Declining number of cattle population in India
By Dr Vallabhbhai Kathiria
Since time immemorial, cow is considered to be sacred. Hindus and believers of Vedic philosophy knew the social, economic and spiritual importance of the cow. That is why the cow and her progeny were considered as member of the family in ancient culture. Gradually, the real importance was forgotten and only the ‘worshipping’ continued and finally it turned into a myth. If continued so, in the next decades the cow progeny will become extinct.
Today, the cows are said to be not economically viable. The breed with declining milk quantity goes on increasing with dwarf, diseased, mal-nourished and ill-cared population. The pasture land is decreasing. The cow keepers are not getting enough remuneration from milk. The basic sentiments and attachment towards the cow are losing rapidly.
As we see in other fields, in this case also we are looking towards the West for their cross-breed policy, corporate culture, over modernisation, importing milk powder etc. The importance of cow milk and its quality is forgotten. The pasture land is grabbed. The cows are becoming like stray animals wandering in the streets, eating plastics and ragged material. They become the victims of accidents and illness. Ultimately, they are sent to slaughter houses. The bulls are becoming useless due to increased modernisation of agriculture with usage of tractors and sophisticated farm equipments.
On the other hand, the new generation has no real knowledge of cow. They think on scientific basis and data which are not made available to them. They don’t just accept the religious beliefs. Again they don’t know the importance of being vegetarian. They are inclined towards non-vegetarian diet just for fun or misbeliefs of more calories and strong body. They even don’t know the meaning of ahimsa. Thanks to our McCole education system!
The farmers, shepherds and villagers are also losing their sentiments and attachment with cow due to the reasons described above. Everybody wants elite job or business. Nobody is interested in being with cows or animals to take care for. The interest in agriculture and animal husbandry is losing. The farmers are interested in keeping the agriculture land for investment purpose due to increased price, and not for agriculture produce! This is the real pathetic situation for all of us!
The government, I will not say, is doing nothing, but doing everything half-heartedly in a scattered way, in piece meal, with wasted interest of heavy weight lobbies or without clear policy suitable to our culture, tradition, system, geographical, social and economical situation of our vast country with bio-diversity. Basically, we have lost trust in our ancient grass rooted system, which is far better than western models in all aspects.
And above all, let me tell you the hidden truth! Please forgive me if I am wrong! Even some good examples are coming up with exceptions. They are the real ‘torch-bearers’ for us. Keeping them aside, majority cow protection movements are not directed properly. In the name of religion, several movements have been launched all over the country to protect the cow. The agitations, demonstrations, fasts, signature campaigns, yatras, press meets, articles and hot debates in media are going on since Independence. The private and Government Bills are still pending at various stages in assembly and Parliament. There are hundreds of local bodies, Gau Raksha Samitis are in existence. So-called Akhil Vishwa committees to Akhil Bharat committees in the names of Gau Bachao Abhiyans are working on papers! Sometimes and somewhere, they do seize the cows and her progeny going to slaughter houses, endangering their life for religious sentiments. But above all, they don’t have detail knowledge of the cow, her protection or utility and importance. Many such organisations are working for wasted interest of money making or publicity or socio-political strategy ’motives behind it. Many Ashrams and religious institutes extract money from their followers exploiting their religious sentiments and innocence. Today, it has become fashion to misuse dharma for personal gains, ambitions, motives and luxurious life.
The picture seems to be very gloomy for protection of cow and her progeny. Who is responsible for this catastrophe! Now the question is: Are we serious enough to realise this calamity? Are we really willing to survive! Are we firm to save the planet earth? Can the climate change be reversed keeping in mind the mother Nature? Re-establishing cow-culture is the only solution! Are we prepared to arise the cow-chetna and cow-sanskriti again? The responsibility lies on us, the Indians, the Hindus! because we claim to know the basic science behind it!
It is time to awake, time to arise and time to act upon. For the survival of gen next, it is essential to revert back to Nature with judicious use of science and technology! We have to leave the legacy for our generations to come for better world tomorrow!
There are lot of issues requiring attention and priority at a time for preservation of cow and her progeny, the cow of Indian origin, indigenous pure breeds with hump and other specific characteristics and not the jersey or hybrid cows meant for more milk and beef only?
So many religious institutes, NGO’s, Gaushalas, Gau Raksha committees and philanthropists, activists, social workers and even politicians are working sincerely and honestly in the field of cow protection.
The RSS and its associated organisations are also doing exemplary work for cow protection. Vishwa Mangal Gou Gram Yatra generated awakening among people all over the country. Many researchers are coming forward with scientific facts on usefulness of cow—cow-milk, cow-dung on health, wealth, environment, agriculture, protection from radioactivity, etc. Even residing adjacent to cows, having darshan and her positive vibrations do help in personal, family and social peace and harmony. The many fold benefits are well known to all of us now through various Jan Jagran Abhiyans, seminars, workshops, gau-kathas, publications and media. The only thing, now required is commitment—the commitment for cows by mind, and deeds!
Government of Gujarat, under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi, after full activation of Gau Sewa Ayog, has started multifocal approach in this direction. The social and religious institutes are coming up to fulfill this very purpose. The gau-sevaks, especially and surprisingly from the young generation, are coming forward with dedication, devotion, sincerity and clear vision and goal. The bureaucracy is also slowly favouring and understanding this movement. Government and financial support will change the scenario in near future.
The efforts to save cows and her progeny would be required to touch the top in form of Maha-Abhiyan. The sentiments have to be changed to scientific understanding. We will have to implement the slogan Chalo Gay Ki Aur, Chalo Gaon ki Aur, Chalo Prakiriti ki Aur, into action to save the humanity, to save the all living creatures and to save the planet! Tremendous responsibility lies on us!
We all human beings will have to understand that this is not a religious activity for Hindus. It is the duty of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and all other religious sects. None is against cows. All saints and religions have established the sacredness of cow and her importance. It is not the subject to debate.
Believing these facts, we all shall have to start work by ourselves—The charity beings at home” Lets us prove it. Every drop makes the ocean.
Every family can keep at least one cow, use her milk and other products. If one cannot keep, one should insist to use cow milk and its products. One can use the organic food made from cow-dung and cow-urine. One can use gau medicines made from gau-urine. Use Panchgavya in various fields of life at personal and community level. One can do business of Gaupalan, or producing the best breed of generation for future. One can start an industry for various cow products. One can adopt a cow or one can help gaushalas and panjarapoles or animal hostels, One can work for gau-raksha actively. One can work for awakening programmes, public awareness, mass movements etc. One may help in passing the law for complete ban on slaughter of cow and her progeny. Government servants, bureaucracy and politicians help in formulating cow-friendly policies, budget allocation, implementation, and execution policy and schemes properly. There are many more ways one can think and act upon.
In short, everyone can participate in this pious work in one or the other way to save the mother cow. How far are we serious? Only the time will tell.
(The writer is Chairman of Gau Sewa Ayog, Gujarat.)