnutrition in India is more chronic than sub-Saharan Africa. The 2017 Global Hunger Index Report ranked India 100th out of 118 countries with a serious hunger situation, pushing some to wonder if malnutrition is India is still a worst kept secret. 

Perhaps, this is a paradox called India, struggling to survive in present with a humanitarian crisis like malnutrition of staggering proportions and having dreams of becoming a 'superpower' of future. And yet, the dilemma has not ended. The dark ages aren't over in Bharat. From lurid lynchings to rampant rapes, darkness ushers in 4D. There is no Pedigree company in Bharat to supply non-toxic and nutritious food for starved people and say, "We're for humans". Or inversely, declare "We're hunting for humans". The political class that rules and rides Bharat counts votes alone, not lives of people. They think and act for votebank. They are for votes and for all that can fetch them votes, loyal dogs or dog-issues included.

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