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Cows Are Safer Than Women In India, And Our Misplaced Anger Proves It

Posted: July 4, 2017

HEADLINES: A photography project featuring a woman wearing a cow mask created a furore nationally! What does this say about India today?

Recently, photos with a woman wearing a cow head featured as a part of a photography project went viral and many Hindu nationalists seemed to disapprove of the ‘insult’ that was being cause to their ‘gow mata’ and demanded that the pictures be taken down immediately.

Well, a few more incidents that took place over the past few years have enough offending material to qualify for the headlines:

NEWS: A girl raped in a bus on her way back from the cinemas with her friend.

Yes, this is the Nirbhaya rape case which provoked the ire of almost every human being. The accused were caught and yes, punished too. But did it lead to mass murdering or any kind of lynching? No.

In fact, even after the horrible incident, the rapes and harassment or women didn’t seem to subside.

Well, Nirbhaya, who seemed to have enough evidences against her offenders took so many months for a judgement just enough that she couldn’t see it happen.

Another news just a few weeks before the Nirbhaya rape case:

NEWS: A Muslim man lynched for storing and consuming beef allegedly at their home.

A man and his family were rumoured to be consuming beef, meat derived from a cow, at their home in Uttar Pradesh, India. Well, that man was killed and his son was left seriously injured as a group of more than hundred men barged into their house smashing everything in the way including doors and windows.

Though it was later confirmed that the family had no beef in their fridge, (it was mutton), the so-called justice didn’t take any more time to be rendered than the rumours took to spread.

Most Hindus regard the cow as a sacred animal. We pray to her, she is our goddess, she gives us milk, she is a meek, soft animal who shelters anyone who comes to her. So whenever a cow is hurt or is killed by anyone, we think “How dare they insult and kill our mother cow?” 

But these same people also regard many women as goddesses and pray to them day and night, Kali, Saraswati, Sita, and so many others. Women protect anyone who is around them, their family, their children; also, these are the same women who feed their babies with their milk just like cows; women are also human if any of you had failed to notice.

Why don’t we get as aggressive when a woman, a form of these goddesses, is torn apart and scarred for life? Where do these Hindu nationalists go then? How are women any less? Are we even supposed to compare a woman with an animal? Is this where our humanity has brought us? The furore over the cow masked lady? And when harm is caused to a woman, we all go inside and sit quietly in our homes waiting for the drama to subside outside.

(No offence here, I’m a veterinarian and I’m definitely against animal slaughter.)

Well, what do we understand from this?

Cows in India are safer than women.

There are so many things wrong with our society here that all of us have failed to notice.

Image credits Sujatro Ghosh, the man behind the photography project mentioned here. More about the project here.

First published here.

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  1. Alas! What might have been a powerful debate is sadly reduced to a much-in-vogue mud-slinging fest against Hindus/Modi/BJP. When I first saw the pictures, I went “Wow! What a profound impact this article & pictures would have”, but was disillusioned with its repeated slander against Hinduism. Yes, women in India should be safer than cows and that is what people should fight for, that is what this article should have been about, not against Hinduism or any religion for that matter. Where were the ‘not-in-my-name’ protesters when those rape cases mentioned above happened (Nirbhaya’s case being an exception)?. Why did we not take to the streets for violence against our ‘Devi’s” and ‘Daughters’ then? This land of Bharatvarsh, with the origins of Hinduism, has nurtured and sheltered so many races and religions but its heart continues to bleed as none has ever truly loved it back. Try doing a similar piece for Women in Islam and see the backlash.

    • Mr. Anne, article is no where against hinduism. Article was not talking abt any religion but its concerned abt action of certain ppl who spread violence in d name of religion or cow but failed to protect women. Article mentions about lynching, beef by certain ppl. Plz refrain urself from giving this article an anti-hindu tag. Rss/bjp/bajrang dal/vhp dont even understand an iota of Hinduism. They are only expert in hooliganism, destruction n harassment of couples on Valentine day etc. Hinduism is much beyond than rss/bjp n lynching.
      Moreover, Hindu women also victim of Women harassment. Smtimes, wrongdoers are also hindus. Nirbhaya n her cruel preparators all are Hindus so you cant say this article or topic is anti-hindu. Article only exposes hypocrisy of Fake hindu nationalists.

  2. Mr. Vipul, Please see the original article written by Geeta Pandey of BBC where Hinduism is repeatedly slandered, inciting more hate against Hindus. This powerful photo-project should have kept religion out and written in a way that brings out the truth, not muck-raking against Hindus. It should have been about women’s safety. My objection is precisely for the use of adjectives ‘Fake Hindu Nationalists’ or ‘Hindu Terror’. When have Hindus not risen to the occasion on rapes or terrorism? Even today there are more Hindus walking the ‘Not-In-My-Name’ protests for Junaid. I repeat, can you say the same about any other religion and get away with it? Well, with Hinduism people take liberty any which way. Hindu organisations cropped up in the early twentieth century for swayam raksha/self protection; what’s wrong with that? Do you think other organisations know their religion well? However, it is high time we stop talking about Hindu /Muslim. There should be no majority/minority. All are Indians and should have equal rights, i.e. Ballabgarh/Junaid incident received much publicity, so should Basirhat/WB violence against Hindus. Both ways it is our own people being killed. It is the need of the hour for journalists to stop this selective reporting and central and state governments to get their act together for peace.

    Link for you to see: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-40404102.

  3. Why always drag cows into the debate regarding women safety? It makes a complete mockery of this critical issue. And by the way, it is so factually incorrect to state that cows are safer than women in India when you consider that thousands (if not millions) of cows are skinned alive, slaughtered (in most cases, illegally) just so that we can fulfill/satisfy our hunger. Please tell me, do women go through this?? Have you even seen the way cows are treated in these slaughter houses??? Please also understand that dozens of MEN have been lynched for transporting cattle in the country. No one is denying (at least not me) that women safety is a major problem in India, but it is an issue in almost every country. And it needs to be tackled in a sensible manner, and not through idiotic hashtags like this.

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