Updated: Feb 15, 2022
By Rohan Gadi
Pune: Dr. Manjiri Prabhu, “Desi Agatha Christie”, talked about her book ‘The DOGtrine of
Peace’ at 9 th Pune International Literary Festival. 9 th Pune International Literary Festival that lasted 3 days ended on 23 rd December which took place online.
PILF is a festival which celebrates the written word in all forms and media. Over the last 8 years
more than 1000 eminent authors, speakers and creative personalities from different fields and parts of the world have played an important role in raising the bar of the festival.
The panel discussion on her new book starts with a 5-minute introductory video by Dr. Jane Goodall, who talks about several things that are happening around us, things that ideally should not happen. She starts her 5-minute intriguing speech by appealing and insisting that the world needs to understand that poverty, climate change, even this pandemic is happening because of us, humans, and only we are responsible for it. She also stated that continuous economic growth is not possible if we have finite resources. During the end of her short speech she talked about hope, that how hope is an important thing and without it there will be apathy which would be disastrous for us. Then the screen gets occupied by three adept people, Dr, Manjiri Prabhu, who holds a doctorate in communication science, a short filmmaker, an international award-winning author and also founder, director of two international festivals. Radhika Suryvanshi, a senior campaigns coordinator at Peta India. Deepankar Mukherjee, owner of a publishing house, ‘Readomania’, who also published the latest book written by Dr. Manjiri Prabhu, “The DOGtrine of Peace”.
The panel kickstarts the discussion with the question on “How Dr. Manjiri Prabhu came across the idea of writing her latest book, The DOGtrine of Peace?”. On this question Prabhu replies that when she met Sheena(dog), whom she called her daughter, her life changed. Sheena changed her perspective towards her life, towards animals on the street, towards nature. She also says that she started writing this book in 2007 and kept adding to it as dogs came into her life.
Radhika Suryavanshi also commented on Prabhu’s new book, she said that she loved the book and was moved by it, and every aspect, every line of it. One thing that stayed with Radhika was that when dogs come into your life, they become a part of your life but for them you become their life. The issue of abandonment of dogs was also raised in the one-hour panel discussion. According to Radhika Suryavanshi, over 80 million dogs and cats are homeless, and 34 percent of owners abandon their pets. She says that people buy or gift an animal thinking it is cute, but no one takes in consideration the responsibilities that comes with that animal.
“I don’t know why but people have this fancy idea that if they buy a pedigree dog, a foreign breed
instead of adopting an indie dog they will have a status symbol in the society, no matter if they keep the dog tied in the garden for four to five days and barely even walk him, they have this illusion that if they have a dog of a foreign breed they may have a higher status in the world” Prabhu spoke. Another topic of discussion that took place in the one-hour panel discussion was indie versus pedigree dogs, which one should one choose? Prabhu said that she finds all the dogs cute and all of them have the most soulful eyes, but it is the indie dogs that are in need of a shelter, that should be first adopted if you have the time and can take up their responsibility.
Radhika came in with another point of view, “Buying animals from breeders and pet shops is
extremely cruel, because cruelty is inherent in the dog breeding business, dogs are kept in filthy
cages, they are not provided water and many of these suffer from Pneumonia. Female dogs are bred repeatedly. These puppies are denied proper care. Whenever someone buys an animal from these vet shop, an animal on the street loses their chance of getting a loving home”.
One should check whether the dog seller is registered with the state, Radhika Suryavanshi said.
The later half of the discussion was filled with book readings by Radhika and Deepankar, reading
their favorite part of the Prabhu’s latest book.
In the last twenty minutes Prabhu and Radhika took up questions from the audience and answered them humbly. Most of the questions were surrounded on how to make one’s surrounding a better place for indie dogs.
The discussion ended on a high note when the organizers played a music video on the book “The
DOGtrine of Peace” which was composed and sung by Dr. Majiri Prabhu herself.