There are three inanimate and most revered ingredients of Hinduism and they are the Gai (Cow), the Ganga, and Gayatri. The importance of all three has been described in the Hindu scriptures. While the Gai and Ganga are worshipped in the mundane form and Gayatri mantra serves as the means of spiritual exaltation. Hinduism is a pantheistic religion but these three are kept at the highest pedestal.

Two advocates: K.M. Shukla and the Senior S. Balakrishnan, who mainly practice in the Supreme Court, have jointly written a remarkable book titled ‘Cow a Celestial Being’, which takes one’s a breath away by their knowledge and research soaked with sincerity and devotion. In their well-informed book, the writers have championed the cause of ban on the cow slaughter in the most spirited manner. They demonstrated with their sound logic that the Cow is not an animal but it is a ‘being’, which has virtually been brought on the surface of the earth from heaven to bestow worldly as well as a divine pleasure to all who seek and serve her.

They have profusely quoted the religious books like Vedas, Puranas and the Bhagwad Geeta and also the well-documented theses, which prove the enormous utility in the worldly life. The Hindu mind is accustomed to referring to the supreme divine as a Goddess and as the Universal Mother. Out of the infinite attributes by and through which the universal mother manifests herself, the Cow is one of them.  The Cow has been named in the Vedas as ‘Aghyna’, which means inviolable and her other name is ‘Ahi’, which means not to be killed and another one is ‘Aditi’, which means never to be cut into pieces. Thus, the most sacred book of Hindus i.e. Vedas unequivocally prohibits the killing of Cows.

         The advantages of having the Cow are innumerable and beyond description. The Panchgavya i.e. the five materials made from the Cows have the immense economic and medical use. It must be mentioned here that Panchgavya is made from a mixture of five products from the Cow, which are milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung, which are scientifically proved to be immunity- booster and disease-healer. Many judgments of the Apex Court have also been discussed in the book which has upheld the total ban on the slaughter of the cows. The Constitution of India, in deference to the feelings and sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Indians, has included in the directive principles for the prohibition of the cow slaughter. All native religions like; Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism valiantly defend for the ban on the cow slaughter, even Islam and Christianity do not encourage it. The Bible is very clear, which says ‘He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man’. Many Muslim rulers in India had banned the killings of the cows.

     While the opposition to the slaughter of cows has extensive and ancient roots in the Indian history, the earliest known such activities are traceable to Sikhs of Punjab, who opposed cow slaughter in the 1860s. Thereafter, the founder of the Arya Samaj, Swami Dayanand Saraswati made it a massive movement in the late 19th century, which was carried forward by Mahatma Gandhi in the early 20th century, but not with same zeal and vigour as was found in the movements of Sikhs and Arya Samaj. Although, the cow protection movement is mostly connected with India, yet it is applicable in Sri Lanka and Myanmar also. In India the cow slaughter ban is in place throughout the country except for Kerala, West Bengal and part of the North-East, even in the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir nobody can kill a Cow.

     The writers have discussed the issue of cow protection by juxtaposing it with cow slaughter. They have used all the weapons of the armoury of their logic from different angles and have succeeded in bringing their points home that the article 51A(h) should be adhered to by every citizen of the country to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.  The word humanism has been supplied emphasis by them and therefore, the cow protection is perfectly consonant with the constitutional spirit.

The writers have also laid more emphasis on a point that it is the majority community which has the greater responsibility for protecting the cows by providing theme care in their old age or when they stop yielding milk. Another startling fact, which has been given by them is that ‘Meat is a second-hand food which is responsible for global warming and hunger.’  The book is written in simple language and convincing style.  It is not only worth reading but for preserving as well.

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