ஒரு பக்கம் பசுவைத் தெய்வமாகக் காட்டி கோபூஜை செய்யும் மதஸ்தர்களாக நாம் இருக்கிறோம்; இன்னொரு பக்கம் மாம்ஸத்துக்காகவும், தோலுக்காகவும் ஏராளமான கறவை நின்ற கோக்களை ஹத்திக்கு அனுப்பிக் கொண்டும் இருக்கிறோம்; அல்லது அவற்றை வயிறு வாடி வதங்கி நசியுமாறு வைத்திருக்கிறோம். இந்த ‘ஹிபாக்ரிஸி’ நமக்குப் பெரிய களங்கம். தானாக உயிர் பிரிகிற வரையில் கோக்களை நல்லபடி வைத்துக் காப்பாற்றாத வரையில் நம்மை ஹிந்துக்கள் என்று சொல்லிக் கொள்வதற்கே லாயக்கில்லை. – ஜகத்குரு ஸ்ரீ சந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி ஸ்வாமிகள்
On one side we belong to the religion which proclaims the cow as God and accordingly perform Gho Puja; on the other side we keep sending the unyielding cows to slaughter houses in huge numbers for the sake of their meat and leather; or else we’ve kept them in starvation and under inhuman conditions, letting them to rot and die. This “Hypocrisy” is a great blemish on our part. A long as we fail to preserve the cows properly till they breathe their last on their own, we are not entitled to call ourselves Hindus at all. – Jagadguru Chandrasekharendra Saraswathy Swamigal
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – The title of the post pretty much sums it up all; Words could only describe so much on what I experienced but let me try. I’m still reeling from the impact of the scenes and experiences witnessed at Melmalayanur Cattle Market, a small village, 20kms from Senji.
Few days back, we got a tip from one of our contacts that few native breed cows are going to Kerala from Melmalayanur cattle market. It is a weekly market, happens every Wednesday from 3AM to 9AM. I thought it is a relatively smaller cattle market so we should be able to rescue those few (around 4-5) comfortably. Since the cattle market operates predominantly on cash based transactions I took cash for rescuing around 7 cows. However, before going to bed, my instinct egged me on so I went to the ATM and took some more cash without realizing the fact how helpful it will be the following day.
Viswanathan, myself and a couple of our friends started off in the early hours on Wednesday. While on our way called our local contact who mentioned apart from the four native breed cows which we planned to save there are 100 odd cows that were bought by Kerala butchers and they have started numbering those. Our spirits sagged hearing about it. The journey is around 3 hours from Chennai and with no breaks we reached the cattle market around 7.45am.
The market is divided into two sections. The first section is where people deal with selling and buying of milching cows. The other part, which is slightly a bigger one consists of all old/non-yielding/sick cows, small calves, rishabams, buffaloes, etc. This is where Kerala and local butchers can be found in abundance as they rule the roost here. The cows that go to Kerala slaughterhouses will be numbered and will be tied in a circular fashion around their big trucks. The trucks are designed and customized in such a way it could accommodate around 40 cows. The cows are tied so closely together they will be cramped for space that they could hardly move an inch or tilt their heads. To top it off, sometimes, they also put chillies on their eyes so they stay awake during the entire time of travel and don’t fall off. Remember it is almost a 20 hour journey from Melmalayanur to Kerala. After boarding all the cows, they also close the entire truck with a strong tarpaulin kind of sheet so the cows cannot be seen from outside, choking inside with little air to breathe. Some of the cows/calves pass away while travelling which the butchers take and sell it to their nexus enroute slaughterhouses. Essentially they say nothing is wasted. Cruelty to the core!!!
As soon as we saw all the innocent cows and rishabams tied around the Kerala trucks our hearts raced. Alas, we could not rescue them all as we did not have that much funds with us. As planned, we saved the four native breed cows first and then started purchasing cows that are with small calves that were about to be boarded as the calves stand no chance of surviving this gruesome travel. For the next few hours we ran from pillar to post trying to identify all old cows/rishabams, pregnant cows, cows that are separated from their calves, etc. After identifying the next thing is to negotiate with the butchers. They sell a few to us but will refuse point blank for some. It is really a gamble that need to be played at that time. With whatever funds we had we saved 21 cows and watched in pain when the remaining ones were boarded to Kerala.
The heart in the mouth moments were:
1. One seven month pregnant cow that was boarded and all set to take off when we finally pleaded and got her out off Kerala truck
2. One cow that yielded a cow right in center of the cattle market. Her placenta was soaked in blood but the owner did not care which we bought
3. Two young cows that were about to be boarded and got off the Kerala truck at the last minute
4. A cow that was seperated from its calf and was the last to board the Kerala truck. The butcher said he won’t sell and was about close the truck backdoor when we pleaded and got her out.
5. An old rishabam (farming/ploughin bull) after doing yeomen service to mankind was rescued
While we could save 21 cows which is a small consolation it is devasting to watch right in front of our eyes cows and small rishabams boarded onto the truck one by one. Many of them looked parama sadhu and just followed the men who took them inside without knowing their gruesome end. None of those would be alive now but since I personally looked into the eyes of every single one of them before boarded it is hard to get it off my mind and the memories keep haunting me. I have posted the pictures truck numbers so if someone can take legal action please do so. These trucks keep plying from the same place every week Wednesday from Melmalayanur to Kerala. They also goto various other cattle markets every other day (Andhiyur, Erode, Madurai, Salem, etc.) so it is very easy to follow them. The cops are aware of all these happenings and we saw them come and collect their bribes promptly before the trucks left the market. One who needs to uphold the law and save the voiceless is pathetically corrupt….
The rescued cows travelled for around 14 hours and are safely in Vellingiri Gosala, Coimbatore where they will spend their rest of their lives peacefully. Some of the small calves and calves could not travel that long has been brought into nearby Gosalas near my home.
Posting a few pictures with captions below so you could see the happenings of some of the crude realities on the ground. Sri Periyava Thiruvadi Sharanam. Rama Rama
Many Jaya Jaya Sankara to Shri Anantharaman, Smt. Savitha Narasiman, Shri Singaram, Smt. Shantha Subbaraman, Smt. Revathy Ganesh, Smt. Santha Subramanaian, Shri S Balachandar, Shri NP Seetharaman, Shri Viswanath Mohan, Shri Natarajan, Shri Venkata Subramanian, Shri NP Raman, Shri P Santosh, Smt. Jayalakshmi Vidhashankar, Shri Hari Venkatesh, Shri Seshadri Hariharan, Shri Raghavan, Shri Narasimha Curam, Shri TG Ranganathan, Shri Ramasubramanian, Shri Krishnamurthi Subramanian, Shri Balaji Kadappan, Shri K Ramesh, Smt. Savithri Jatadharan, Shri Subramanian Viswanathan, Shri Arun Abishek, Shri Ganesh Rajagopalan, Shri Ganesh Sankaranarayanan, Shri L Sandeep, Shri PS Krishnamurthy, Smt. Srividhya, Shri Yogeswaran, Smt. Lalitha Sundaramurthy, Shri Gowri Shankar, Shri SV Krishnan, for their kind contributions in helping with this rescue efforts, transport, and maintenance.
HERE are the account details for contributing to our cow rescue efforts.
Small video clip showing how crowded the cattle market is.
Just born calf lying down in the cattle market trying to standup. Mother cow being walked in the cattle market with blood soaked placenta. The market was so crowded we brought to a corner and had her feed the just born. See the mothely love of Gho Matha towards her son. Glad we could save them without getting brutally killed or seperated.
Another two cows and small calves saved before boarded to Kerala
A Seven Month Pregnant cow was offboarded from the butcher truck just before they were about to start.
A native breed cow rescued before getting boarded
Another bunch of cows that were negotiated and saved from butchers. See how lovely they look.
An old Rishabam saved.
Few Cows rescued and moved from the Slaughter house truck to our truck
The last cow that was saved after being boarded before the shutters were closed. As you could, by now the cattle market was empty and the truck was about to start to Kerala.
One view of the cattle market. This is the section specifically earmarked for slaughter. All of the cows you see in this picture would have been killed now with the exception of the few we rescued.
A Sneak Peek into the Slaughterhouse truck. See how customized and equipped they are. I took this picture when they just started boarded, it was packed with no space when the entire boarding was complete. See the other picture below.
Around 40 Cows cramped and loaded to Kerala. As you see in the picture below they also close the roof. Completely covered that one may think it is a cargo truck when the reality is there are so many innocent jeevans suffocating inside for close to 20+ hours with NO food/water. Imagine their plight, they have already spent several hours in the market without food/water. Please note down the truck number and see if any action can be taken.
Another Truck Enroute to Kerala. The truck has started and the final journey of the cows.