MULTIPLE ROLES OF DOGS IN INDIA
culture, art and the colonial context
Dogs have an ambivalent status in Indian culture. On the one hand, they were one of the first animals to be domesticated, since when they have been a regular companion of man. They are also a divine steed, a companion of the ascetics, and even the goddess Durga has been described as having a dog’s head. On the other hand, they are often viewed as an unclean creature that should not be kept in homes. Observing the streets of Indian cities, one may notice countless homeless dogs, which people do not usually treat in a particularly friendly way. So what is the truth about the dog’s role in India? This issue is quite complex and should be traced from a historical as well as topical perspective.
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