Once upon a time, while he was a practicing advocate, Justice Mahesh Sharma, the judge who wants cow be declared our national animal, represented me in a defamation case related to a story on the nexus between the then Congress government of Rajasthan and a builder.
Advocate Mahesh Sharma ''Dausawala", as he was called then, was always a portrait of effusive confidence. Every time we met, he would be in his favourite pose: Slouched in a chair, feet on the table in a pose reminiscent of Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar. In his trademark mix of Hindi and English, laced with liberal use of the definitive article, he always assured me that the case would be thrown out and I would never have to pay the Rs 10 crore demanded in the defamation suit. (I didn't.)
Then, after telling us a million times how he would destroy the counsel for the litigant, he would rise from his Bachchan-esque pose, put on his lawyer's coat, pull a comb out of his pocket, flip his hair backwards and stride out of the chamber. Sometimes you could almost hear the drumbeats in his mind he was marching to.
I have narrated this backstory for a simple reason: Justice Sharma has always been an unforgettable character. And with his retirement day judgment on gau mata, he has ensured that nobody would forget him soon.
Some of his observations and recommendations will not be forgotten in a hurry. Sample a few: Cow represents 33 crore gods and goddesses; it inhales and exhales oxygen, it is almost like a hospital in itself; drinking cow urine washes off sins of past life; gau mutra keeps liver, brain and heart healthy; cow dung keeps away radiation; and, finally, when a cow lows, it destroys harmful bacteria and viruses.
Because of the aforementioned benefits of cows, Justice Sharma on Wednesday recommended that they be declared national animal and their slaughter be punishable with life imprisonment. "I am a bhakt of Shiva, this is the voice of my conscience," the honourable judge said.
Later, speaking to CNN-News 18, Justice Sharma extolled the pious virtues of cows by calling them as celibate as peacocks. "The peacock is a lifelong brahmachari. It doesn't have sex with the peahen. It gets pregnant just by kissing the tears of the peacock," he said.
Cows have been milked and eaten in India, and in several parts of the world, since the beginning of civilisation. Many historians have conclusively proved that beef was part of the Vedic diet, especially of the nomadic Aryans before they settled down as agriculturists. Indian mythology suggests cows and bulls were the favourite food of many gods. In many of our texts, beef is mentioned as the dietary preference of well-known sages. And its flesh, according to Charak Samhita, has many therapeutic uses.
If the honourable court now think years of food habits and evolutionary logic should be changed with a judicial diktat, so be it. But, the problem with Indians is that they just pay lip service to cows. On social media and TV debates, they use them as a symbol to terrorise and blackmail the minorities and Dalits. In real life, cows are routinely abandoned on the roads, left to feed off garbage and stale food people throw at them less out of piety and kindness and more out of the necessity to throw out leftovers.
How I wish, before retiring, Justice Sharma could have made a few more recommendations to ensure every gau bhakt does his bit to save India's bovine mother. Here are a few:
1) Every Indian will raise and rear a family of cows.
2) To help subsidise those who can't feed and shelter cows, the government should levy a cow cess on income above a certain level. The subsidy be transferred directly to the accounts of the beneficiary cow.
3) Every Indian will consume a certain amount of cow urine because of its health benefits. To create awareness, a public event be organised at the Rajpath, where our elected sevaks be asked to quaff gau mutra. The event be televised live to the world to make them envy our low-cost elixir of life. Baba Ramdev be made brand ambassador of gau mutra and gau gobar (urine and dung).
4) One day be set aside as International Gau Mata Day.
5) Every hospital be asked to keep cows in ICUs and medical wards so that they keep the oxygen flowing. Every patient of serious diseases like Ebola, swine flu, dengue and chikungunya be first taken to the cow ward, where gau mata will kill the cause of the disease just with their lowing.
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Updated Date: Jun 01, 2017 16:18:48 IST