All of us have gifts. Maneka Gandhi’s gift, amounting to a passion has been animals. She knows all that can be known about animal needs, animal behaviour. And, more to the point, she knows all too well how we humans mistreat animals, in the wild and in domestic or un-civilian care. And this makes her rage.
This also makes Maneka Gandhi who and what she is. William Blake’s great poem ‘Tyger, tiger burning bright’, she must know by heart. As the one with ‘A robin redbreast in a cage puts all heaven in a rage’ has to be her Bible. For the last five years, however, in keeping with the decorum of cabinet protocol and the dharma of politics, her rage over our mistreatment of animals has had to be caged. Her department being Women and Child Welfare, her natural, spontaneous, instinctive care for animals in distress has had to be a slow, internal burn. The number