Protests are not new in Bangalore. Anyone who feels like protesting can organize a protest in Bangalore and be assured of support. Cause can be anything. However, today there was a different kind of protest, that by animals, something really new to Bangalore. Groups of different kinds of animals came together today morning, and led by horses, took to the streets of Bangalore, expressing anguish over the newly elected Karnataka MLAs being analogized to them. They didn’t seem to like it one bit.
It all started this way. Following the Karnataka assembly election of last week that resulted in a fractured mandate – as has become the norm in the state – each political party worth its salt started luring elected MLAs of the other parties in a bid to form the next government in the state. This has been called, as has been done over years, as ‘horse trading’, something that has not gone down well with the horses. Leader of the horses, Ashwa Kumar had this to say. “We horses are a noble species. We are graceful, hardworking and loyal to our masters. But in recent times, MLAs who get bought by rival political parties are referred to as being horse-traded. This is an insult to us as the MLAs are in no way comparable to us.”
It is known that the term horse trading has been used for some time now to describe the way MLAs put themselves up for sale or offer themselves to be bought for money, position, favours or all the three. However, nobody had so far objected to this usage. When horses started dissenting it, people started using the term ‘donkey-trading’ instead of horse-trading. While this was obviously a better description and a more meaningful representation of the situation, it did hurt the sentiments of the donkeys too. So the donkeys too decided to join the protest. They started braying loudly in front of Vidhana Soudha and Raj Bhavan and any place else where people in white and white khadi were seen.
The intention of the donkeys was similar to that of the horses. Gadharaj, leader of the donkeys said “ We are cousins of the horses. We look similar, we are also hardworking and honest. We do suffer a lot at the hands of people, but the suffering caused by being compared to MLAs is the worst kind of suffering we have ever experienced or witnessed. We were of course pained when this happened to the horses, but when it happened to us, we could not take it anymore. It is so humiliating. So we are now braying in front of the power corridors.”
Many more animals of the city joined the horses and donkeys in a show of solidarity against the treatment meted out to them by people in general and politicians in particular as they are the reason for bringing disgrace to animals. As Kapi Sharma, leader of monkeys put it, “We do jump up and down, we jump between trees, we do histrionics. We regale people and they enjoy it. But when MLAs jump from party to party, from principle to principle, stand to stand, they are said to behave like monkeys. Is this justified?”
Then it was the turn of the owners of horses to join the protest. They said, “We treat horses like out family members. We are proud of them. How can we let them be treated this way?” Finally, dhobis, the owners of the donkeys too joined in, saying “Donkeys are noble creatures. We earn a living out of them. How can an unfaithful, disloyal, unprincipled, party-hopping politician be compared to a loyal, hardworking donkey? If this continues we will stop doing laundry of politicians.”