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The banished chatterati

india Updated: Mar 16, 2007 01:03 IST

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One is in two minds on who needs more sympathy. The monkeys of Delhi or the NDMC and MCD officials who have been rapped on the knuckles for not conducting enough monkey business. Of course, Delhi’s infamous civic agencies are rather well-known for their monkey business, but clearly not of the simian variety. Now, the Delhi High Court has fined an NDMC official for not appearing in court with details of people challaned for feeding monkeys. At the same time, the court has ordered that stray monkeys be shifted to a sanctuary outside main-city limits and enough veterinarians employed to ensure their care.

Ah, but the ‘rogue’ monkeys of Delhi will surely not let go of their encroachments so easily? After all, they have environmentalists fighting for their rights. The activists’ incessant chatter led to Delhi’s chief monkey catcher quitting his job last month. The drive to drive out monkeys from India’s 21st century capital has become as much a routine as monkeys trespassing into human property has been for decades. In fact, Delhi’s notorious langurs and company have even been featured in the Economist, complete with an ‘exotic’ rhesus twist in the ‘tail’.

It is a little unfair to banish these Delhi natives to the suburbs. Maybe, we could provide for them in the grand Master Plan. That would solve both the apes’ and the officials’ dilemma. Now why does that sound like the sealing operations?