"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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Kashmir suffers canines calamity!!!

The dog dilemma!

Ahmad Kashmiri

Reports reveal that dog population in valley has gone too high and now no day sets down before the dogs have not bitten dozens. Basically the real figure is higher than the reported because each case does  not get media coverage due to varied reasons. We have been vowing now for more than a decade against this menace but nothing has been achieved to get rid of this menace which at present is a grim concern. Many children during last ten years have fallen prey to the dog bites and died due to same cause. Kashmir has become the hub for these canines.

There are various reasons for the prevailing situation. Besides the domestic desperation for not having control on dog population due to fear of brunt imposed under law  by the animal rights activists and also due to lack of infrastructure for sterilization of canines, there are external factors responisible for the immense increase in dog population, two primary reasons being the presence of lakhs of military and paramilitary forces in cities and towns of the valley and then Kashmir being a tourist destination, with all its merits of economy and other things the increase in dog population is but a demerit of the tourist industry unless it is not curbed under the plan.

I remember the day when some years back a dog got killed under a passenger bus near Chandilora village on Srinagar-Gulmarg highway, the driver was an elderly person, he was feeling sorry for the accidental death of he drove a little ahead he was whistled from somewhere, he stopped the bus and after some time we saw that the elderly driver  was punished for what had happened through accident, the punishment given to him that time was inhuman, he was made to lift

the dead dog in his lap and was asked to walk on the road for   a

distance of two hundred meters, we all observed this but could do nothing.

Courtesy, ARAs(Animal Rights Activists) we are caught in a situation, the crux of which is that if you kill a dog you are punished under law but if a dog kills a man, we can not even lodge an FIR against anybody. For all these years we have been blaming the municipal set up for not doing anything to get kashmiris safeguarded from the canines and in turn the municipal set up too has  vaguely and rhetorically resorted to the situation and responding just to manage the crissis that dogs will be sterilized on large scale but that could never be done neither that remedy seems possible now. News papers of Kashmir have very  dutifully raised this issue and communicated its gravety for all these years, much creative and critical pieces and investigative stories have been done but alas the problem is very much there like the stone in the meal bowl. On the otherhand it seems that our highlighting of issues and problems does not affect our guests, the tourists. Recently, I wondered on seeing some tourists (see

photograph) handfeeding dogs in a Srinagar locality, any body can love and feed canines, we have no objection but it was a street and the dogs were stray not pet. I did not wonder why the tourists were handfeeding dogs but I wondered visualizing the paradoxical comparison based scenario, I also wondered that the local shopkeeper, whom I was witness that he  can not even go to offer prayer in a masjid on an

evening due to threat of attack by these stray dogs,   did not bother

to apprise these tourists of the prevailing situation. I wonder!

Anyway now much blood has spilled out due to this grim menace. The time has reached when we must rise to the occasion, if animals have rights, and ARAs are all for the safeguard of animal rights. We must ask these ARAs judiciously that don't humans have any rights. Mere rhetoric won't solve our problem, instead, we now will have to come out from this dilemma, if ARAs have laws to drag us to courts and judiciary we too must explore ways to drag them to the same courts under law to see the possibilities of "Najaat" from this canine calamity. People at the helm of affairs too must realize this grim concern and must exersize no reservations for not declaring this a calamity, a disaster.

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