Kill the Street Dogs and Lunatic Men-  Mahatma Gandhi (Post No.11,988)


Post No. 11,988

Date uploaded in London – –  10, May , 2023                  

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Mahatma Gandhi wanted stray dogs and farm raiding monkeys to be killed. He even earned the wrath of animal lovers for killing the sick calf in his Ashram. He argued that is not Himsa.

Here is one article from his magazine:

The dog is a faithful companion. There are numerous instances of the faithfulness of dogs and horses. But that means we should keep them and treat them with respect as we do our companions and not allow them to roam about. By aggravating the evil of stray dogs we shall not be acquitting ourselves of our duty to them. But if we regard the existence of stray dogs as a shame to us, and therefore refuse to feed them, we shall be doing the dogs as a class real service and make them happy.

What then a humane man do for stray dogs? He should set apart a portion of his income and send it on to a society for the protection of those animals if there be one.  If such a society is impossible- and I know it is very difficult even if it is not impossible- he should try to own one or more dogs. If he cannot do so, he should give up worrying about the question of dogs and direct his humanity towards the service of other animals.

“But you are asking us to destroy them?” is the question angrily or lovingly asked by others. Now, I have not suggested the extirpation of dogs as an absolute duty. I have suggested the killing of some dogs as a ‘duty in distress’ and under certain circumstances. When the State does not care for stray dogs, nor does the Mahajan (general public) and one is not prepared to take care of them oneself, then, and if one regards them as a danger to society, he should kill them and relieve them from lingering death. This is bitter dose, I agree. But it is my innermost conviction that true love and compassion consist in taking it.

Terrorist Osama Bin Laden was killed  illegally by President Obama in another country

Taking life may be a duty. Let us consider this position.

We do destroy life as much as we think it is necessary for sustaining the body. Thus for food we take life, vegetable and other, and for health we destroy mosquitoes and the like by the use of disinfectants etc. and we do not think we are guilty of irreligion in doing so.

This is as regards one’s own self. But for the sake of others, i.e. for the benefit of the species we kill carnivorous beasts. When lions and tigers pester their villages, the villagers regard it a duty to kill them or have them killed.

Kill bad men also!

Even manslaughter  may be necessary in certain cases. Suppose a man runs amuck and goes furiously about sword in hand and killing anyone that comes his way, and no one dares to capture him alive. Anyone who despatches this lunatic will earn the gratitude of the community and be regarded as a benevolent man.

From the point of view of Ahimsa (non-violence)  it is the plain duty of everyone to kill such a man. There is indeed one exception if it can be so called. The yogi who can subdue the fury of this dangerous man my not kill him. But we are not here dealing with beings who have almost reached perfection; we are considering the duty of a society of ordinary erring human beings.

The fact that Ahimsa does not simply mean non-killing. Himsa means causing pain to or killing any life out of anger, or from a selfish purpose, or with intention of injuring  it. Refraining from so doing is Ahimsa.

Young India 4-11-1926


Tags – Ahimsa, Stray dogs, killing lunatics

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