Friday, January 11, 2013

Dog menance

Though the faculty and students depend on each other for research and professional advancement, there are only some common issues. For example, a faculty is not unduly worried about the leaks in E-block while a student is not concerned about the mode of operation of CPDA grants. However, both are concerned about a major issue – dogs on campus. The issue of dog menace finds a place on the agenda of both the faculty association as well as the student council. Enumeration data based seems to indicate (with a 95% confidence interval) a two fold increase in the population of dogs every year.
            What has led to the increase of dog population in IISc? The students have a theory that since the quality of food in the private messes has gone to dogs (both literally and figuratively), it has led to the robust health and increased population of the dogs. The faculty have another opinion. Many senior faculty complain that the young professors are not committed as they were twenty years ago and say that IISc is going to dogs. The dogs took offense at this statement and, therefore, they have come to IISc instead. Whatever be the real cause, the dogs have significantly increased on campus.
            I have been chased or barked at frequently by these dogs. Previously, I used to throw the bunch of research papers at them and they used to run away. While this is indeed a good use for my research papers (my departmental colleagues may think that this is the only use), recently, they have become more aggressive. This has led to people walking on campus with ultrasonic tasers and lathis, much like the Delhi policemen trying to quell a crowd protesting for a just cause.
            There seems to be no easy solution. The city administration is unwilling to pick up dogs while the NGOs can pick and neuter them. With the dog lovers in the campus unwilling to agree to the latter, the administrator is caught in a web with pressure from each side.  My colleagues feel that the administration will intensely look for a solution only when a “powerful” professor is bitten by a dog. But for an institute wherein the undergraduates understand quarks (the name of their magazine) and the graduate student voices (the name of their magazine) their opinion, I do hope some solution is amicably found.