Should cow be used to pull the temple chariots in Malaysia?
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Cow or Gomatha has been a sacred animal in Hindu tradition. 'Go' means cow and 'matha' means mother. In vedas, Cow represents wealth a d joyous. This is one reason why cow is brought into a house warming ceremony.
On the other hand, Cow is also known as great contributors in the farming industry from ancient days, before machinery was found. This also another reason why cow is worshiped and celebrated on the second day of harvest festival or also known as ponggal.
While all that are taking place, we also noticed that cow is abused in the name of festive. One classic example, when 2 cows are made to pull the silver chariot during Thaipusam at Penang. From an animal welfare perspective, this can be considered as an abuse. 2 cows made to pull a chariots weighing more than 2 tonnes and there were more than 10 people on the chariot. This is a sight that we see in Malaysia but in India, the devotees are asked to pull. The cow also goes through stress by seeing too many people around them besides the stress of pulling the chariot. A new trend that also we witnessed lately was to light up fire crackers in front of the cow before the chariot leaves the temple. This can also make things worst for both cow and people around it. This was not our practice and we don't have absolute right to put them through this stress. I hope the respective department and Hindu sangam of malaysia to revisit this practice while we continue our religious practice in humane manner. With this, we would like to get as many possible signatures so that the out come be submitted to DVS to further considering maximum weight a cow can carry or pull.
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