In a random taxi this morning, the driver asks me: “Are you Indian or Pakistani?”
Me: “Oh, I am Indian…”
After a few moments…
He: “Your people…they cannot organise the Commonwealth Games”
I paused for a bit before asking him why. The games were already a mess…I was dreading what he was going to say/ask next. He went on: “Aye…you Indians are not serious-o. You are using monkeys for security“ (looking genuinely concerned). He had heard about them in the radio. He was right. India had indeed deployed its vanar-sena for the games
Langurs are an aggressive type of monkey with long tails and dark faces. They are controlled on leads by specially trained handlers, who release them once other monkeys are seen. Four langurs each will patrol the two stadiums, he said. Two more would be on standby, he added.
I tried to rationalise with him that if dogs could be used for security, why not monkeys? And anyway to me, dogs were scarier than monkeys. He disagreed vehemently: “These monkeys you see, they are very dangerous-o. Some of them, like baboons, they can kill you!”
This would definitely not have made him feel much better
Thousands of monkeys roam Delhi, mostly around government offices and are considered a public nuisance.
For years the animals have caused havoc, riding on the city’s metro trains and even roaming through parliament. They have invaded the prime minister’s office and the defence ministry. They cannot be killed because many Indians see them as sacred