Tharoor takes a swipe at Modi govt over withdrawal of ‘Cow Hug’ appeal

Shashi Tharoor (File photo)

A day after the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) withdrew its appeal to mark Valentine’s Day on February 14 as Cow Hug Day, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor mocked the Union government with wordplay on Twitter. Tharoor asked in a tweet whether the Modi government was “cow-ed” or whether it “cow-ardice”.

On Monday, the AWBI had issued an appeal to observe Cow Hug Day on February 14 to assert the government’s commitment towards “protecting” Hinduism or Hindutva. It was seen as the Hindu Right’s opposition to Valentine’s Day. Notably, the Hindutva groups are averred to the Valentine’s Day which the call are Western encroachment of Indian values.

The AWBI, which comes under the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, had issued the appeal on February 6, 2023.

However, on Saturday, Congress leader Tharoor took a swipe at the Modi government. He tweeted: “Was the government cow-ed by the jokes made at its expense or was it merely cow-ardice? My guess is the original appeal was an oral instruction: ‘Valentine’s Day: let them hug their guy’ and the last word was misheard by a Hindi Rashtravadi as gay”

Appealing for the celebration of Cow Hug Day, the AWBI had said it would bring individual and collective happiness. This was the latest in the long list of claims over cows in recent years which have ranged from the promotion of cow urine as a medicine to declaring cow dung as protection against radiation, according to the Outlook.

“In view of immense benefit of the cow, hugging the cow will bring emotional richness, hence will increase our individual and collective happiness. Therefore, all the cow lovers may also celebrate the February 14 as Cow Hug Day keeping in mind the importance of mother cow and make life happy and full of positive energy,” said the AWBI.

The far right Hindus hail cow protection as synonymous to Indian culture which also reflects in the AWBI letter which stated that the “Vedic traditions are almost on the verge of extinction” under the “dazzle of Western civilisation”.

Many believe that the appeal to observe Cow Hug Day on February 14 was an attempt to kill two birds with one arrow.


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