It is not unusual that individuals pretending to be knowledgeable blurt out something, which results in producing the opposite effect. This happens in meetings. A member who presents a proposal finds it is accepted unanimously and later goes back to his constituency with a sense of achievement. When he revels under the joy of this achievement, some one points out the implications of the proposal and its after effects. He regrets and realizes his foolishness. We have an illustration of a Councilor of a Municipality who had a similar achievement.
A Committee meeting of Councilors to discuss various items in the agenda was convened. The Chairman explained by way of introduction the purpose of the meeting and the gist of the agenda. Then an important item came up for discussion. This related to setting up of a slaughterhouse in a particular locality. The proceedings follow.
Chairman: Gentlemen, now we come to an important item in the agenda. This relates to setting up of a slaughterhouse. I invite your valuable suggestions.
Member A: You have proposed a location and I submit this is not acceptable to me. Our residents will totally oppose such a proposal. Hence I suggest you drop the idea of setting it up there.
Member B: Why not we consider it in APX ward?
Member C: That is my ward. I don’t welcome this. I have to look after the interests of the residents there. If you are particular why not you consider your ward for its location.
Member D: If everyone shelves this proposal what will happen to the slaughterhouse? It is a very useful facility for which people have been making several representations. When we are about to set up the facility we find members shirking responsibility. This is very bad.
Member E: Sir. I find all members are against this. But I welcome it. It must be set up in my constituency. I shall give land and all facilities.
Chairman: Then we have solved the problem. The proposal is passed unanimously.
Member E leaves the meeting with great joy. He rushes to his constituency to announce he has achieved something great for the people of the locality. He explained with great enthusiasm he had secured them a slaughterhouse with great difficulty and that was passed unanimously.
Then one citizen asked him.
“You say you have achieved. You know the implications Do you know what slaughterhouse means”.
Member E: Yes. It is a filter house for purification of water so that we get clean and hygienic water in our area.
Citizen: No. No. It is not that. You are mistaken. It means a place where animals are cut to pieces to be sold as meat. Blood will flow and all waste including hides, skins and bones, will accumulate making the place a ghastly sight and a center of stink.
Member E: Is it so. I thought slaughterhouse meant a filter house. I never knew it was what you said. Any way I shall ask the Committee to cancel the proposal.
He went back to the municipal office the next day. By then the decision had been taken. The Chairman said it was not possible to change the decision. It could be reviewed after a year.
The people of the locality were shocked to hear the news. In their utter disgust they renamed the Member E, the Councilor of their ward. They honored him conferring the title of Mr. Slaughter House. This name was referred to whenever he made his appearance in public. Thus Mr. Slaughter House earned a name consequent to a folly.