The donkey, as it turns out, is not a holy cow. Its position in the hierarchy of popular perception being what it is — the phrases ‘as lazy as a donkey’ and ‘you stupid donkey!’ being quite representative — it comes as no surprise that Delhi’s donkey population is now being told to clip out. The municipal corporation officials are very clear about the problems that the Equus africanus asinus create in a civil society like Delhi’s. Not only do these slow-moving creatures without any tail-lights or exhaust pipes create congestion on the roads of the Old Delhi area, but they also ‘give it an unpleasant look’.
In keeping with the strictly scientific process of debraying Delhi, the municipal corporation will conduct a survey to find how many donkeys exactly inhabit this glorious city whose name will resound all across Earth — or at least 53 countries that are part of Queen Elizabeth’s special club of ex-British colonies. This will actually be a confirmation of a previous headcount conducted where “more than 150” donkeys were spotted in one particular area. For the political capital, that makes sense.
So are the Delhi Donkeys up in hooves? Have they at least got sympathy from the people who after looking into their sad eyes tell TV reporters that they want to take the ‘Save the Donkey’ campaign right up to the PM? Not yet. But the feeble protests that can be heard are coming from tonga owners who use the blessed beast to pull their carriages. A policy is under consideration to shift these donkeys to a sanctuary. Like the beggars on the streets who also give the venue of the 2010 Commonwealth Games such an “unpleasant look”.