India’s sacred and spoiled cows

They say cows are sacred in India, but you only realise this when you go over there and see how these huge animals wander the streets, with an air of complete nonchalance. They walk at their own pace. They do as they please.

(In contrast, dogs do it tough in India. Many roam in packs and live like scavengers and by their wits, but the strays are skinny and frightened. It’s survival of the fittest – children often throw stones at them.)

My wife and I spent some time in the holy city of Pushkar with its lake, bathing ghats and troops of monkeys.

One afternoon, while strolling down a bumpy, narrow street lined with shops and homes, we came across this cow presumably looking for something to eat.

The locals feed them stale chipati (flat breads) and just about anything else they have lying around and the cows appear not too fussy. This is after all India, not the green fields of the English countryside.

I recall that this cow was “escorted” out the building.

But this is by no means an isolated occurance.

Cows amble down laneways, sit on bridges, block traffic and head down the highway.

We saw one cow stroll down a packed traffic-congested road in chaotic Mumbai, changing lanes without indicating (not that motorists indicate in India for that matter!)

In Goa, there were more cows than people on some of the beaches,finding the soft sand and cool ocean breezes to their liking no doubt:

Ghandi had this to say about these animals:

“Cow protection is the gift of Hinduism to the world. And Hinduism will live so long as there are Hindus to protect the cow…… Hindus will be judged not by their tilaks (the religious mark on the forehead), not by the correct chanting of mantras, not by their pilgrimages, not by their most punctilious observances of caste rules, but their ability to protect the cow.”

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