Cricket players have been given cows for winning a cricket tournament in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The choice of the trophy was defined by the recent tensions between the Hindus and other communities in the country.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — For Hindus, a religious majority in India, the cow is a holy animal. Other communities and religious groups view cows differently. Beef is consumed by non-Hindus, including Muslims and Dalit untouchables, for whom the meat is the only available source of protein because it is cheaper than mutton, chicken and fish in most parts of India. Muslim and Dalit families also trade in beef, cattle skin and bones which are used in many industries.
The Narendra Modi government has initiated several measures to prevent the slaughter of cattle, one of which is the recent ban on the sale of bovine animals for slaughter in animal markets. The decision has been met with great opposition in the southern and eastern parts of India, but not in its western regions.
In the western state of Gujarat, the pastoral Rabari community in Vadodara and other pastoral Hindu communities in other states worship the cow and other cattle as their livelihood depends on them.
The Rabari community awarded a cow to the winning team in a local cricket tournament. The objective was to illustrate the value and importance of cows.
"We want to send a message to society that the cow is very important for our livelihood. We should save and protect cows. Even the winning players are also happy to receive a cow as a trophy," Prakash Rabari, the organizer of the cricket tournament, told media.
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