An Indian government-run organisation has faced online ridicule after it appealed to its nation to rebrand Valentine’s Day as ‘Cow Hug Day’ to keep away from western values.
India’s Animal Welfare Board asked citizens in a public appeal to celebrate cows rather than romance this 14th February in an attempt to bring Hindu traditions closer to the nation.
The Board, in a letter obtained by Newsflash, claimed that “… hugging with cow will bring emotional richness, and hence will increase our individual and collective happiness.”
The appeal said: “Therefore all the cow lovers may also celebrate 14th February as Cow Hug day keeping in mind the importance of mother cow and make life happy and full of positive energy.” (sic)
Devoted Hindus, who worship the cow as a holy animal, are allegedly against the Western holiday which goes against their traditional values.
Members of the right-wing organisation Bajrang Da, which also opposes the holiday, have allegedly been assaulting couples on Valentine’s Day in several parts of India over the past years.
Hindu hardliners have allegedly ransacked shops in Indian cities, burned cards and gifts, and chased couples out of restaurants and parks, claiming that Valentine’s Day promotes promiscuity.
The Board’s proposed scenario has sparked online mockery, with one Twitter user posting a photo of an apparently lonesome cow, and wrote: “When nobody hugs you on Cow Hug Day”.
Another user posted a picture saying “Happy Cowentines Day”.
Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a political analyst, said the appeal is “absolutely crazy” and it “defies logic.”
Mukhopadhyay added: “The unfortunate part is that this now has official sanction. This shows an eraser of one more line between the state and religion, which is very depressing. Now the state is doing what political and religious groups have been campaigning to do.”
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