We can make fun of India's soap operas, their funny English accents and the stereotype of their tech support call centres, but one thing we can’t (and shouldn’t, honestly) make fun of is their monkeys.
India’s northern temple town of Varanasi is a tourist city – domestic as well as foreign. The two million residents share the city with a large number of monkeys – seen as an avatar of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman and considered sacred.
But the monkeys are biting through internet wires set around the town, and are causing very frequent internet outages, which is hurting the city’s tourist potential.
Now, the city nestled on the banks of the river Ganges and under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency, faces a monkey dilemma: trap the monkeys and / or chase them away, or suffer the lack of internet.
Chasing sacred monkeys away would most definitely outrage residents and temple-goers.
The city of over two million people is impossibly crowded and laying underground cables everywhere is out of the question, but a senior engineer with Telecommunication Department, A.P Srivastav, says there are plans to lay some optical cable underground to deal with the situation.
"There is an immense monkey menace. They bite the wires and the signal gets disrupted. It happens very often. We have laid down optical cable underground till the banks which has resolved half the problem, but at this point of time it is not possible to do so everywhere across the banks. So, we take it above head and also deal with monkeys," said Srivastav for the IBTimes.
It really is a crisis. I mean, why would you go and take selfies with some monkeys if you can’t upload them to your Instagram after?
IBTimes has a cute video showing the monkeys in action, and you can check it out here.