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Savarkar compared cows with dogs and donkeys, supported cow slaughter

Cow is not just an animal in India. It has its own social, political and economic importance. From cow worship to cow eating, mention will be found in the history books. Historian Dr. DN Jha, who did scientific research on the Vedic period, has proved in his book ‘The Myth of Holy Cow’ that beef was eaten in ancient India. On the other hand there is also evidence of cow worship by Hindu population.

There have been many incidents in the country in the name of cow protection. During the regime of Indira Gandhi, a group of sages and saints marched on the Parliament for the cow. Even today incidents like mob lynching happen in the name of cow protection. Overall, ‘cow’ is a very sensitive issue for India even in the present time. All Hindu right-wing organizations in one voice reiterate their commitment to cow worship and cow protection.

But the situation was not always like this. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who gave the definition of Hindutva, had a different view from the common conservatives regarding cow, cow urine and cow slaughter. He was not only against cow worship, but also raised the question that why killing cow is a sin? Why killing a buffalo or killing a donkey is not a sin?

Question raised on worship of cow
Savarkar, the founder of Hindu Mahasabha, has written vocally on the issue of cow in many of his articles. Savarkar writes in his article ‘Ho Gopalan, not cow worship’, “The cow is a visible animal. To consider such an animal to be a deity among human beings, which does not have the intelligence of the uneducated people, is an insult to humanity.

In another article ‘Gogras’, compiled in ‘Savarkar Samagra’, he writes, “To praise a cow, tie a bell around its neck, but the feeling should be the same as when tying the leash around the dog’s neck. We put the necklace around the neck of God, not with that feeling.

Outspoken on cow slaughter
On the question of cow slaughter in ‘Gopalan ho, no cow worship’, Savarkar writes, “Why cow slaughter is a sin? Why killing a buffalo or killing a donkey is not a sin? Questioning the utility of the cow as superior, he writes, “The donkey is so suitable and so authentic, so tolerant that it should have been considered a deity rather than an animal. Has anyone taken out the donkey worship sect by writing the Gadha Gita?”

Another comment of Savarkar is mentioned in Ashok Kumar Pandey’s book ‘Savarkar Kala Pani and After’, in which he writes, “Just as a cow is a useful animal for man, it should not be killed. On the contrary, this animal would be harmful but not suitable, in that case cow slaughter is also necessary, science gives such an answer.