Sacred Cows


Scroll has posted an article about the police taking offense at a plastic cow used in an art installation in Jaipur. A couple days ago, Scroll had also published an article by me, recounting a conversation with scholar Wendy Doniger about cows and the beef controversy:

Doniger is perhaps the most renowned scholar of Hinduism in the US and perhaps the world. At dinner, while eating our roast chicken, I asked her about the recent controversy around beef. When did this conflict start?

The Cow Protection Society, Doniger said, was started in the late-19th century. After the First War of Independence in 1857, a section of the Hindus wanted to wrest power from the Muslims who, they feared, had gained power under the British. Ever since then, the cow had remained an ideological weapon in the battle to create antagonism between Hindus and Muslims.