Tag Archives: Rahul Bedi

THE MONKEY ON A NATION’S BACK (1998)

Mr Bedi goes for five. See also: “India’s Marauding Monkeys” (1993); “Romeo’s Monkey Business Drives Nurses Bananas” (1994); “Monkeys Mock Democracy” (1996); and “Monkeys Go To Jail” (1997).

THE MONKEY ON A NATION’S BACK

by Rahul Bedi
The Australian
March 26, 1998

NEW DELHI: A pack of alcoholic monkeys create havoc on a daily basis in the Excise Department laboratory in New Delhi, guzzling liquor samples brought in for testing and going berserk when denied their daily drink quota.

Excise officials said that despite security, the pack of seven monkeys who have lived near the laboratory for years manage to get inside and get drunk on hundreds of liquor samples.

More than 100 police stations send moonshine seized from bootleggers to be tested at the laboratory, which also services scores of drug companies that send samples of alcohol-based substances used in medicines.

“Each monkey must have drunk hundreds of bottles by now,” a laboratory official said.

He said the monkeys became violent when unable to get a drink and moved into the office complex, ransacking and destroying everything in sight.

All attempts to deal effectively with menacing monkeys here and in several other places across India is hampered by the reverence with which they are held by Hindus, India’s majority community.

Hindu religious sentiment associates monkeys with Hanuman, the monkey god who was Lord Rama’s fearless and loyal assistant in his battle against Ravana, the evil god king of Sri Lanka .

There are thousands of Hanuman temples across India and every Tuesday is reserved for the worship of him.

Meanwhile, wildlife authorities in Patiala, a northern town in Punjab State, some 322km north of Delhi, where monkey business is rampant, have come up with a special jail for “criminal simians” who are incarcerated for varying periods before being declared “fit” enough to be “released” back into society.

There are an estimated 50,000 monkeys in Punjab, almost all wild, the largest number being in Patiala district. Their numbers have increased after monkey exports were banned in the late 1980s.

Led by ringleaders, usually the biggest and most vicious of the pack, monkey gangs chalk out their patch in crowded neighbourhoods across the State and terrorise everyone around.

Monkeys also menace Delhi’s corridors of power and spread mayhem on the campus of the nearby All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India’s flagship research institution.

Officials walk warily down passageways in the north and south blocks of the Indian government buildings — housing, among others, the prime minister’s office — looking apprehensively over their shoulders for fear of being set upon by marauding monkeys hiding in niches.

The animals chase doctors and nurses at the Institute of Medical Sciences and patients in post-operative wards sometimes surface from anaesthesia only to be greeted by grinning monkeys in their beds.

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MONKEYS MOCK DEMOCRACY (1996)

MONKEYS MOCK DEMOCRACY

by Rahul Bedi
South China Morning Post
March 22, 1996

An Indian security agency has been assigned an unusual, though formidable, task — ridding the New Delhi Election Commission of monkeys whose maraudings have delayed preparations for next month’s elections.

Officials said the building at Kashmere Gate has been vandalised by monkeys who tore out electrical fittings and damaged furniture.

“We are apprehensive they might damage valuable election material like electoral rolls, ballot papers, ink and stamps,” said an official.

The security agency, meanwhile, is considering using special stun-guns to immobilise, trap and relocate the monkeys.

Monkeys are holy for India’s majority Hindu community, which associates them with Hanuman, the mythical monkey-god. One of the biggest Hanuman temples is next to the Election Commission offices.

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ROMEO’S MONKEY BUSINESS DRIVES NURSES BANANAS (1994)

ROMEO’S MONKEY BUSINESS DRIVES NURSES BANANAS

by Rahul Bedi
South China Morning Post
April 2, 1994

NEW DELHI: A male monkey, christened Romeo because of his fondness for female nurses and patients, has struck terror into a north Indian hospital.

Victims of Romeo’s “passionate” attacks at SMGS hospital in Jammu say he makes his advances only when he sees a lone female.

When rebuffed, Romeo becomes enraged and bites his victims, who then need rabies vaccinations.

Among Romeo’s recent victims was a 10-year-old girl visiting the hospital, but he seems to prefer the nurses. He has bitten at least six over the past three months, waiting patiently for them in dark corridors before attacking.

Hospital security staff have tried to trap the monkey, who lives somewhere on the sprawling hospital campus, by offering him bananas laced with sedatives.

Romeo, however, has outwitted them so far, eating the “loaded” bananas and making off to his secret lair to sleep them off.

Hospital staff say they cannot shoot or kill Romeo because of the strong religious sentiments aroused whenever any serious plans are afoot to eliminate him.

Hindus associate monkeys with Hanuman, the mythical monkey god, among the most revered of Hindu gods. Hanuman is worshipped in thousands of temples dedicated to him across India, and his spirit is believed to live inside all monkeys.

Patients consider it propitious to feed a monkey, hoping Hanuman will hasten recovery. Even the suggestion of killing one fills them with dread.

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