In India the Guiding Principles of Politics and State and Article 48 specifically prohibits “the slaughter of cows, of calves and other dairy and attraction animals.”
According to the study of anthropologist Marvin Harris, avoiding beef can, however, be attributed to religiousness zeal. As Gandhi used to say, “the central event of Hinduism is the protection of the cow … protecting the cow is the gift of Hinduism in the world … Hinduism will survive as long as there are Hindus who protect the cow (Harris, 1989)”.
In fact Hindus respect cows, they stay around their homes, they give them names, they talk to them, they decorate them with flowers and when they grow up and they cannot provide them what they need, they send them to animal asylum.
Apart from the statues of cattle, Hindus believe that everything from the cow is sacred. “The priests make a sacred nectar consisting of milk, sour milk, butter, urine, and manure to smear statues and pilgrims” (Harris, 1989).
Is it safer to be a woman or a holy cow in India?
This question is being asked by artist Sujatro Ghosh from Calcutta to highlight the problem of increasing violence against women.
Through his project, published by the Guardian, women from India star in a series of photos, wearing cow masks, to showcase the cow’s sanctity in the country’s culture, but not so much of the woman.
“The key issue is women’s rights and protection,” he says. “I’m not against protecting cows, I love animals. But I am worried about the social and political situation in my country”.
It is worth noting…
In 2016, there were 6 rapes and 12 abuses on average every day in India.