Images of India : The Sacred Cow…

Cow

The cow is deeply revered by Hindus. Cow protection helped form a unifying theology for the Hindu community, now called Hindutva. The constitution of 1949 advised each state to establish its own legislation banning cattle slaughter. Eight of the 29 Indian states still ignore this, and cows can be slaughtered. In three others cattle slaughter is strictly regulated; 18 ban it entirely, and can impose up to 10 years imprisonment for violation. Five states ban eating beef (implying police can raid restaurants). The water buffalo, which is often black and reminds one of a demon in mythology, may be slaughtered for export, except in Chhattisgarh; that made India one of world’s biggest exporters of beef in 2015, just ahead of Brazil.