Cows made to walk through fire in Karnataka. Where are the gau rakshaks?

first_imgIt is high time that cows come out in the open and protest. If not anywhere else, they should do it in India. In the past few years, much has been milked in their name. From asking votes, forming forces (gau rakshal dal) to “protect” them, to attacking and lynching people on the mere suspicion that they tried to harm the holy animal, cows have seen them all.The hypocrisy of gau rakshaks (self-appointed groups claiming they protect cows) can’t be more glaring than this news from Karnataka. While the rest of the country was celebrating Makar Sankranti (also celebrated as Pongal, Lohri, Bihu in different parts of India), people in Karnataka forced cows to walk through massive flames. Photo: Facebook/Indigenous Games of KarnatakaPeople claim that this is part of an age-old tradition where locals in Karnataka decorate cows with garlands and bells and then make them walk over fire. The locals believe that this will ensure good fortune and protect them from harm.#WATCH Karnataka: Cattle made to walk through fire during Kicchu Hayisuvudu ritual in Mandya, during #MakarSankranti celebrations. (14/1/19) pic.twitter.com/EOJXFjkCg5ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2019Visuals of one such event show cows being forced to walk through massive flames at night. People around seem to be oblivious to the risks posed to the animals.A Facebook page – Indigenous Games of Karnataka – has shared a couple of posts (photos and videos) from an event in South Bengaluru.Describing the rituals, the post says that on the day of Makar Sankranti, cows are “pampered” throughout the day. At night, villagers gather and prepare a massive fire by burning dried hay. The cattle are chased in the direction of the fire and made to jump over or walk through it.advertisement Photo: Facebook/Indigenous Games of KarnatakaAccording to the post on Indigenous Games of Karnataka, the entire ritual gets over in a few minutes. From the next day, people set their cattle free and allow them to graze in the open. Every morning the cattle are set free, they graze through the day and return home in the evening. This continues till monsoon, following which the cattle are reared indoors and not allowed to venture out.WATCH ANOTHER VIDEO HEREWhile the tradition may be age-old, the question that remains unanswered is why are the gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes), who do not refrain from taking law into their hands in the name of protecting cows, are silent?ALSO READ | Rooster fights reign as the thriving gambling sport during Makar SankrantiALSO READ | Tamil Nadu: 10 wounded in first jallikattu of 2019 at AriyalurALSO: Watch| Cows made to walk through fire in Karnatakalast_img

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