Have you heard? We now have a new National Aquatic Animal. Ever heard of the Ganges River Dolphin? No. But don’t we already have a national animal? Tiger, is it?
Of course. But it seems the government has finally responded to a call from the deep. And by that I don’t necessarily mean Bihar, where dolphin hunting has been banned forever. Oh. Still, why do we need yet another national animal?
Actually, marine life was feeling a bit blue, what with Maneka Gandhi roaring on about tigers and monkeys. I see. But aren’t these the same poor dolphins that are on the verge of extinction, with only some 2,000 of them paddling around in our muddy waters?
Exactly! And that’s the ingenious crux of a grand new strategy. You see, the government thinks these rare creatures have magical powers. So, an increase in their numbers is going to be used as the “one and only yardstick” to gauge the Ganga cleanup.
Now, don’t be so cynical. The salmon’s back in the Thames, innit? So, you never know...By the way, don’t we already have fish as our national cuisine?
Tsk. Tsk. How many times do I have to remind you that the Hilsa and its cousins are not our national cuisine! Besides, the dolphin is a mammal.
Sigh. So you mean we can’t go fishing in the Ganges next week? Do say: Let’s hope these little guys can swim to safety.
Don’t say: Hmmm... how might they taste steamed?