The cow may be our national animal with “two legs forward, two legs afterward”. But that hasn’t stopped us from using it to explain the marketing philosophies of various companies. Or to decipher the personalities of various individuals.
Undeterred by those efforts, VIKAS P. JOSHI writes from Poona of the attitudes of various States as seen through the eyes of a humble cow:
Andhra Pradesh: You have no cows. You get AP Invest to draw up a power point presentation on cows in AP, the wonders of milk in AP, the roadmap to milk the cow, the blueprint for a hi-tech milking city, a planned world class cow, the Cow Milking Institute of Technology, the potential milking hub in Cowabad-Milkabad. Then you set up a state-of-the-art cow shed in alliance with Microsoft.
Bengal: You have one cow. You talk about the intellectual brilliance of that cow, write about poetry about it, make films on it and talk pompously about “what this cow moos today, the other cows moo tomorrow.” You start smelling conspiracies against the Bengali cow by non-Bengalis. You boast about your cows in other States.
Bihar: Each year two cows are purchased on paper. The opposition sits on a dharna urging the comptroller and auditor general to bring out a white paper.
Chattisgarh: You have two cows. Both get blown up, one by Salwa Judum and the other by Naxalities.
Gujarat: You have one old cow. You paint the slogan “Vibrant Cow” on it in golden colors, and talk of the prowess that Gujarat has achieved in cows.
Haryana/Punjab: You have two cows. You drink as much you can and export the rest. Then you say “we quench the thirst of the nation”. You get people from Bihar to milk the cows and pay them one rupee for it.
Jammu & Kashmir: You have one cow which Maharaja Hari Singh bought. Pakistan promises you a cow. You talk of the rights of the Kashmiri cow, how the government was not respecting the cow, how the sentiments of the Kashmiri cows could not be taken for granted. You threaten that not one drop of milk will leave Kashmir.
Jharkand: You have two cows, left over from Bihar. One only gives milk in Jamshedpur. The other gets killed by Maoists.
Karnataka: You have one cow, both dating back to the Mysore Presidency. It dies and you mourn the loss of your heritage. Then a Tamil brings a cow and starts providing milk. He gets beaten up for depriving a Kannadiga cow the chance to give milk.
Kerala: You have one cow which was bought by E.M.S. Namboodiripad. The cow refuses to give milk. You call it the Kerala Cow Federation (KCF) and debate whether it should give milk or not. In the meantime, you import milk from Tamil Nadu.
Maharashtra: You have one cow. It gives milk on certain days, at certain times and at a certain location only. There are no branches. Then someone brings a cow from another State and starts bringing milk to your doorstep. You beat him up for taking away the opportunities of the Maharashtrian cows and start a Cow-Sena for protecting the rights of the local cows.
Orissa: You have one cow. It starves to death.
Rajasthan: You have an old, sickly cow. No one knows whether it gives milk or not.
Tamil Nadu: You have two cows. You first find out which caste they are from. Then you give one cow to your son and the other to your nephew, and charge whatever price you want.
Uttarakhand: You declare that cows are tax free. Then you get two cows.
Uttar Pradesh: You have two cows. Whenever Mulayam takes over, he takes one out, charges as much he wants and calls it a “Secular cow.” When Mayawati comes to power, she asks for a full investigation into the cow. Then she takes the other one out and calls it the “Dalit cow.”
Also read: The sheep, the goat, the cow and the bull