~By Dilip Bobb
Sacred Cow used to be an idiom, now it’s a uidai, following the centre’s report to the Supreme Court suggesting that each cow and its progeny should get a Unique Identification Number (UIDAI). Clearly, the cow is king as far as the ruling party is concerned with BJP-ruled states getting bullish on cow protection. Here’s a look at what it could be like a few years down the road.
Confused Citizen: Hello, is that the Municipal Corporation?
MC: Yes, can I help you?
CC: A cow has wandered into my backyard. Can you send someone to move it to a cow shelter?
MC: Firstly, there are no cow shelters or cow sheds, they have been renamed cow sanctuaries. Secondly, what is the Aadhaar number of the domestic ungulate that has blessed you with its presence?
CC: What are you talking about? Even I don’t have an Aadhaar number…
MC: Don’t you keep up with the news? The government has passed the Protection of Cow Progeny Act on the lines of Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s scheme in Madhya Pradesh called Bachha Bachao Abhiyan. All bovine are given an Aadhaar number the day they are born. It is like a bar code.
CC: Are you pulling my leg?
MC: No, it’s usually stamped on the ear. Do you have a bar code reader?
CC: I’m an ordinary urban citizen. Why would I need a bar code reader?
MC: Because an unregistered bovine is considered illegal and you could be in a lot of trouble for being in illegal possession of a cow, Rs 50,000 fine and five years in jail.
CC: Holy Cow! But it’s not mine.
MC: You are on the horns of a dilemma. I suggest you get it registered as fast as possible.
CC: How do I do that?
MC: You need a No Objection Certificate from your local Gau Rakshak leader. That has to be attested by the local Municipal Councillor, the District Magistrate and the SHO.
CC: Good God, I never even did that for any of my kids!
MC: Wait, there’s more. You have to find a vet approved by the Animal Husbandry Department and obtain a birth certificate. Then you need to call a Hindu priest to give it his blessings. Finally, you need to get a release form PETA, attested by Maneka Gandhi.
CC: That’s inhuman. I have kids to look after, an ailing husband…
MC: The cow is the ultimate mother Goddess. Where do you think the milk of human kindness originated from? You may need a course in the University for Cow Education recently opened in Alwar to teach you the finer points of bovine culture and breeds. Now, don’t forget to provide all relevant details to relevant authorities.
CC: (in tears) What details?
MC: For the Cowaadhaar Card. It will require details such as age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body colour, tail switch, identification marks, horn type, etc.
CC: Tail Switch? Horn Type? What on earth are those?
MC: You really need to watch Animal Planet. You have a criminal lack of basic knowledge.
CC: But it’s not even my cow.
MC: That reminds me. You also need to place an advertisement for 14 consecutive days in one National English daily and one Hindi newspaper, giving the above details with a colour photograph showing front view, side view and rear view.
CC: Do you have any idea how much all this is going to cost?
MC: Small price to pay. At the end of two weeks, if no one claims it, you can approach us for registration and transportation to an available sanctuary.
CC: And I suppose that is also going to cost me something.
MC: Registration fee is according to breed and ancestry of the calf. Transportation is extra. There is great demand for seats, I mean hooves.., in the sanctuaries. It could be in another state, so yes, it will be costly.
CC: This is crazy.
MC: No, its ecownomics.