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Minorities panel suggestion to MP Govt: Declare cow a 'cultural animal'

Minorities panel suggestion to MP Govt: Declare cow a 'cultural animal'

Author: Milind Ghatwai
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: June 13, 2009
URL http://www.indianexpress.com/news/minorities-panel-suggestion-to-mp-govt-decl/474665/

The Madhya Pradesh State Minorities' Commission, a statutory body meant to protect the rights of minorities, thinks the BJP Government should declare the cow a "cultural animal". In a separate letter, the Commission has also written to the President demanding that the animal be recognised as one of the national symbols. Incidentally, the state's Cow Protection and Conservation Board had proposed to the BJP Government to declare cow as state animal long ago.

The recommendation, sent on Wednesday, gives some colourful arguments in favour, reminding the Government of the cow's cultural importance, from featuring on the Congress party's earlier symbols to inspiring freedom fighters Mangal Pandey and Bahadur Shah Zafar to take up its protection. "Of all the animals the cow is closest to the man and he depends on it for a variety of needs. Such a status will increase the country's prestige and be the basis of unity (between communities)," says the proposal, a copy of which is with the paper.

The letter has been signed by the Commission's Parsi member, Sam Pavri, who presided over Wednesday's meeting. "Every Indian is proud of the cow (and its progeny). More than any other country the animal is loved and worshipped in India but for some reasons it could not get the due status at national level," the recommendation said.

"Had the recommendation been dictated by the ruling BJP we would not shave named the Congress," Pavri argued when asked about the unusual recommendation.

Incidentally, the Commission has been headless since Mohammed Anwar Khan retired about eight months back. The Muslim representative is yet to be appointed and the Christian, Parsi and Sikh community members, all appointed during the BJP regime, take turns to preside over the Commission's meetings. Pavri and Sikh representative Kulwant Singh Sachdeva said their communities also regard the animal as sacred.

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