Saturday, April 30, 2005

Cows Ahoy!

There is an article in today’s paper about the menace of cows on Indian roads – something which I thought fit to write about because it is actually an issue which has, at various points of time, taken up quite a bit of my thoughts. Which country in the world, other than India, would you see animals sitting square in the middle of the road, seemingly disinterested in the traffic chaos they are causing? If anyone has an answer, please let me know. I find it absolutely frustrating that a government actually prefers regular traffic jams and occasional accidents to getting rid of the cow menace. I mean, wouldn’t the cows themselves rather be happier in a safe dairy? When I was younger, I used to play ‘What if I was Prime Minister’ in my head, and one of the first things I decided I’d do was put all these wandering cows away where they should be. I mean, India has enough and more people to tend to cows, and if a bit of the money going to pay bribes could be usefully diverted to doing this, I think a lot of good would be done. First you’d be clearing the roads and making them safer, and second you would be generating employment for poor people who need them. In fact, a whole industry could be usefully tapped – you could have dairies producing milk which could generate income, and so on and so forth. But I suppose the government would typically have their own views on this – such as where would the land for such an enterprise come from? Oh, well.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has been given a deadline of one week by the High Court to clear city roads of the cattle menace. And the MCD Commissioner is not optimistic of achieving the target within the deadline. Is that surprising? Not to me. Anyway, to quote, ”Considering our experience with the police, we will be able to achieve the target only by the year-end. The court has asked us to submit an action plan within a week. I have called for an immediate meeting of officials from the veterinary department to discuss the matter.” Which basically means – too bad for the public. They are going to have to continue to put up with the cattle menace indefinitely.

There is another rather funny angle to this, by the way - a rumour presumably because I didn’t find anything to support it on the globally accepted Source of All Knowledge (the internet of course!!) – apparently cows sit in the middle of the road because flies don’t irritate them there due to the constant flow of traffic. This has, according to the rumour, been found out by none other than the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad!

No comments: