Freedom fighter and Gandhian K E Mammen has complained to the state Human Rights Commission that his freedom of movement in the city has been constricted by stray dogs,whose killing had even the approval of Gandhi.
Profusely quoting what the Mahatma had said on the stray dog menace,88-year-old Mammen wants the rights panel to direct the City Corporation to take urgent and effective steps to put stray dogs to silence.
“Duty demands shooting dead stray dogs,whether rabid or not,” was what the apostle of non-violence said on the ethical aspect of the issue,Mammen said.
Based on his complaint,the Ombudsman for local bodies had asked the Corporation to furnish the statistics regarding capture and disposal of stray dogs in the last six months.
He recalled that in 1926,a public controversy arose when Gandhi permitted a wealthy industrialist of Ahmedabad to destroy about 60 dogs roaming around his mill premises.
The issue then triggered a raging debate and Gandhi’s journal ‘Young India’ was flooded with letters questioning the ethics of killing a living being.
Gandhi defended what he had done by writing in Young India that “perfect,erring mortals as we are,there is no course open to us but the destruction of rabid dogs. At times,we may be faced with the unavoidable duty of killing even a man who is found in the act of killing people.” Gandhi firmly believed that numerous dogs would be saved if there was a legislation making every stray dog liable to be shot,Mammen said.
“Gandhi considered a roving dog without an owner as a danger to society and a swarm of them,a menace to its very existence,” he said.
Mammen also had a dig at the animal rights campaigner Maneka Gandhi,saying it was difficult for high flying people to understand the threat posed by stray dogs to pedestrians like him.
He said as many as 2,000 stray dogs are roaming around the city and he would be forced to always carry a stick with him to protect himself from the danger.
A public interest campaigner,Mammen said frequent hartals and road rokos also constricted his freedom of movement as walking was the secret of his health,despite his age.
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