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Friday, November 6, 2015

Malegaon's star donkey spells trouble for Police !!

Equus africanus asinus, a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae – is also found in the city…. In villages, it could be a common sight – nearer Vivekananda College in Sivasami Salai, one can find a few donkeys, an animal used extensively by launderers. A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny or jennet.  As beasts of burden and companions, asses have worked together with humans for millennia. During a recent visit to the holy divyadesam of Thirukurungudi  inTirunelveli – saw half a dozen donkeys loitering on the streets in the mid noon.  Donkey’s work often goes unrecognized be it in  Office or for the original animals. 

Lindsay Lohan is a famous model, singer, actress.  A few months back her tweet turned a hilarious gaffe.  She reportedly tweeted habibi, the ubiquitous Arabic term of endearment that can translate into everything from lover to beloved. Her  tweet linked to an image on her Instagram feed which said “You’re beautiful” in English — and what nonspeakers would have assumed was the Arabic translation.But the Arabic phrase did not read “You’re beautiful.” Instead, it said, “You’re a donkey.” Lohan deleted the image from Instagram shortly thereafter, but not before social media was abuzz with the predictable memes.

In a tiny village near Jaipur, Luniawas – known for  beautiful pottery or tie-and-dye dupattas occurs donkey mela annually.  There is another at Majra, Haryana that attracts traders from neighbouring States – thousands of donkeys are paraded and traded.  The prices reportedly start from less than thousand and upwards a lakh even – for  donkeys are an important dowry item among members of the potter community !  Elsewhere months ago,  there were reports of Tennis champion Novak Djokovic buying up World’s supply of donkey cheese at £400 a pound for new restaurant chain.  It was stated that the Tennis ace bought up the entire 2013 output of the Serbian farm which produces it.

Here is an interesting article in Times of India of date.  The policemen pulled him; but the "star" merely twitched his ears. They pushed him, and he brayed stubbornly. On Thursday, even as the entire country  was debating on various other matters - the Malegaon police's focus was firmly on detaining a more earthy animal-a star donkey true to its character.

The animal's troubles began when workers of the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) decided to use it to make a point against the Congress's corruption in the Malegaon municipal corporation. The JDS workers announced they would organize a "roadshow" using the donkey - a star in his own right. After all, it had "starred" in a TV programme called "Malegaon KaChintu". Of course, the protesters also had "documents to prove" the said corruption. They even got police permission for the event. By around 12 noon on Thursday, a crowd of onlookers had already gathered in Malegaon town to witness the amusing scene. The plan was to take the "star" around and make residents aware of the alleged graft.

However, the police had other plans. Even before the roadshow gathered momentum, the cops arrived and arrested three persons who were part of the event, and, inexplicably, detained the donkey too. They (that is, only the JDS workers) were booked under sections 135 and 188 of the Bombay Police Act for disobeying prohibitory orders and assembling without permission. Malegaon additional SP Sunil Kadasne said, "They had sought permission, but not for using an animal. This could have created law and order problem in the city. We detained the donkey too. The detention papers of the donkey will be produced before the court." And in case anyone missed the point, Kadasne said, "People should also know that no one can use donkey or any other animal to fulfill their political desire." Touche.

The three men were later released, but the donkey couldn't be. Now the police are looking for the creature's owner. The police said it was the owner's responsibilitynot  to  give his animal to be used in some political programme. "There was a chance of clash between the workers of the two political parties," Kadasne said. And then began the policemen's real ordeal - that of taking the animal into custody. They tried to push him into the police van. The "star" didn't take to the idea and simply refused to obey. After almost 45 minutes of trying in vain, the policemen managed to persuade him to board his exclusive "chauffer-driven" vehicle - an autorickshaw. As the vehicle moved, the animal was again seen twitching its ears, though it was difficult to gauge the star's mood.

He was kept on the police station premises till afternoon. The policemen then contacted a "GauRakshaSamiti" to take charge of the animal. But the "star" was no "gau", so they refused. "Only cows and cattle," they said. The JDS's "political desires" aside, during those moments of rejection, the animal perhaps desired to be a cow and not merely a donkey. Late in the evening, the star was shifted to the more amiable confines of an animal care centre at Panjra Pool. Thus ended another day in the life of a star.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

6th Nov. 2015.

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