தொன்று தொட்டுப் பசுவும் அதனுடன் இணைந்துள்ள புனிதமான எண்ணங்களும் தத்வங்களும் நம்முடைய கலாசாரத்துக்கென்றே ஏற்பட்ட பல சீரிய அம்சங்களை உருவாக்கியிருப்பதால் வேறெதற்கும் இல்லாத தனியானதொரு ஸ்தானத்தைப் பசுவுக்குத் தந்து அது என்றென்றும் போஷாக்குடன் இருக்கச் செய்ய வேண்டும். கோ ஸம்ரக்ஷணம் பரம தர்மம்; பரம புண்யம். பசுவின் க்ஷேமம் நாட்டுக்கே க்ஷேமம் தரும். அதை ஸம்ரக்ஷித்தால் தன்னால் லோகத்தில் பாபம் குறையும்; சாந்தி பெருகும். அதற்கு ஹிம்ஸை நடந்தால் லோகம் முழுதற்குமே கஷ்டந்தான் உண்டாகும். லோகம் தர்மத்தில் நிலை நிற்பதற்கு கோ ஸம்ரக்ஷணம் அவசியம். – ஜகத்குரு ஸ்ரீ சந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி ஸ்வாமிகள்
As from time immemorial, Mother Cow and the noble thoughts and philosophies associated to it, have enriched our culture with unique and significant aspects, we should attribute a special status to the cow among all other species and enable it to live healthily forever. Cow protection is ‘Parama Dharmam’ and ‘Parama Punyam’. The welfare of the cow brings about the welfare of the whole nation. If we protect the cow, all the sins of the world get reduced automatically; peace will prevail everywhere. Any harm meted out to it will bring upon sufferings to the entire world. To steer the world through the path of Dharma, cow protection becomes a dire need. – Jagadguru Chandrasekharendra Saraswathy Swamigal
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara,
I have a good news for you all. The auction that happened on Nov. 10 was been suspended mid-way due to the atrocious and unbelievable behavior exhibited by the local farmers and rogues. This means that all Gho Mathas, Rishabams, Goats, and Varahams are safely within the farm. Please see today’s local newspaper clipping below on the reason for cancellation, a total baloney with zero truth in it. Below is a detailed account of all the facts that happened on the ground.
Viswanathan and myself started off from Chennai on Monday morning (Nov. 9) to Chettinad. We had to be there a day early as we need to register for auction a day before by depositing a refundable DD for Rs. 5k each. Upon reaching Chettinad around 3 PM we went directly to the farm, met the deputy director and his assistant to understand the climate better. He said, last year the locals created a total ruckus and didn’t allow the auction to happen at all. He said the locals form syndicates, get really unruly and very tough to manage them. Given the past experiences, I asked him if he had asked for additional police force to be deployed for the auction. He said they have informed the police but did not stress on the need to have more protection which was a grave mistake in my opinion. On the way back, I told Viswanathan they missed a trick in this regard.
A total of 360 people had registered for the auction (160 for cows, 120 for goats, 80 for varahams). A few locals came to us and told it is not wise for us participate in this auction whereby only old cows will be sold which will be of no use to anyone. We did not respond back but was thinking that was the very reason why we came to participate. We stood in the queue for an hour, registered ourselves, got the tokens and left the farm to hotel. Sensing that something may happen, I called the local Hindu Munnnai leader for some support. I got his contact through one of the Kainkaryam group in Chennai before leaving to Chettinad. Though the local Hindu Munnani leader was born and brought up in Chettinad, he had no idea about the auction and the atrocities that happen every year. We briefed him about the background, where we are from, our objectives and he gained a lot of awareness as well. Our ask to him was very simple; no one should stop us from bidding in the auction tomorrow. He said this being a public auction no one can stop anyone and he will take care. Little did he know what was in store for the next day.
After he left, we sat down and finished segregating cash by denominations. I went to a nearby ATM and withdrew as much cash as I could. Remember the govt. farm does not accept online/digital transactions so we have to spend few hours strategizing how much we need for each cow and sorting all those denominations so we are not taking big cash bundles in front of everyone and disbursing for every cow that we purchase in the auction. We went to bed around 12 AM.
Next day morning, got up around 5AM, finished and our anushtanams, prayed sincerely to Sri Periyava for the rescue of Gho Mathas. The auction was at 11 AM and we started off to the farm at 10AM along with the Hindu Munnani leader and his men (8 of them). He is a service minded individual and did not expect anything from us. The farm officials came late and the auction started around 11.30 AM. As soon as the auction was about to start, a group of local thugs surrounded the auction officers table and demanded them to give all the cows in bulk and not bid one by one. The officials said, that is against the very spirit of the auction and pointed out that people from outside the town has come for bidding and it has to follow a fair and democratic process. They also said, last time the cows were purchased by the local people and sold to slaughter house.
Paying no heed to the officers, they started shouting and threatening. Instinctively, I took out my mobile and started taking pictures. Upon seeing this, the thugs got furious and told me to delete the pictures or they will break my mobile. I deleted the pictures. Since we both and one guy from Coimbatore were the only outsiders who were bidding they threatened us not to bid. The local Hindu Munnani leader who accompanied us and seeing all this for the first time was equally taken aback and told them we won’t bid.
After all the back and forth, the authorities finally started the auction. When the first cow came for sale, one of the cartel thugs bid for it. The guy from Coimbatore also bid for it quoting a higher price which caused a huge outrage with the thugs. They sweared at him, used abusive languages and almost hit him when a couple of people from the same group gave him a stern warning not to participate further in the bid process else he will face serious consequences. The Coimbatore guy left the auction fuming. The cartel told us they will buy all the cows from auction and we need to buy the cows from their syndicate by paying a premium price. Viswanathan and myself tried to go near the auction table to note down the bid and auction price. The thugs started shouting at us and asked to stay away from auction and not bid even a single cow. There were only a couple of women constables who were simply watching all the events unfold. The bidding started again whereby every cow that came to auction was bid by the cartel group by paying Rs. 100 over the auction price. They had bid around 20 cows but did not even pay a penny and moved to bid the next cow which is another serious violation of law and public auction process. Per law, you have to pay cash, get the receipt for the cow that was purchased before bidding the next one.
While all this was happening, one of the thugs from the cartel group came to me for negotiations. What he said really blew me away; he said there are a total of 360 people who have registered for auction (including goats and varahams). He asked me to pay him the bid price of every cow + Rs. 4k for every single bidder who have registered for the auction. Remember we are also part of that 360 along with many other locals who are not part of this cartel. So far him to come up with this deal is appalling and heinous. So you understand, I will give you an example. If the base price of a cow is Rs. 15k and the bid/purchase price is Rs. 15,100 we have to pay Rs. 8,75,800 (for 58 cows) plus Rs. 14,40,000 (360 bidders * Rs. 4k). This means, we are paying these thugs almost double of what they purchased from the auction. For them, it is zero investment but they go back home with this big loot….Disgraceful and scandalous isn’t it? I did not agree at all and we were negotiating when an announcement came in stating that the auction has been suspended. The cartel thugs were shocked and in despair. Since we were the only outsiders they thought we had complained and were raging at us. We explained them it is not us and told we were waiting for them to complete the auction and start the negotiations. So, why would we complain?
Someone had filed a writ at Madras High Court to stop the auction. Also, the guy who came for auction from Coimbatore had filed a complaint that the auction is not done in a transparent manner and locals are manhandling those who have come for auction. The local auction authorities got a call from their HO to stop the auction. The cartel thugs tried to force the authorities to continue the auction but they said they cannot violate their HO order. Sensing their outrage, we left the place quickly. We were outside their vicinity and kept following up with the local contacts on the status of the auction. Apparently, the thugs started getting out of control so a big police force had to be called in along with the SP and Collector. All the bidders were asked to disperse with the auction suspended. I wish the police force had come much earlier so the auction would have happened fairly and peacefully. I have heard this term death of democracy, law and order and witnessed it first hand in yesterday’s auction.
We started off to Chennai after finishing our evening anushtanams and reached home around 1 AM today. Though the happenings on the ground were beyond belief, the most important thing that Periyava ensured and for which we all fought and prayed for has been accomplished. All the Gho Mathas and other voiceless animals are safely in the farm and we did not have to spend a penny as well. From our side it was more of physical and mental toll which is nothing compared to what would have happened if the Gho Mathas ended up in wrong hands. Though this auction has been suspended, it might very well happen shortly with a two week notice and enough precautionary measures. We are keeping in touch with the farm and asked them to inform us if they are planning for another auction. Let’s sincerely do a Sashtanga Namaskarams to Sri Periyava on saving the life of these noble souls.
Next Steps – The next question that will come on everyone’s mind what happens to all the contributions that has been made to this cause. There are quite a lot of people who have contributed generously for this cow auction rescue effort. As I had mentioned above, I came home in the early hours of today and catching up on various things including my day job. Rest assured, the funds will be used for cow rescue efforts only and nothing else. To be more specific and precise, I’m planning to goto a Sandhai (cattle market) where cows will be sold in heaps for slaughter. I have already started working on it and will keep you all posted. Also, will start reconciling all the credits and will send confirmation e-mail over the next few days. We don’t have any backoffice staff so I have to do the reconciliation as well. So, please be patient and stay tuned. If any questions or concerns please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will definitely respond. Pictures and video clips below.
Sri Periyava Thiruvadi Sharanam. Rama Rama