Why would I hug a cow on Valentine’s Day when symbolically I have no love for the animal? My affection for it is only limited to it being a creation of God, provider of milk and is an indisputable anchor in the rural heritage of India. On the day of love’, I would rather disgorge my sentiments for the sheath of books that lie humbly on the ground nut wooden shelf or empower the already laden love for my son. These acts close to our heart pirouette around the carnivalesque of love that has now been tailspined as an abominable simulacrum of the flutes played by the ‘Gau Rakshaks’.
If it is about cow being the ‘provider of nourishment’ as innocuously put forward by the ‘The Animal Welfare Board of India’ and a palatable reason good enough to celebrate 14th February as a ‘Cow Hug Day’, I am presumably worried about other animals who are too a provider of substantiate necessities. ‘Sheep and Goat’ provide wool which keeps us warm during the fugitive cold weather. What about the Silk Moth? — It’s a primary producer of Silk; a luxury not everybody can afford but many adorn the slippery silhouette with élan and aplomb.
The ubiquitous eggs too provide their share of nutritious efficacy—a sine qua non for most Indians at their breakfast table. Loaded with proteins and Vitamin D, eggs are laid by Hens, Ostrich and Ducks.
So, why this obsession with Cows?
Religious Vedas may describe it as a scared animal, which is acceptable but then sanctity is a personal choice. In a democratic and secular set-up like India, one animal cannot be the beneficiary of all love and affections. Other animals would be then walking the slippery slope.
To me or to any person strictly not in tune with the strictures compounded around the Cow, they are like self-sustained wanderers frequently found meandering on the streets, gazing the dismissal heap of grass, bullishly stormed by car-honking, left unchaperoned and picturing as unpalatable entities.
Hinduism gives Cow an identity of an animal to be revered and a weighted sacrum of sacrosanctity. The shibboleth surrounding the ‘Incarnate Cow’ is so deeply etched that religious pilferage sometimes takes a political turn. The slapdash affair of ‘Cow Hug Day’ is an obnoxious thrasonical tautology; it’s reminiscent how depredations relating to ‘cow protection’ by the ‘Right-Wing’ has creeped into the social structure of celebrating an animal that is not theorized by other sects and religious identities.
If the ‘dear cow’ still needs to have a day to be loved and hugged, what better than the festival of ‘Janmashtami’— the birth day of ‘Lord Krishna’. A cattle rearer or ‘Gwala’ Krishna often played flute amongst the cows. In Hindu temples, the cow is concomitantly placed near his idol. All this would definitely arouse a sententious debate of if there is actually a need for a ‘Cow-hug day’? The advent of a westernized conceptuality, however, does pull the rabbit by the ear and as facetious it may sound, we do become moral vanguards.
Where does this precipitous inclination wither when naked cows are left to litter on the roads? The India which is compassionate enough to send relief funds to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and now Turkey has to actually search Heaven and Earth to provide shelter to the so called ‘Mother Cow’. The very fact that it has become a matter of ridicule does not bother the ‘moral shepherds’ and their self-justifying exculpation.
The stray cattle have become more of an amusement for foreign tourists who prefer the archetype voice tones to describe the nuisance. This is the India we know where people callously take out their phones to click the cows discordantly crossing the road vehemently stuck in the cacophony of horns and hilarity. If this is how we project the revered animal and have no compunction in using the stick and carrot policy to ingratiate our intemperate ideologies, then it’s time to first hug and consume the dilapidated state of the so called ‘Mother Cow’.
Punctilious action on time is all the love and care that the animal needs!!