Pet and master

That “man is known by the company he keeps” is an often-stated cliché. In the same coin, one might say that a man is known by the animal or pet he keeps.

Though considered nebulous until recently, animal psychology as a subject has developed in leaps and bounds since the last few decades. And, pet owners’ arguments seem to have a semblance of scientific backing though there is no unanimity on the issue.

Some claim that pets adopt the personality traits of their owners but psychologists have dismissed it as the owners’ attempts to project their own traits on their pets to placate their ego.

That was until Prof. Richard Wiseman of England came out with his startling revelation based on extensive research. He said animals not only have personality traits but also provide a unique insight into their owners’ personality.

Now juxtapose these findings with the animal adoption programmes launched by the Mysore Zoo and it throws up interesting points for discussion.

A majority of the species adopted by the public are of the winged variety — birds and occasionally small mammals — that are easy to maintain, highly predictable and more commonly found. Perhaps it underlines the owners’ “commoner” status and predictable behaviour.

But recently, a few political bigwigs of the State adopted species renowned to be vicious and highly unpredictable — black cobra, gorilla and a tiger.

While the zoo authorities have appreciated the choice of animals as “shoring up conservation efforts”, the last word is awaited on what it says about the owners’ “personality traits”! Perhaps animal psychologists could provide the answer.

Blame game goes on

Who should be blamed for the delay in execution of projects under the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)? Is it the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) or the State-level Empowerment Committee of the Government?

The delay in JNNURM projects has triggered a blame game. While a citizens’ forum blames the MCC for the delay, the corporation blames the SLEC for the delay.

Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore convener M. Lakshmana pointed fingers at the corporation for the delay in JNNURM projects, during a meeting here.

Describing the blame on MCC as “unreasonable”, Mayor Ayub Khan countered the charge saying that the elected council came to power only six months ago and during this time, as many as five projects had been sent for the Centre’s approval.

“What were the officials doing when the corporation was under the rule of an administrator for over a year,” the mayor asked. They [the officials] could have sent the project proposals for approval instead of waiting for the elected body.

“When very little has been done during the administrator’s rule, why is the corporation being unreasonably blamed for the delay in JNNURM works?” Mr. Khan said.

Even after signing the MoU with the Centre two years ago, the MCC still does not have a project on hand which it could implement on its own.

This means, it is yet to get grants under JNNURM despite being the nodal agency.

Perhaps, this has become a cause for concern for the MCC, which has come under fire from various quarters for not making convincing project proposals for the aid.