Thursday, June 27, 2013

Donkeys have vanished from Bihar

Donkeys have vanished from Bihar 
Syed Ali Mujtaba

In a shocking revelation the 19th five years animal counting report of Bihar reveals  that, donkeys, the tried and tested campaigning of washer men have vanished  in  Bihar. This is quite contrary to the report of the year 2007 that enumerated the population of donkeys in Bihar to be 23,944.

Various reasons are attributed to it and one that is being touted to be its high demand in Nepal China. These animals are the good mode of transport even in the adverse weather on the hills of these countries and are much needed there.

It’s reported that the demand of donkeys and mules has gone up in Nepal and China. This has led to unofficial
export of donkeys from Bihar to Nepal through its porous borders. It’s reported that the importers of Nepal are sending them to China.

These donkeys and mules are being exported to China legally and illegally from Nepal and are believed to be the reasons of total depletion of donkey’s population from Bihar.

There are many stories attributed to donkeys and the one that has come down to me through my grannies bed time stories is; there lived a washer man, who had a donkey. The washer man was very poor and unable to feed himself and his family.  He all the time use to beat the donkey and ask him to leave his house, many a times he has taken the donkey to some far off places and have tried to dump it and escaped. But the donkey was faithful to him and always returned to his master.

One day when, the washer man was moaning how to get his next meal, the donkey told his master to kill him and eat up. The washer man saw the donkey admiringly.He struck upon a plan, and started working on it diligently.

One day quite early in the morning, he took the donkey to the national highway and where a stream to traffic seem to convince him to be right location, he told the donkey, here i will kill you.

The donkey obediently agreed to his murder plans. The washer man then actually killed the donkey then buried his dead and made a grave that could be visible from a long distance.

He put some flags and covered the grave with shinning cloths. He then set up a sign board that said visit Peer Baba’s grave to fulfill all your wishes.

Well within no time people started flocking to the grave to get their vows fulfilled taking blessings from this great soul. Since then the washer man earned pots of money every day. He never went hungry again. After that even his second and third generations are reaping the benefit of the sacrifice of that loyal donkey.

Well this is a true story and can be compared with the same zest as the one- ek tha gul or ek thai bulbul, dono chaman mein rahte thae, hai yeh khani bilkul sachi, mere nana kahtae thae!

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at


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