By now, most of you – at least the ones who read news about animal welfare – know that the Mumbai High Court has banned horse driven carriages from Mumbai.
All the horses would be adopted by NGOs and the government has to take steps to ensure that the families dependent on this get some alternate means of income.
On the face of it, this is an excellent verdict. These horses were overworked to the point of exhaustion. They worked despite injuries and sickness. They worked in excessive heat or rain – without any days off. They did not get proper food, medicines and lived in appalling conditions.
I hope Mumbai’s horse loving members come forward and adopt these horses and give them a happy, healthy and dignified life – much like some of Bangalore’s citizens (for example Mr. Rudrapratap Singh) have done in their work with the excellent NGO Samabhava.
However, I am a born pessimist/realist.
People like the great Sandesh Raju (the owner of Samabhava) are very few and far between.
From my interactions, what I have found that in India, the animals lovers are a dicey lot – in general of course, there are some excellent people involved like the aforementioned Sandesh Raju, Rudrapratap Singh, Amala Akkineni, Kumari madam, the Khungars, Sandhya Acharya etc.
But most Indian “animal lovers” are basically dog and cat lovers. They don’t really have care to spare for cows, buffaloes, horses, ponies, donkeys and innumerable other animals.
Then there is another huge majority who are basically “nam ke waste (by name only)” animal lovers. People who will claim to be animal lovers but wouldn’t life a finger to help animals in need. They will be the first ones to comment or criticize though.
And then there are the holier than thou Indian vegans. They are basically the Indian version of Jehova’s witnesses or Scientologists. They have their own cult and rules of initiation. They believe they know everything and that they are god’s gift to mankind. They have an unparalleled ability to piss off normal folk so much that the normal folk would think 87 times before getting involved in animal welfare activities. The vegans look at everything through the lens of their beliefs – pretty much like ISIS.
And finally there is PETA who loves killing animals at the drop off a hat. Killing animals is their solution for everything.
So, I don’t have high hopes for these horses. I believe that they are destined to the glue factory.
I would hope that there is some mechanism which will constantly monitor these horses for the next few months as these carriage drivers might want to recoup their losses and sell the horses to glue factories and dog meat manufacturers.
I would love to be proved wrong.
I hope that every single one of these loving animals get a proper home.
It is at moments like these that I hate my chronic lack of doubloons but hopefully the rich and well to do of Mumbai will step up.
Keeping fingers crossed.