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Why can’t cow be India’s national animal

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By: Er. Prabhat Kishore

A bench of Allahabad High Court has passed an order on 1stSeptember 2021, in which it has said  that the cow is an integral part of Indian culture and the Central Government should bring a bill in the Parliament to declare the cow as the national animal of India.

Earlier on 31stMay 2017, Rajasthan High Court has also recommended the Centre to declare the cow as national animal. Strict law should be enforced against those who harm the cow. The right to life is above the right to kill and the right to eat beef can never be considered a fundamental right.

The judgement narrates that according to Rigveda, “Panchgavya” prepared using cow’s milk, curd, ghee, urine, and dung helps in treating several incurable diseases and building immunity. As per Ayurved, “Gavyam Pavitram Cha Rasayanam Cha, Pathyam Cha Hridyam Balbuddhim. Aayuh Pradam Raktvikarhari, Tridosh Hridrogvishapaham Syat” (i.e. Panchgvya is a pure chemical. It is beneficial as diet and for heart. It increases lifespan, strength and intellectual capacity and destroys all the impurities of the blood. It   the destroyer of three Doshas, namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It can cure cardiovascular disorders).

From a religious and cultural point of view, the cow has been the centre of attention and worthy of worship in  Indian society since time immemorial. People of Sanatan Dharma have been worshiping the cow for centuries. According to Sanatan Vedic culture belief, 33 Koti (categories) of Gods and Goddesses reside in a cow. Lord Krishna got all his knowledge under the cow’s feet. He preached in Bhagwad Gita (10.28) “Dhanunansmama Kamdhuk” (i.e. I am whatever Kamdenu is).

All four Vedas have highlighted the significance of the cow and termed her as the symbol of creation. The Rigveda states that the cow, who is the mother of Rudra, the daughter of  Vasus, the sister of Adityas (Agni), the store house of nectar (milk) is Aghanya and should never be killed. One can attain Moksha (salvation) by worshiping and serving her. According to Yajurveda, “Go Samana Na Vidyate”, i.e. the cow is the only one among the living creatures in the world to be useful from beginning to end. As per Samveda, all thing obtained from the cow are sacred. As per Atharvaveda, “Dhenussadanam Rayeenam”, i.e. the cow is the adobe of prosperity. The Cow was originally born during the Samudra Mantan (churning of the ocean) and is one of the Navaratnas.  She is the repository of eight kinds of wealth. The peasants become wealthy with Golakshmi.

Cow is the national animal of the nearby country Nepal. In Indonesia, Muslims still maintain not slaughtering cows in respect of their ancestors, who were Hindus.  Jesus Christ had said that killing a cow is tantamount to killing a man. Lord Buddha described the cow as the friend of man. The Jains have called the cow as heaven. Bal GangadharTilak said that you can kill me but do not hurt the cow. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya had advocated for total prohibition of cow slaughter. Gandhiji called the cow “a poem of pity” and  regarded her a symbol of Indian culture. He said that he does not want swarajya in Bharat where the cows are being killed.

Although slaughter of cattle and consumption of beef plays a role in several Muslim festivals and culture, majority of the Muslim leadership of the country have always been in favour of a nationwide ban on cow slaughter. Khwaja Hasan Nizami in his book “Tark-e-Gao Kushi” has written about not killing the cow. Even Akbar, Humayun, and Babar had appealed not to kill the cow in their Raj.Hyder Ali,the ruler of Mysore, had made cow slaughter a punishable offence.  During framing of the Constitution of India, several members of the Constitution Assembly had spoken about the inclusion of cow protection as a fundamental right.

Scientists believe that the cow is the only living being who inhales and exhales oxygen. It absorbs cosmic energy through its horns. Cow’s urine has the miraculous property of destroying any kind of germs. It provides strength to the heart and mind and stops ageing. Russian scientist said that house plastered with cow dung is safe for radio waves. Oxygen is generated by using ghee in the Yagya. Spraying cow’s dung on urban waste removes all the foul smell and converts the waste into fertilizer.

Several studies have claimed that in addition to increasing the production of crops, eating crops grown using cow dung can get rid of various diseases. In countries having dry climate and water scarcity, the occupation of agriculture is very tedious. Such countries like Kuwait are importing cow-dung from India for organic farming using cow-dung fertilisers.

Cow has been treated as auspicious and also a symbol of compassion & piousness. It is also the backbone of our socio-economic life.  Cow protection and promotion are not concerned with any particular religion or faith.  Cow is an integral part of Indian culture and the task of saving the culture rests with every citizen living in the country, irrespective of religion or worship.

The Uttarakhand High Court has passed an order for the legal status of the person to the Holy Ganga and Yamuna rivers; similarly, the cow should also be granted the status of a legal entity. Considering the enormous benefits it provides to mankind and nature, the Cow deserves to be a national animal.

(The author is a technocrat and an academician. He holds Master in Engineering from M.N. Regional Engineering College, Allahabad/Prayagraj)




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