Fake it but don’t make it: Hundreds of stray dogs illegally removed from Delhi to foster a ‘rosy’ image during the G20 Summit

The government shrouded the slums first, then relocated hundreds of stray dogs to "beautify" Delhi. The irony is that all this took place under the placard of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam".

Turn on the TV, and you shall find shows promulgating how Prime Minister Modi has been strengthening “Bharat’s” brand on the international stage. If you tune in to any corporate news channel, the footage of international delegates and heads of state relishing the Indian culture, with our Prime Minister accepting each rendezvous with open arms, shall get handed out to you on a platter.

Those privileged enough might contemplate and hypothesise about the potential benefits of the coveted G20 Summit and wave the “Tirangaa,” claiming that our beloved nation is one step closer to becoming “Vishwaguru.” However, in reality, the impoverished section of our society bore the burden of this posh and rosy portrayal of our country under this grand festivity called the “G20 Summit.”

Hundreds of stray dogs illegally scurried away from the nation’s capital:

Delhi is home to around 60,000 stray dogs that live off the benevolence of the 20 million residents of the city. Although reports of dog bites and other injuries related to dogs are not uncommon, strays and Delhiites have been living in bonhomie since time immemorial.

On August 3rd, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) issued a circular for removing stray dogs from the national capital “from the vicinity of prominent locations in view of the G-20 summit.” Soon, videos of MCD workers manhandling stray dogs and thrashing them into cages started circulating online, enraging many NGOs and activists against the ‘inhumane’ treatment rendered to the voiceless animals.  

As per the Animal Birth Control (ABC) rule by the Central government, only two types of stray dogs can get captured:

  • Dogs that are critically affected with rabies;
  • Dogs that are born with deformities;

Even then, these captured dogs must be kept within the prognosis of a qualified veterinarian, with substantial facilities for food, water and shelter. Hence, such a circular by the MCD did not comply with the law, and they withdrew the order two days later, on August 5th.  

Almost 1,000 dogs were rounded up from areas like the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Qutub Minar Complex, and the Sheraton Hotel. These posh areas shall either serve as a resort for the G20 delegates or are close to the G20 venue. 

Dog shelters near Masoodpur, Najafgarh, and Dwarka have gotten flooded with Stray dogs kept in conditions that are critically hazardous to their health. These animals were placed in closely packed cages, with a whiteboard hanging at the entrance detailing the ‘token number’ assigned to each with details of their gender and fur colour.  

The authorities have maintained that the strays shall be relocated after the conclusion of the G20 summit. But given the slapdash method of their functioning thus far, such affirmations carry little weight.

Take Away:

The lead-up to the G20 Summit themed, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: one earth, one family, one future,” has been bizarre, to say the least. 

First, they shrouded the poor living in slums, followed by scaring away monkeys. Now, they have picked up hundreds of stray dogs to “beautify” Delhi, the ostentatious venue, also the capital of a country where two-thirds of its population lives in poverty. 

While the Prime Minister insists on replacing “India” with “Bharat,” his bureaucrats should uphold the message carved in Ashoka’s first and fourth rock edict that emphasises the duty of man to “protect and be considerate towards animals.” 

If the world is one family, why did we fake a scenario to please others by abandoning our own cohabitors? Are the foreign delegates as unreasonable as to mind seeing locals feeding the stray dogs? Perhaps to see someone feeding a peacock soothes the eye better.

PM Modi and his cabinet have been turning down reports by international organisations and governments that allegedly “expose Modi’s incapacity.” According to the BJP, no country should be entitled to ‘interfere with India’s internal matters.’ 

We wonder where this conviction of our Prime Minister vanishes when he flies across continents to receive accolades provided by the same international governments and organisations. Why does he feel the impulse to hide India’s reality? Is it to uphold his “flawless imagery” before the world? 

India’s image before the world is sacred to each Indian. But masquerading India’s reality by torturing the needy and voiceless is the gravest insult to Bharat Mata! A true patriot shall accept his nation’s shortcomings and strive towards bettering it instead of merely closing his eyes. 

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Kunwar Devender Singh

(Kunwar) Devender Singh embodies a remarkable blend of professional excellence and personal passion. With over 18 years More »

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