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Cow replaces the Tiger as India's national animal

03, Oct 2009 By Makkhan Khabarwala

New Delhi. In a move that shocked everyone from Sangh Parivar to Billi Parivar (cat family), Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced that henceforth, cow will be the national animal of India. Chidambaram claimed that the move was actually a statutory obligation on part of the government, and not a political gimmick as many might suspect. He cited a hidden footnote from the constitution that had remained unnoticed all these years.

“Some ash from Jinnah’s cigar had fallen over it while Ambedkar was writing the page. An illiterate housekeeping staff was cleaning the book when he noticed the footnote and reported it to the speaker who immediately called up the cabinet committee. The footnote directs us to provide for a rotational stint for the Tiger, Cow and Pig as the national animal of the country, every 50 years. In that sense, we’ve already delayed justice to the cow by over 10 years,” Home Minister P Chidambaram said, while making the startling announcement in the Parliament.

Holy Cow, now also the National Animal
Holy Cow, now also the National Animal

The BJP termed the announcement as a ploy to politically finish them. Political pundits have also twitched their noses over the timing of the move, which is very close to leadership crisis in BJP. In the treasury benches, Mr. Shashi Tharoor could be seen smiling in redemption as his comments pertaining to the cattle class and the holy cows seemed to have finally fallen in place.

Renowned Professor emeritus of animal studies in JNU, Prof. Satake in a TV interview said that the change had become inevitable. “Over the years the tiger’s ratings have been going down. In fact the tiger has never really behaved as a national animal. Apart from entertaining tourists at zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, the tiger has hardly made any contribution to the country’s progress. Add to that some tigers becoming man-eaters, this was bound to happen,” said a charged up Prof. Satake.

Justifying the move, Mr Kama Sutra, head of a nationalist outfit said, “The tiger has also been involved in anti national activities. It has helped China, a big threat to India, make aphrodisiacs. These aphrodisiacs have helped China increase its population and increase the threat levels.”

Arguing further, he added, “The, tiger is associated with LTTE, Babbar Khalsa, and some other terrorist organizations. This association definitely doesn’t work for a non violent country like India.”

Tigers across the country protested against the move that threatened to make their position insignificant. Zoos across the country reported tigers going on hunger strike. In a few cases, they tried to attack the zoo staff. In Corbett National Park tigers refused to come out and appear before tourists defying an agreement signed between Government and Tigers association. “What’s the use of showing up for work, when we have been handed over pink slips now,” growled Sher Singh, a 10-year-old tiger at the Delhi Zoo.

On the other hand, cows across the country celebrated by giving an additional litre of milk across the country. The dairies of Amul and various milk federations overflowed and dairies had to run additional shifts to manage the surplus. However, in an aberration, that could be a sign of the times to come, a group of aggressive cows in Punjab were seen roaming a local bazaar and forcefully eating fruits and vegetables from various pushcarts. The local administration has refused to confirm or deny the news.

Praising the contribution of the cows to India’s development, the Home Minister added, “Cows, seem to be more in sync with Indian ethos. In a way mirror our society. They get less, deliver more, are peaceful, and non-vegetarian. I apologise to Tharoor Ji, and proudly announce that from now on, Economy class in Air India will be called cattle class.”

Meanwhile the government is bracing up for many operational changes that would follow the decision. All Government emblems carrying members of the cat family will now be replaced by their bovine counterparts. Chairman of Currency and coinage division at Nasik, Mr Sikka Singh said, “Luckily we will not have to make many changes. We’ve checked, just by adding 2 horns on the lion’s head in the Ashoka emblem, it looks very much like a Punjabi cow. Also as a boon in disguise, it will also help fight the menace of the fake currency that we face today.”

Students who appeared for the IAS prelims are a confused lot, as one of the multiple choice questions asking for the National Animal had both tiger and cow as an option. The High court has ordered a stay on declaration of any results till the matter is sorted out.

With the autumn session of Parliament still underway, one can expect to see a lot of dung-slinging on the issue in the next few days.