Sunday, March 08, 2009

Creativity, Compassion and Care

"How does it feel to be beaten to death?" When Neha asked me this question on the way back from the rescue, shudders ran up my spine as I imagined how it would feel. To think that there are countries where death by stoning is part of their legal system.

What happened?
On saturday afternoon, when Neha frantically called me to join her on a resq call, and told me that a bunch of people were beating a dog with sticks, all kinds of thoughts were flashing through my mind, while I rushed to join her for this call. 

My mind conjured up images of the poor dog, the people who called to report the incident, the mob, the detached bystanders.

The feelings were of anger, helplessness, revenge, and anxiety to be able to get there quickly. 

This call came from a lady (Anita), who was passing through Pashan road with her family and they observed a bunch of guys with sticks, who had surrounded a dog and were beating it severely, just oustide the DRDO gate. A mob of bystanders were simply standing there and watching (as is usual on Indian roads), without anybody really intervening to put an end to the brutality. 

Anita, her husband Amarjeet, their friend and couple of more poeple, who had the guts to step outside of themselves, rushed there and tried very hard to stop these guys (security guards outside the DRDO complex, along with some DRDO employees), but to no avail. While these guys were at it, their colleagues from within the DRDO were actually standing by and encouraging them to beat even harder and ensure that the dog is dead. 

Meanwhile, she also managed to call Neha, who got me and we landed there. A little too late though; the dog was no more. They had managed to beat it to death. It was a small, starved weak looking dog, who probably had gone looking for food or water. She hadnt bargained for this. According to Anita, even while they were beating her, she was wagging her tail, probably telling the assailants that she means no harm. 

We were all livid. Gone were the thoughts of handling the situation with calm. I was shouting all over the place. While the Police were called for, Neha had already called MOnoj Oswal the head of PFA (Peaple for Animals, an organisation by Meneka Gandhi) in Pune, so that we could take some legal action against the concerned. We were in no mood to let this incident be swept under the carpet. 

Not relenting to the diplomatic attempts by the DRDO top brass to convince us to ignore this issue, we decided to press charges. Cruelty to animals is a cognizable offense which is punishable by law. In addition we also wanted to set an example for people to learn from. Once we decided to press charges, however, we got full cooperation from DRDO...Thanks.

After identifying the suspects, we had them arrested by the police. The witnesses were kind enough to wait through all this and make their statements to the police. Parallely we took to the dog to the Aundh veterinary hospital for a post mortem and inquest panch nama. We got good coooperation by Dr. Lokhande there, to complete the proceedings, despite it being a saturday.

Shweta asked me to name this dog so we can remember her for her bravery and also the impact she would have had by being the instrument to setting an example for people to see. At this point I can only think of calling her "braveheart".

Why did this happen?
People standing around were trying to say that since these people were not educated, they didnt know any better. I say, this is no excuse to kill any life form. I think such barbaric acts stem from living at a very low level of awareness (I observe that most people fall into such a category...educated or not). In addition it can also be attributed to an Innate deeply held frustration and pent up energy. Add to this, the Mob psychology, where each one draws up energy from others and act like sheep, losing all sensibility and clarity of thought. 

Surprising !
All it needed was one guy from within their organisation to stand up there and stop them from doing this. 

Hats off
To Anita, her family and the other gentleman, who stopped and tried to control this situation. We need more such people, who can step outside their comfort zones for somebody/something else. Anybody listening?

Possible Solutions
-Education and sensitising the masses about the care for life. 

-I feel that all corporates & organisations should institute programs to nurture the 3Cs (Creativity, Compassion and Care) in all connected employees, contract workers, etc. People no matter at what level should be given an opportunity and a platform to create something of value, connect to their inherent compassionate selves, and care for some life. This could be humans, animals, environment or whatever. This will keep the energies of people channalised for connecting to their larger divine self. Unfortunately most people live like machines, and never really grow to their true potential. So people like us should create that environment in our vicinity...thats all that is required. 

- Corporates and organisations should make it mandatory for all employees and workers to undergo spiritual and self development trainings (besides the skill developments) like SSY (Siddha Samadhi Yoga) and Art of living. The difference it has made to people in our organisation cannot even be described. 

- More people like Anita and her family to standby what they believe in, no matter how much pain or discomfort it causes them.

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