Modi government announces the institution of an online examination in ‘cow science’ to raise awareness about the superiority of indigenous cows

Published : January 07, 2021 13:46 IST

People playing Holi with cow dung in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, a 2018 picture. Photo: Vijay Soneji

A spate of murders and violence under the pretext of cow protection has rocked the country over the past six years (at least 44 incidents until February 2019, according to Human Rights Watch). But now, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is all set to take its obsession with the cow to another level.

In a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has announced the institution of a Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Examination. In other words, an exam on “cow science”. It is being done to raise “mass awareness about indigenous cows” among students and citizens.

The online exam will be held for the first time on February 25 and will henceforth be an annual affair. The multiple choice question (MCQ) style exam will be conducted for four levels: primary level, up to class 8; secondary level, from classes 9 to 12; college level and the general public. It will be free of cost and will be conducted in 12 regional languages, Hindi and English.

Full of shlokas and Vedic references, the syllabus for the exam has some gems such as “divinity is locked up in the anatomy of cow”. One lesson states that the milk of “Gaumata” is slightly yellow in colour as it has traces of gold in it. In another that compares the qualities of the desi Gaumata vis a vis the Jersey, or exotic cow, it is said, “Whenever any unknown person comes near desi cow, she will immediately stand,” whereas “no emotions are displayed by the exotic cow”. It states that Indian cows are hygienic, hardy and intelligent enough not to sit in dirty places, while the Jersey cow is lazy and highly prone to diseases.

It goes on to list the numerous medicinal properties of the Panchgavya, a mixture of cow’s milk, urine, dung, curd and ghee. It claims that the cow’s milk is potent in fighting obesity, joint pain, asthma, mental problems, diabetes, heart problems and other harmful diseases.

Ever since the BJP came to power, it has tried to push vegetarianism across the country and stigmatise meat consumption, especially beef. The syllabus indirectly tries to provide a justification for such a stand by linking earthquakes to animal slaughter. “Physicists M.M. Bajaj, Ibrahim and Vijayraj Singh have proposed the theory that animal slaughter and natural calamities like earthquakes have an interrelationship and research papers on this theory have been presented in many international conferences. The theory presents the hypothesis of large-scale abattoir activity as the causative agent for major earthquakes.”

It also claims that cow protection and ox power are the very epitome of environmental sustainability. Quoting Vedic literature, it states: “By using interchangeable words for cow and Earth, Vedas, the oldest repository of knowledge, emphatically state that cow is a representation of the planet earth itself.”

Couched as an academic exercise, the exam is being projected by the government as a “mega event” with “Union Education Ministers, Chief Ministers, State Education Ministers, Chairmen of Gau Seva Aayogs of all States, District Education Officers of all States, Principals of all schools, Print and Electronic Media, NGOs and Cow Donors” working actively to make it a success.

After the BJP came to power, a Kamdhenu Chair or Kamdhenu Study Centre or Kamdhenu Research Centre was set up in colleges and universities across the country. The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog was constituted for the conservation, preservation, protection and development of cows and to spearhead cattle development programmes.