Many will be tempted to cringe at the political dog-fight that has broken out. The Left says that the drop in duties on dog food shows the government cares more for the pets of the rich than the starving poor. Never a man to stay away from a verbal battle, minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh suggests that the communists eat dog food.
Dogs have featured in our political debates before. Ram Manohar Lohia, the stormy petrel of socialist politics, famously taunted Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963, saying that the spending on Nehru’s dogs was 15 times the spending on a poor Indian.
Elsewhere, Hitler’s dog went to his grave with his master, with the cyanide that Hitler took tested on the dog first. US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush are dog lovers, much to the delight of satirists.
But the communists have good ideological reasons not to like dogs—those iniquitous creatures. After all, Mao liked to call his enemies running dogs of imperialism. And we now hear that cats are feeling left out of this important political debate.