UP assembly polls: 'Spare the donkey please', say animal activists
The donkey has become an unusual star of recent political rallies in Uttar Pradesh. Politicians, big and small time and again refer to donkeys during the rallies. Akhilesh Yadav used it to take a dig at the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned the jibe around to attack the SP-Congress alliance. While politicians are having a field day evoking donkeys, animal rights activists are not amused.
"When you compare a donkey to a man, you are basically complimenting the man and insulting the animal. The poor animal does far more work than any politician. It is loyal, hardworking but is stoic in its attitude towards its work. Do you see any politician like that? Why unnecessarily evoke the animal that has neither a role to play in their politics nor is benefitted from it?" asked Tamannah, an animal rights activist.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav started the donkey jibe when he said, "There is an ad on television which shows donkeys. I appeal to century's biggest star to please stop endorsing the donkeys of Gujarat". He was appealing to Amitabh Bachchan to not endorse leaders of BJP from Gujarat including the prime minister.
Not the one to let it go, PM Narendra Modi decided to turn it around and use the 'donkey' analogy to attack Akhilesh Yadav. "One can understand your attacks on the BJP and Narendra Modi, but you have not even spared donkeys. Are you scared of donkeys too? I am amazed at your discriminatory mindset which does not spare a donkey," he had said during a rally.
Modi reminded the SP that the Congress with whom they had an alliance had brought out postal stamps on donkeys in 2013. He took it one step ahead and said that the donkeys Akhilesh Yadav was referring to belong to the same land which gave the country leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The donkey may be the new favourite animal for political parties in Uttar Pradesh but animal lovers are not very happy with it. 'Spare the donkey,' they say.