There’s been so much going on with cows in India these days. The news headlines are clearly testimonial to that:
- Cows exhale oxygen, absorb cosmic energy, home to gods: Rajasthan HC judge
- What if Cow instead of the tiger is declared to be the national animal of India?
- Behead those who slaughter cows, says Shankaracharya of Varanasi’s Sumeru Peeth
I haven’t really thought about a cow in a very long time, but what’s happening in our country clearly made me do that.
What’s been the role of a cow in my life?
- I love drinking the bastardised version of tea that we all drink: the unholy mixture of tea with milk, it is the unhealthiest way to consume tea, but we collectively as a nation don’t give a rat’s ass about that, do we?
- As a young kid going to his native place in rural India for the summer holidays, I have quite a few memories about the cows that my grandfather owned back in the day. We had our own supply of milk, no Milkman needed. My uncle and my grandfather engaged in a elaborate activity of accumulating huge stacks of hay in the summer as food for the rest of the year for our dear cows. My only interest in this activity was lying in the hay for most of the day and chilling.
- I also was witness to a very cringeworthy event: My maternal uncle playing doctor in a Cow’s childbirth. The calf coming out of a Cow is not a scene I would like to rewind in my head.
- One summer, it was decided that one of the cows was now too old and so she needed to go. It was a fun ride, I sat in the front of a big tempo truck with the poor cow being loaded into the back. We went to a big animal’s market in Shirur district. The sight of so many cows, buffaloes, and oxen all brought in trucks to be bought and sold made quite an impression on me as a kid. So did the vast amount of dung that they generated that day. She was sold and I don’t know where she is now today? (or do I? I think she clearly was someone’s lunch or dinner or a leather handbag.)
- My dad tried to teach me how to drive a car. It was a frustrating exercise which quickly ended in about 2 days when we realised that him continuously screaming while sitting next to me about releasing the clutch and simultaneously pushing down the accelerator to get the car moving wasn’t doing the both of us any good. But one valuable lesson that he did manage to teach me was about cows and driving on the road: Cows are really dumb when it comes to their safety on the roads, especially Indian roads. A dog is scared for his life when he decides to cross the road. And he’s smart, he’ll dodge the speeding vehicle and live another day in his inconsequential life. Cats are even smarter. They epitomise grace in the way they move. But cows. That’s a totally different beast. Cows will stand there, on the road without moving an inch no matter how much you honk. They don’t give a fuck about you. Where there is a will there’s a way. Hell no, you got to put your tail between your legs, accept defeat, retract and manoeuvre around them and cause no harm to them whatsoever. In an accident involving a cow and a car, the cow will get more sympathy. People will judge you with their eyes clearly telling you how you’re going to rot in hell for hurting the holy cow. Disclaimer: I’ve never hurt a cow.
- As a kid, I loved watching mythological shows on cable TV. I don’t think I’m religious but I was religious when it came to watching “Om Namah Shivay”, “Ramayan” and “Mahabharata”. These are the only lessons I think I ever got on Hinduism. One of the best storylines was the Sagar Manthan. That was some cool stuff to watch with amazing divine things coming out of the Ocean churning. Kamdhenu, the holy cow is really the only famous cow that I know of. Basically, both the Asuras and the Devas wanted her. She was like a genie and granted wishes. Really who wouldn’t want a genie in the form of a cow?
So, getting back on point here Cows were never really on the forefront in India at least until now. They haven’t been the topic of heated discussions in the past 70 years post-Independence like they are today. It had been a tacit understanding that as a cow lost its economic use for a farmer, she was to be shipped off as an input in the Meat and Leather industries.
They’ve been silent givers to humanity ever since man learnt to domesticate them.
To make cows, a façade for masking hatred for other religions is really a sad reflection on who we are as a nation. Killing people, threatening to kill people, all in the name of a Cow.
So how are we then better than those you do that very thing, only in the name of Jihad?