Bovine intervention: VHP to push for a cow ministry at the Centre
Amid rising instances of cow vigilantism across the country leading to several lynchings, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) is pressing the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for a cow ministry.
The VHP says a dedicated ministry will not just streamline the countrywide efforts to protect the cow, but also help in promoting research work on the benefits of cow dung and cow urine.
The move comes in the wake of BJP president Amit Shah's revelation that the Centre is planning such a ministry.
“There are many recommendations about a cow ministry. A discussion is on,” Shah had said during his recent visit to Uttar Pradesh.
VHP joint secretary general Surendra Kumar Jain said: “There has been an intense malicious campaign against cow protectors across the country, that has created a wrong perception of gau rakshaks. Today, they are considered as killers, when the fact is, it's cow smugglers who are wreaking havoc.”
Jain claimed that since the Modi government came to power in 2014, there have been 132 incidents of cow smugglers and illegal slaughterhouse operators attacking the police and gau rakshaks across the country.
“There have been sporadic instances of violence involving gau rakshaks, which we all condemn. Even the Prime Minister has condemned them,” said Jain
However, contrary to Jain's claims, statistics reveal that at least 68 incidents of violence centred on cow issues occurred across India under the Modi administration. In all, 70 such incidents took place since 2010, resulting in the killing of 28 people.
The VHP plans to hold detailed deliberations on the functions of the ministry before sending its proposal to the Centre.
It says besides giving impetus to cow protection campaigns, which are presently individual private efforts, a dedicated cow ministry will help in furthering research work on the utility of cow dung and cow urine.
“A detailed plan is being prepared about the purposes which the ministry can serve. The ministry will be not just about cow protection, rather cow welfare, and how the welfare of the cow can lead to the welfare of humanity,” said a VHP functionary.
The VHP will also look into the functioning of Rajasthan's cow welfare ministry - the only one of its kind anywhere in the country.
Govt's research projects
The Modi government has been increasingly getting India's premier educational institutes to research on the cow.
Headed by Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, the Centre has constituted a steering committee for research on 'panchgavya' – a mixture of cow dung, cow urine, curd, ghee, and milk.
Called the Scientific Validation and Research on Panchgavya (SVAROP), the panel is entrusted with research on the uniqueness of indigenous cows and panchgavya for medicinal, agricultural and nutritional application.
Recently, the ministry informed the Lok Sabha that the Indian Institute of Technology has received 50 proposals from different academic and research institutes to study the benefits of cow urine and milk under the SVAROP programme.