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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tallthumbelina said...

It sounds immature. I was not even there, but everytime i imagine the whole situation tears well up in my eyes that i live in a world and share it with such people. The word humanity loses its essence when such things happen. I am ashamed of being a human. I am angry. I am saddened. But worst of all i feel helpless.

RESQ said...

People who commit such heinous crimes must be taught a lesson and more importantly set an example for all the others out there who think they can get away with animal cruelty. There were educated people involved in the death of this poor dog which quantifies the level of insensitivity that is bred into us. I am sure we will get justice for this case as we have witnesses who are as determined. More people like Anita, Amarjit and his friends need to start standing up and setting examples. I think it is time for everyone to reflect on what Mahatma Gandhi said – ‘the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated’.
-Neha Panchamiya

Tarun Malaviya said...

This is really sad. The only way this can end is when people realise the presence of God in all of life around us. We have an important task ahead of us in making people aware of this. We have to change the hearts and minds of people if we wish to make a difference to the world for the better.

Jai Gurudev.

anita said...

well written Sunil.i am yet so full of anger about the entire episode, just cant get the picture of the men beating this small dog with sticks out of my was crushing to know that she could not be saved...but at least we did'nt walk away feeling helpless like so many other times in our everyday lives when we have to accept some injustice. it felt good to have some solid action for once...and i pray and hope that this sets an example for so many people who would love to help animals but dont know how. thank you so much for displaying such calm, especially since we had lost ours completely...Neha and Manoj are heroes and deserve all the help and support we can give.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you my friend. I now understand why you were in no mood to socialise but were still in a mood to have a beer. I think you needed it.
I reinforce your belief that people should invest in courses like SSY and the Art of Living. They all teach the same things.
We are nothing and so we can be everything and on the other hand we are everything and so we can be nothing. People who are reading this are requested to dwell on the following question? Try and answer it:
Who are you?
Spend a few minutes answering it and then look at your answers. Try another one:
When were you born?
You may say I am "sunil" for example : but thats a name given to you by your parents: are you just a name? Then you may say I am a Business man. I say thats your profession, so are you what your profession is. Hmmm now we are thinking... Lets say I am the son of ... (like that advertisement). Is that what we are ??? There seems to be no perfect answer? I have learnt from Art of Living that we are just a form of energy and energy never dies. Its a constant, it changes form but never dies. Kinetic energy changes to potential energy and so on and so forth. Class VIII or IX science.
I am going back to Chicken Soup for the Soul for a bit and hoping that those idiots who killed the poor dog read this: Imagine your son/ daughter/ a person you love being killed like that.
God save us humans... well thats what we call ourselves.

Chatru said...

I think this is great to start some cases against animal cruelty so the awareness is heightened. We have to start somewhere. Good work!

IndianWildlifeClub said...

If only people became closer to nature!
Sunil, I have written a blog on my trip to Auli at
I am sure it is a different Auli you visited. Do share your comments.

rahross said...

Never seen it happen but do tell people around even if for a second i feel they are being driven by mad instinct to attack the poor baby coming towards them not meaning any harm but for help and love....

For any reason one does not have any right to take any life...its not given by you...

I was deeply moved reading your write-up images flashed in my mind and really got point as you said the point is to make people aware so these acts do not happen

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