satwik gade

G. Sampath

A herd will have a calming effect on parliamentary proceedings

India’s recent success in securing the human rights of cows is a historic achievement that deserves all our kudos. We may still have a patchy record in protecting the human rights of humans. But who says progress has to be linear? Sometimes, like the traffic in Bengaluru, a country may have to traverse several diversions on the road to greatness. In India’s case, it so happens that the diversions are strewn with cow dung.

Narrow-minded liberals may like to keep quoting the Constitution till the cows come home. But now that the home has been notified as a cattle shed, they must shut up. What these annoying spawn of Macaulay, who hold forth on secularism one day and Sauvignon Blanc the next, don’t realise is that India is not just a country. It is an ancient civilisation that predates the Constitution by several millennia. This civilisation was a Vedic democracy founded by the cows, of the cows, and for the cows. Humans occupied their dharmic place in this society — as servants of the cow.

Then bad things happened, and humans began eating the cows. Now, after centuries of struggle, that practice has been stopped, more or less. India is on the verge of reclaiming its rightful global status as the mother of human civilisation and the gau mata of any advanced alien civilisation that inter-galactic probes may discover in times to come. But it needs to do one more thing to keep its tryst with cosmic greatness: introduce 33% reservation for cows in Parliament.

Thanks to tireless campaigning by cow-protection activists, today everyone in India agrees that cows and ordinary Indians enjoy the same constitutional rights — the only exception being black people from south India, who are entitled to nothing more than a masala dosa and a vat of sambar.

So it is only fair that cows, like their fair human counterparts, get guaranteed political representation in our democracy. Besides upholding the spirit of the Constitution, such a move will have many positive side effects.

First of all, given that all corrupt politicians are humans and cows are incorruptible, it would, in one stroke, reduce corruption by 33%. Second, since cows are typically female, it is a big step towards gender equality. Third, it would lower the human capital costs of keeping the democratic machinery running. The cost to the country (CTC) of one bovine Member of Parliament is estimated to be one-thousandth the CTC of a human MP. Multiply that by 180 (33% of 545) and you get an idea of the astronomical savings that would accrue to the exchequer from the Lok Sabha alone. Do this calculation for the Rajya Sabha and all the State Assemblies, and you’re looking at thousands of crores in savings.

The amount thus saved could be used to provide free medical care, affordable housing in a state-of-the-art gaushala, and a universal basic income to all Indian cows so that they no longer suffer the indignity of foraging in garbage dumps alongside human ragpickers.

Furthermore, all cows are vegetarian by birth. Plus they don’t consume alcohol, not even mocktails. This would raise the aggregate sattvik profile of our elected representatives, while reducing the per capita cost of keeping them well-fed. Given that cows are peace-loving, sweet-tempered, soft-spoken, and decent by nature, a herd of bovine MPs is bound to have a calming effect on parliamentary proceedings, which have tended to be stormy in recent times. I’d bet my Aadhaar card that no cow would ever try to make a point by rushing to the Well of the House — not unless you fill it with water and add hay.

Unlike human MPs, many of whom have criminal charges against them, cows are law-abiding by nature. Most human MPs are crorepatis, and have little in common with the average Indian, making them less empathetic to their problems. Cows, by contrast, are known for simple living and high thinking. As some of you may have learnt in biology class at school, they are experts in rumination — a vital skill set for any parliamentarian but one that is sadly missing in our current crop of human MPs.

And lastly, if you are an airline staff, your chances of being beaten with chappals would diminish by 33%. In view of all these benefits, the government should pass the cow reservation bill without further delay. As a proud Indian, I can’t wait for the day when a cow will address the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.