India tried to rebrand Valentine's Day as 'Hug a Cow Day.' right here's how it went

for centuries, cows have been regarded sacred by way of India's majority Hindu inhabitants, an emblem of both the Earth and the divine.

certainly, so revered are the animals that authorities had deliberate to rebrand this Valentine's Day as "Hug a Cow Day", hoping the movement would each enhance citizens' "emotional richness" and strike a blow for native heritage over what's seen as a western cultural import.

however the flow appears to have backfired and been deserted after it caused a flood of web memes, cartoons and jokes by tv hosts about the significance of consent.

The statement of February 14 as "Cow Hug Day," had are available in a statement Monday from the Animal Welfare Board of India, which known as cows the "spine of Indian subculture and rural economy."

The cow is "the giver of all, featuring riches to humanity" as a result of its "nourishing nature," talked about the agency, a statutory physique that advises India's Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

It pointed out the rush to hug cows was a part of an effort to promote "Vedic" or sacred Hindu traditions, which it claimed had been eroded by using Western impact.

"Vedic traditions are virtually on the verge of extinction as a result of the progress of (western) way of life over time," the commentary said. "The dazzle of western civilization has made our physical way of life and heritage nearly forgotten."

but inside per week of the announcement – after days of mockery and ridicule online – the thought appears to had been dropped.

For days, media outlets had been mocking the executive's plan, publishing satirical cartoons displaying cows operating faraway from amorous men, whereas cyber web users have delighted in posting video clips of violent encounters between beast and man.

An anchor on one in every of India's leading English-language news channels, NDTV, become even filmed attempting to hug a few cows, which appeared to rebuke his advances.

"Consent is essential," he joked all the way through the section.

'Cow science'

here's not the first time the govt has brought about a stir with its guidelines in opposition t cows – the killing or ingesting of which is considered a sin by way of many Hindus, who account for approximately eighty% of India's 1.3 billion people.

The sale and slaughter of the animal is banned in a good deal of the country and the animals are sometimes left to roam free within the streets and roads looking emaciated, the place motorists need to take care to steer clear of hitting them.

An agency for the insurance plan of cows, commonly used as the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA), became install in 2019 by way of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

© supplied by CNN Hindu devotees present prayers to a cow during the Gopal Ashtami festival, in Amritsar, Punjab, on November 11, 2021. - Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty photographs

Two years later, the RKA turned into pressured to indefinitely put off a national "cow science" examination after the curriculum induced widespread criticism over its unscientific claims concerning the animal.

amongst a few unproven claims, the fifty four-page exam analyze guide mentioned that big-scale abattoir pastime ends up in primary earthquakes, suggesting that pain emitted by using mass slaughter might generate ample stress to trigger a seismic response.

without providing evidence, it additionally pointed out that native (Indian) cows produce the best quality of milk, compared to "unique cows."

A political animal

Following prime Minister Narendra Modi's rise to energy in 2014 on a wave of Hindu-nationalism, the animal has additionally turn into increasingly politicized.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata celebration (BJP) is strongly aligned with conservative Hindu traditions and critics say cow-worship has been used as a device to intimidate, harass and even kill Muslims, who they accuse in some cases of disrespecting the animals.

in accordance with Human Rights Watch, cow vigilante crimes in India have been left out or covered up by way of authorities due to the fact Modi took workplace.

right through Modi's 2014 election crusade, he promised to conclusion a "red revolution" – a phrase he used to explain the slaughter of cattle.

other BJP lawmakers have taken it one step extra.

"I had promised that i'll wreck the arms and legs of those that don't accept as true with cows their mom and kill them," pointed out Vikram Saini, a legislator for the state of Uttar Pradesh, at an experience in March 2017.

The statements ended in outcry within the nation the place violence towards girls and minorities make everyday headlines. Critics say there's a double commonplace in the government, and argue the BJP isn't doing ample to give protection to inclined corporations.

In 2017, a photograph sequence from photographer and activist Sujatro Ghosh portraying Indian women wearing cow masks went viral on social media. The collection of photographs turned into intended to depict a society wherein cows are extra valued than girls.

talking to reporters about "Hug a Cow Day" on Thursday – earlier than it turned into cancelled – BJP lawmaker Giriraj Singh noted "a great determination has been taken" by the executive.

"Cows should be hugged," he spoke of. "We may still love and hug the cow."

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