Gujarat’s governor Acharya Devvrat termed Hindu practitioners hypocrites stating, “Hindus worship cows as ‘Gau mata’, but abandon them unattended.”
This reaction appeared when the governor was addressing an event on ‘Natural Farming: In the Shelter of Nature’ at Nilkanth Dham Swaminarayan Temple, located in Poicha village of Narmada district’s Nandod taluka.
Acharya Devvrat said, “Indians worship cows as ‘Gau Mata’. They honour her with ‘tilak’ (a mixture of sandalwood and vermillion) yet the irony is- they abandon the same ‘Gau Mata’ once she stops ‘milching’. On the other hand, people, who aren’t in the habit of using cow’s milk or don’t domesticate cows, hail for them, saying- ‘Gau mata ki Jai’. Hindu society is full of hypocrites.”
In Hindu scripture, the cow is associated with ‘Aditi’, the mother of all gods. Besides, the holiness of the cows is deeply rooted in their emotions, feelings, and dreams; making people believe that protecting and caring for cows is their religious obligation.
In Hinduism, the cow dung is used to clean homes and for prayer rituals. It is believed that it has therapeutic and antiseptic properties.
“This is why I call man the most hypocritical, duplicitous, deceitful and pretentious mortal among the countless creatures on this planet. Hindu society is typically hypocritical,” cried Governor Devvrat.
The agriculturist turned politician, Lok Sabha MP, and leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava; ex-head of zila panchayat (District Development Council or Mandal Parishad); Shweta Teotia (District Collector- Narmada-Rajpipla), Ankit Pannu (District Development Officer, Narmada); Former MLA Motisingh Vasava; and many other ministers and dignitaries gathered at the event.
Highlighting the significance of natural farming, he asserted, “People go to temples, Mosques & Gurudwaras to appease their deities, but if they start practicing natural farming, the gods will automatically get pacified and happy. Chemical farming kills animals, but natural farming saves the life of animals.”
Lauding the efforts of the government of Gujarat, he stated, “For the last three years, the campaigning on natural farming has progressively advanced even when the COVID-pandemic hit the world. It has accelerated two-fold. Gujarat’s Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has offered his immense support to foster natural farming across the state.”
Stating the attributes and investment on natural farming, he stated, “Nearly 11 thousand farmers have been trained in natural farming in Narmada district alone and are doing natural farming in an area of around 3371 acres of land. If the farmers of the land become self-reliant, then the country will certainly become a self-sufficient nation. Thus, natural farming is the only way to make the country and farmers self-dependent. In the coming future, Gujarat will lead the nation in the field of natural farming.”
“Plants and trees within a forest do not get any care and attention (w.r.t chemical fertilizers and other required essentials), yet they grow. In the same manner, we do natural farming without using any chemicals.”
Earlier in December 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi batted for natural farming, asking farmers to give up the practice of burning crop residues.
PM Modi had stated, “It is true that chemical fertilizers had played an important role during the Green Revolution, but it is also true that we will have to work on alternatives.”
Gujarat is endowed with abundant natural resources, in terms of different kinds of soil, climatic conditions and diversified cropping patterns.
In Budget 2020–21, special financial assistance was announced for promoting ‘Natural Farming’ practices under the ‘Gujarat Atma Nirbhar package’.
The package included benefits, for instance- “Approximately, INR 900 monthly subsidy for the maintenance cost of one cow to a farming family practising natural farming; provision of INR 1248 subsidy to farmers for purchase of a natural farming kit to prepare ‘Jeevamrut’; and natural farming practices to be extended across different agricultural zones of Gujarat.”
Describing the qualities of indigenous cows, the Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat said, “Nearly 300 crore microorganisms are present in just one gram of cow dung. Cow urine is a storehouse of minerals. A different kind of compost consisting of cow’s dung and urine along with lentil bran, jaggery, water, and soil is prepared, serving as ‘Jeevamrut’.”
‘Jeevamrut’ is a liquid organic manure, which is an excellent source of natural carbon and biomass.
The abandonment of cattle is unfortunate as they are quite an important resource, contributing to nutritional security and strengthening local livelihood. India has over five million stray cattle, as per the 20th Livestock Census released by the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in the year 2020.
Seven of the 10 states with the greatest number of stray cattle have recorded a rise in their number between 2012 and 2019, as cited under the Livestock Census.
Across the best farms of the country, crossbred varieties are only able to survive for 3.4 lactations as compared to 9-10 lactations for the indigenous varieties at farmers’ level. As a result, most of them end up as stray cattle.
Taking cognisance over the matter of cattle impounding and their settlement, the Gujarat High Court on Monday, September 5, 2022, directed the state government to create a war room acting as a connection between the concerned departments.