Beasts of the field

The Cabinet recently decided to set up an agricultural and forestry varsity. This has set veterinary experts on the warpath. Vets claim that their science has received animal’s treatment at the hands of the government. The growl is that the Cabinet has not appended Animal (or, Veterinary) Science to the varsity’s name. However, according to social animals of different stripes, as long as the dog bites and barks, it won’t matter what name it has. But the vets have now pounced on the finance minister’s announcement of Rs.80-million fodder necessary for the birth of the new creature he had named Agriculture, Forestry and Animal Science University.

However, the main point is whether those who want to delve deeper into the animal science will have the opportunity of doing so in the new habitat. If the protests gain in strength, the government may well have to chew the cud. Name or no name, you can’t keep farms and animals apart. But vets think a name will add a feather to their cap. But the name game should not be allowed to develop into a bone of contention. At the same time, there’s no harm in going along with the vets’ prescription. On its part, the government need not fear

inviting charges of changing its spots like a leopard. The way animal fanciers give names to their pets, one can understand how much they prize proper nouns. For the government, the question is purely one of horse sense, if not horseplay.