Stray dogs have long been getting the better of humans in the struggle for space and survival on the streets of Kashmir, as round after round goes to the proliferating canine population untrammelled by law or means of sustenance. Unlike the species named Homo sapiens, stray dogs have no inhibitions in indulging in procreative activities in full view of their own kind and others, nor do they suffer the fear of censure for their permissive life-style, with psychological factors said to be having some salutary bearing on fertility. Providence, thus, seems to have consigned the Earthly Paradise to a Dog’s Life, a reward richly deserved for the traits of loyalty and faithfulness characteristic of the fraternity of hounds. The day of reckoning is said to be not so far off, as, according to reliable sources, it will only be a year or two when stray dogs will outnumber humans, in the city of Srinagar at least. The on, it would truly be the Darwinian principle of the survival of the fittest that would take over in the capital of the Himalayan Valley.
The unceasing battle has drawn first blood several times, for instance when hastening the departure of a 62-year-old Sumbal resident who drew his final breath in unimaginable agony at a premier city hospital. The victim did not even deserve the tribute of an official inquiry, a ritual reserved for targets of bullets and bombs, signifying in no mean way that dogs out-rank even the famously untouchable uniformed forces in immunity from the law. As it is, in this existential battleground, the odds of law, as well as of world opinion, are already stacked against the human race, for any suggestion of artificially disturbing the numerical equation in its favour brings down the legal wrath of a host of activists as well as scathing moral indictments from around the globe. Homicide, therefore, is proving to be a far less risky enterprise, what with a worldwide disapproval of capital punishment, not to speak of, in this part of the plant, a blanket immunity stemming from a uniform and a gun.