Violence in India – Loving and hitting your Dogs like your Children – 12 Mar 14

We now regularly go out to the homes of our school children in order to makes videos for every Friday’s introduction of a boy or girl in my blog. Recently one of our friends was at the Ashram and wanted to come along to see herself and in real life how these children live. We never know what we will experience on such days and we told her that. We may see homes which are, although poor, well cleaned and the family makes a happy impression. Or we reach a fully dysfunctional family with the father being drunk, family members fighting and similar situations. What we encountered when we were out with her was something we had not expected though: domestic violence – against the family’s dog.

There are people, also in India, who keep dogs as pets. They love their dog. They love it like their children, just like people in the west love their pets. And they hit their dog, just like their children.

Ramona, Purnendu and our friend came into this home, led by the girl who goes to our school, and a dog came running, barking wildly. The mother shouted ‘No’, and the eight-year-old with whom they had come, picked up a stick, running towards the dog that immediately put his tail in between his back legs and retreated. He stood further in the back. The mother took the stick from her daughter and when the dog dared to bark again, she hit him on the back, forcing him to the side, a small open space where he finally lay down.

Are you shocked? Our friend was, I believe, but that was before she knew that the dog was their pet. When we told her that, she was just confused: if they have an animal and even feed it while not having much on their own, it surely means that they love it! If they love it however, how can they hit the dog, and on top of it with a stick?

It is simple: They love their dogs like their children. Just like you do in the west as well.

Yes, you treat your dog and cat just like you treat your children, cuddling, talking, feeding and playing. They do the same: they feed, play, talk – and beat. Just as they do with their children.

Ramona and I were visiting friends recently who also have a dog at home. It is nothing common and so it was interesting for us, too, to see how they treat the dog. It got confirmed: they even talk to the dog as with their child, including the threats of violence: ‘Be quiet or I will hit you!’, ‘Sit there or you will get beaten!’

So you see, child or dog, violence is nothing that people here consider as wrong. Just as you should not beat your child, in my opinion, you should not beat your dog, cat or other pet either. Realize how violent you act towards beings that cannot do anything against it.

Make a change towards peace and start in your home!

One Reply to “Violence in India – Loving and hitting your Dogs like your Children – 12 Mar 14”

  1. Here in the “West” I saw some families, in which animals are treated much better than the children. Very often elder people feeling lonely or couples without kids keep a dog and treat it like a child, sometimes even like a doll.
    And there are a loooot of families keeping animals in order to kill and eat them later …

    Just the concept of owning an animal feels so wrong for me. And of course also the thought of owning another person, like wife/husband or children. Every being is a free being. It can belong to a family, to a culture, but it it’s not its property!

    There is a very good poem of Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese poet, writer and artist emigrated to USA, in which one chapter starts with “your children are not your children …”. I cite it at the end of the message.

    Thank you for your reflections, I like to read them, learn about Indian culture and everyday life and mostly totally resonate with your thoughts.

    Best regards

    Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

    They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.

    You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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