TODAY -

Kill the Stray Dogs

Yashwanth Dhakshana *



Stepping out of the poorly built interiors of the Bangalore International Airport, I was aghast at the air outside. It was odorless. Ironically, not less than half an hour ago I was warning as many South Korean and Chinese foreign nationals as I could to hold their noses when they walked outside due to the fact that well…India is a stinky place or at least the India I had visited many times before. The smell of rotting food, animal feces, and garbage could normally be smelt everywhere.

I warned the foreign nationals because I felt they would be less shocked by the smells they encountered if they knew beforehand what to expect. Yet, I was the shocked one. There was no smell. Not a whiff of anything foul.

India was continuing on its path to modernity it seemed.

Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. Each time I visited the nation it had improved. Sometimes dramatically and sometimes just by a little. The fact that I'm able to write this article a mere three days after I arrived in India and with good health is akin to the changes that have occurred. Normally I would fall sick after I arrived due to how dirty the country used to be.

However, there were certain things in India which hadn't changed at all and one of them were the hordes of stray dogs that were lying on the street. Although described as man's best friend, there are some friends that man can do without and one such friend are stray dogs.

Stray dogs make India look primitive, backward, and like a third world nation. All things we Indians hope our nation not to be. We Indians need to put pressure on the government to rid India of stray dogs for good. The countless thousands of stray dogs that roam the Indian streets should be rounded up and exterminated; hopefully via lethal injection to minimize their pain and suffering. Doing so would result in a huge image boost for India; akin to resolving Bangalore's foul odor problem.

People may criticize my idea as being cruel and barbaric but that's what first world nations do in order to maintain their quality of life. Consider that each year, America exterminates 3 – 4 million stray cats and dogs. The results are obvious.

Anyone who's ever been to a first world nation like America would see how wonderful looking, clean, and modern, developed nations are; a quality of life so great that many Indians would do anything to go live in one of them. But praise is the last thing that many travelers have for India. When people come to India they are horrified at what they see. The stray animals are especially a shocker.

A South Korean girl I knew in America visited India last year. Once her trip had concluded she immediately asked her friends on Facebook to "pray for the people of India as they live in such horrible conditions." Another person who had visited India gave a speech in my business class about India. She couldn't stop talking about how dirty the nation was. Part of her tirade was directed at all the stray dogs she encountered.

Incidents like that and others have taught me that unlike China (a country we Indians love to compare ourselves to) India is not a respected nation. In the world's eyes, India is a nothing more than a place of poverty, suffering, and unimaginable filth.

However, the one thing that all my trips to India have shown me is that India doesn't have to stay the same; it seldom does. India can become a first world nation but to get there we're going to have to take some painful steps. Consider that countries like America, Japan, and Singapore all used to look like India (stray dogs included). Then they transformed themselves into first world nations. Part of the process, included getting rid of the stray dogs that roamed their streets; developed nations don't have those.

We Indians should do the same. India can stand up there with the top of the world and enjoy the same quality of life that those in America, Japan, and Singapore have. But we'll never get there if we don't take some painful decisions. Getting rid of the stray dogs that roam our streets and ruin our nation's image would be a key step in achieving that goal. Why should we Indians not have the same quality of life enjoyed by those in developed nations? Why should India not be a first world nation?


* Yashwanth Dhakshana wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at dhakshanayashwanth(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was webcasted on December 10, 2013.


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