About Me

My photo
Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, I worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a spider enthusiast and amateur arachnologist.

This blog is for aboriginal dog enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah Dog) and INDog-mixes (Indies) are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive landrace village dog of the Indian subcontinent. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too. Also see padsociety.org

Thursday, March 24, 2011

M Krishnan's essay "The Pariah"

"I have played with the Pariah dogs of our country when I was a child and still have esteemed friends among them. I have seen and known them in all sorts of places, on sweltering plains and cold hills..."

M Krishnan was a legendary Indian naturalist, environmentalist, writer, photographer, and scholar of Tamil literature, and he wrote a column called "Country Notebook" in The Statesman (Kolkata) for several decades. Some years ago a compilation of his essays was published under the title "Nature's Spokesman" (edited by Ramachandra Guha).

Unlike most wildlife-lovers, he was also a fan of our native dogs - one of "us." Though he didn't think them handsome, but then nobody much did at that time!

Back in 2007 when I started this blog, Mr Arijit Chaudhuri wrote this post that mentioned M Krishnan's essay on our native dogs. I decided to look for the essay, but due to increasing scattiness over the years I completely forgot to do so - until last month.

Here is an excerpt from "The Pariah" (1944):

"It is tractable, clever, even sagacious, self-reliant and absolutely incorruptible. It has an extremely hardy constitution and costs next to nothing to feed. There is no better house-dog. It is so clever and willing, you can teach it practically anything, it never makes friends with strangers whatever the bait, and will wake and give voice at the slightest suspicion of anything wrong. It does not keep howling all night, nullifying all attempts at sleep, but barks only when there is good reason. It is this quality, rather than the desire and ability to maul, that is wanted in a watch-dog and the Pariah has it...

"...I suppose the Pariah can be stabilized as a breed and improved in appearance - it cannot be improved in brain - but frankly, I see no future for this dog. In a country where the Poliga and Mahratta hounds have been allowed to die down, practically, is it likely that the Pariah will succeed in attracting notice or support?"

Excerpt from "Nature's Spokesman," edited by Ramachandra Guha, Oxford University Press

1 comment:

nazrul said...

it is indeed attracting support