In lavish ‘cattle marriage’, a ‘message’ for all households

Thousands of villagers, hundreds of priests and scores of businessmen and cow protection activists assembled for the lavish “marriage” of two bovines on Thursday.

Written by Gopal Kateshiya | Kotiya (bhavnagar) | Updated: March 26, 2016 8:35 am
Arjun and Poonam after the ‘wedding’ ceremony at Kotiya village in Bhavnagar. Javed Raja Arjun and Poonam after the ‘wedding’ ceremony at Kotiya village in Bhavnagar. Javed Raja

When they met, and mated, atop Bava Vala Hill in a village in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, Poonam (a cow) and Arjun (a bull) were also made to enter into “matrimony”. Thousands of villagers, hundreds of priests and scores of businessmen and cow protection activists assembled for the lavish “marriage” of two bovines on Thursday.

Vijay Parsana, an Ahmedabad-based businessman who runs a chain of fitness centres, turned the occasion of the mating of his cow into a social do to persuade “every household in the country to rear at least one cow”. Parsana also owns a farmhouse in Ghuma where he raised two cows — Radha and her progeny Poonam. The calf of the famous Gir breed of cows had turned two-and-a-half-years old and, therefore, eligible for “marriage”.

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“Only a cow can take us forward. Since I’m in the fitness field, I vouch for the good effect of cow products on our health. I believe there should be a cow in each household in the country. To send this message, we are celebrating Poonam’s marriage as a public event,” 44-year-old Parsana told The Indian Express.

Parsana said the family had started scouting for a match for Poonam after she turned an “adult”. Eventually, they found one in Arjun, a bull in a gaushala at Guru Duttatreya Ashram and Gaushala in Kotiya, 70 km southwest of Bhavnagar. So, after much fanfare on Thursday, Poonam was brought to Kotiya in a utility vehicle, covering 270 km.

Eventually, a priest started the rituals. Parsana and his wife symbolically handed over Poonam to Laherigiri Bapu, the head of Duttatreya Ashram, while 150 students of Sola Sanskrit University, Ahmedabad, chanted mantras.

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