SWAMI AKHILESHWARANAND Giri, chairman of the executive council of MP Gausamvardhan Board, has proposed that Madhya Pradesh should become the first state to have a separate ministry devoted to the conservation and welfare of cows, contending that this will rid it of the tag of “animal”.
According to Giri, recently given a Cabinet minister status, when cow is the only species worshiped and called “gaumata” (mother cow) in India, why should its welfare be the subject of the Animal Husbandry Department, which deals with other animals such as pigs, buffaloes, poultry and lambs.
He told The Indian Express: “We apply tilak only to cows. I always say ‘gaumata ka dehavsan ho gaya’, unlike Animal Husbandry Department officials who talk of its death like any other animal’s because they deal with all other animals. “If a separate ministry is constituted, it can deal sensitively with the subject.”
The Gausamvardhan Board comes under the Animal Husbandry Department, which has loaned staff to it. The Board’s annual budget is less than Rs 25 crore. Although Giri has sounded Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan about the idea of a separate ministry, he will formally put up the proposal at the Board’s annual meeting in July.