26 November, 2020

Animal Passions

The original kutta-billi activist was Crystal Rogers, the indefatigable founder of CUPA

Animal Passions
The autobiography of Crystal Rogers tells the story of an amazing woman who lived and cared for animals and their suffering. Deftly edited and dramatised by individuals chosen by the Bangalore-based Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) from Ms Rogers' scattered papers and writings, its pages bring us many vignettes. There is Constance, the abandoned bitch, Danny the donkey, Kaka the crow, Alfred the flying fox-and of course Crystal Rogers' struggles against the Indian bureaucracy, entrenched interests and strange, semi-mystical powers. The bottomline is quite clear: Indians found the 'pagal memsahib' and her crusade a trifle quirky.

However, unwilling to concede that Indians are inherently cruel to animals Ms Rogers believed that the material circumstances of their lives led them to certain actions, or inaction as the case may be. "I tried to unravel why there was so much indifference towards animal and human suffering in this country of pacifism and compassion," she mused, concluding that people became immune to the everydayness of misery. She vowed then to...



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