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‘Backbone of Indian culture’: Animal Welfare Board asks people to celebrate 14 Feb as ‘Cow Hug’ day

According to a notice released by the board, hugging a cow 'will bring emotional richness' and 'increase our individual and collective happiness'.

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New Delhi: The Animal Welfare Board of India, which falls under the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, has urged Indians to observe 14 February as ‘Cow Hug day’.

Terming the cow as the “backbone of Indian culture and rural economy”, the board urged Indians to keep in mind the “importance of mother cow” and said hugging the animal will “make life happy and full of positive energy”.

The notice, which was released Monday, also said hugging a cow “will bring emotional richness” and “increase our individual and collective happiness”.

The board also said that “vedic traditions” were on the verge of extinction due to the “progress” of western culture. The “dazzle” of Western civilisation has made Indians forget their “physical culture and heritage”, the notice added.

“The cow is known as ‘Kamdhenu’ and ‘Gaumata’ because of its nourishing nature like mother, the giver of all providing riches to humanity,” it said.

War against Valentine’s Day

Both cows and the celebration of Valentine’s Day on 14 February have been at the center of political and cultural debate.

BJP leader Uma Bharti had last week tied stray cows in front of a liquor shop in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh and fed them hay as she called upon people to drink cow milk instead of alcohol.

Many right-wing groups have frequently protested against Valentine’s Day celebrations. Last year, the Bajrang Dal said this annual homage to romance was against Indian culture and threatened to forcefully marry any couple seen “engaging in obscene activities”.

In 2021, 17 people, including a former BJP MLA, were arrested for at least two incidents of vandalism in Bhopal on Valentine’s Day. The accused had attacked a hookah bar and a restaurant, accusing its owners of promoting ‘love jihad’.

Also read: ‘Cow dung protects from nuclear radiation,’ says Gujarat court in illegal cattle transport case

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