Introduction: GoKaarya / GauKaarya / GouKaarya would be the net summation of all steps related to saving cows: from saving cows to saving breeds and saving society. Economic benefits, political gains and agroecological betterment are all accrued from GoKaarya. This article discusses the economic benefits of GoKaarya.
GoKaarya may have started with GoRakshaks halting trucks carrying cattle for slaughter and rescuing the cattle from Muslims or by accepting an old or neglected cow abandoned by Hindus, but it must progress to GauSamVardhan (restoration of cattle breeds of Bos indicus) to eventually, an inside-out change of mental thought processes and lifestyle of Indian society brought about by incorporating the presence of cattle into all aspects of life – health and food, farming and ecology, society and politics, Dharma and foreign relations.
The saving of cattle is enshrined in Article 48 of our Constitution.
As per article 48 of Indian constitution, slaughtering of the cow and her progeny is prohibited in India, not on religious grounds but on the grounds of agriculture and prospects of animal husbandry prospective:
Article 48: Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry:
The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
From the Taittiriya Upanishad: emphasis is placed on doing things together:
ॐ सह नाववतु। सह नौ भुनक्तु। सह वीर्यं करवावहै। तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै। ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
Thus, people pooling together their ideas, resources and efforts for societal betterment is an ancient Hindu Vedic concept; latter day failed doctrines like Communism are hardly needed to quicken one’s conscience. So who would oppose or support GoKaarya?
Forces supporting and opposing GoKaarya:
a. Forces supporting GoKaarya: Only a fully aware, environment-conscious and united Hindu society would support GoKaarya. It would never happen unless there is complete Paryaavaranaatmak (environmental), Aadhyaatmik (spiritual) and Raajanaitik (political) awareness.
b. The forces opposing GoKaarya: Those forces who either seek to destroy Hindu society or those who want to change society to suit market needs would oppose GoKaarya. Forces seeking to destroy Hindu society would be the communists and the anti-Hindu religious forces. Forces seeking to modify Hindu society by making it a mere market of goods, and snapping the organic connection of Hindu society with village traditions and hence cattle, would be the capitalist and imperialist forces. All of these could and often do gang up against Hindus. So both Leftist and Rightist (non-Hindu-rightist, or the anti-Hindu rightist) forces work towards attacking Hindus, with an intention towards at least destabilizing India but if possible, simply finishing Hinduism away, with all its rich weave and heritage and converting the Hindu populace. The leftist forces include liberalism, socialism, Marxism, Communism and Maoism-Naxalism. The Rightist forces would of course include all shades of the Abrahamic variety (mostly Muslim and Christian, with the Jewish not directly visible).
Having said that, certain Muslims in India are supportive of GaSuraksha and one family, the Rajak Pathan family of Indapur, Pune, Western Maharashtra have even contributed to saving the Desi cattle. And there are Hindu-born Leftists who support beef.
c. When Hindus get galvanised: The Ram Janma Bhoomi movement galvanized Hindus and – over 25 years from 1989 to 2014 – eventually changed the polity of the country, with leftism and status-quo-ism shoved away to the periphery, while the RJB issue remains an incomplete agenda of the BJP. But the forces which opposed Ram Janma Bhoomi as a movement could not have included Capitalism. However, in case of forces opposing GoKaarya, they would include capitalism as well, in a robust way at that.
LET US SEE THE KEY BENEFITS OF COW PROTECTIONISM AND THE CORRESPONDING LOBBIES THAT SEEK TO DESTROY THIS MOVEMENT:
- ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION;
- POLITICAL TRANSFORMATION;
- AGROECOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION THAT FOLLOWS GAUKAARYA:
1. ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION OF INDIA THROUGH GAUKAARYA
Cow protection needs land, city cattle lands and Goushalas face issues:
Cow protectionism has to reach the next logical conclusion – from taking care of individual cows to taking care of breeds of cows, from a non-descript state to pedigreed status, adjusting to local agroclimatic conditions. More the cows, more the bulls of the desi native indigenous variety, that much better our agriculture…
But the question is – how does a city-dweller come into contact with cattle, and where can these be housed? Cattle need to be housed somewhere. GouShalas today are never enough to supply the needs of cattle, no matter how many have indeed come up. A lot of city GouShalas are mismanaged, underfunded or overcrowded, with the ecosystem running only on donations of money or fodder and with there being health issues to both cattle and people with dung and urine, or storage of fodder, or disposal of the dead, or handling any disease or worse, any epidemic. Modern cities aren’t planned with cattle-rearing; cities and metropolitan centres don’t offer affordable space for such cattle-rearing in their finite space, and contain a tremendously high concentration of humans which need housing and infrastructure.
As an example of a city and Gou concerns: the case of Mumbai: In Mumbai, spaces are easily encroached upon. As Mumbai expanded, cattle farms were shifted to Aarey Colony on the periphery of the Sanjay Gandhi (Borivali) Nationall Park, which was leopard (big cat) territory, a true forest; but with urbania now expanding into and beyond these old boundaries, encroaching into both cattle and big cat territory in Aarey Colony, Mumbai, there was increasing human-animal conflict. Disposal of dung and urine as well as carcasses is another issue due to which the city with human overcrowding is not an option anymore.
Even the sheds in Aarey Colony are full.
If this was the area limit of city expansion decades ago, it is no more the limit. Where do cattle go?
Going back to the villages:
This therefore is also a call to owning land where it is more affordable for the sake of housing cattle, where labour is available to tend to them, where dung can be recycled and where cows are still respected better today. This means, going back to village life. There are many middle class people and even some millionaires doing that, with a special case being that of a couple who bought land in Coorg (Kodagu) to leave it as a forest. https://www.thebetterindia.com/16294/couple-man-made-wildlife-sanctuary-hosts-animals-like-bengal-tigers/
Naturally, the ONLY way this can be done sustainably is by going back to the rural areas and setting up fodder fields and goushalas and nandishalas in villages, with supportive cultural ecosystems, like the temple-centric and gou-based village life and “income” coming from some form of farming, most likely to be organic; selling gaushala-nandishala produce. We may call this the “village gaushala start-up model”.
Those earnest in this endeavour will have to buy land in villages or return back to their native villages, leaving jobs in cities or working part-time in both cities and villages, changing work patterns and work cultures. Urbanites will become ex-urbanite neo-rural people, carrying back some capital and modern education with them, but they will have to mix with the rural local rural communities, engage in some activity that benefits the villages and forest dwellers.
Just imagine if this is done wholeheartedly, what impact it can have upon Indian society and economy.
As more and more people do that, it can reverse the trend of urbanisation and spare our cities from being overcrowded. Land prices in cities will stop becoming unaffordable and land prices in villages may increase, making money flow back into villages. This way, those who want to continue to live in cities can start getting affordable housing, while those villagers who sell their land for money may choose to hold on to their lands realizing the value of their land, or, book a profit to sell a portion of their land holdings.
The outputs: Not just milk: PanchaGavya:
It is time to outgrow the old western paradigm that a cow is only a source of milk; in the classical Hindu narrative, milk is merely a welcome side-product.
Indeed, the medicinal properties of cow urine and the agriculturally useful properties of all cow milk derivatives or of cow dung and urine (only from a humped Desi Cow), are a case of holistic integration with rural life, farm production and health systems.
PanchGavya is the product prepared from milk, curds, ghee, dung and urine of a cow.
PanchaGavya enhances the production of crops, cures diseases in people and prevents disease in crops.
Agnihotra, the lighting of a small homa at sunrise and at sunset, is an accompaniment which is natural to organic farming and cow-rearing, as Agnihotra requires cow ghee, a serene environment and a natural circadian rhythm.
More details of PanchGavya and Agnihotra ash medicine will be studied in the Agroecological benefits of GoKaarya, a subsequent blog.
Visitors to cattle sanctuaries: Earning money from Agrotourism and Ecotourism hospitality:
Those who return to villages with cows could start cottage industries and agro-tourism and even help locals with employment opportunities. Agrotourism is where the producer receives money from a customer for not just buying finished products but also hospitality, learning culture and – also working as a willing labourer! Also, this keeps local culinary tradition alive, decolonizing our diets / stomachs! (Bali, Indonesia, is an island that protects Hindu Dharma and also is the global hub of cultural agro-eco-tourism. If Bali could do it, so can India.)
Images: courtesies: Clockwise, starting from the top: https://pegipegi.com/attraction/T00191/52782_T00191_www_travelwithacouple_com_wpcontent_uploads_2014_10_AG003.jpg
Adjoining forests, there can also be eco-tourism. And that should be kept sustainable, with employment to local communities instead of corporates, whereby tribals are then not easily drawn towards Naxalism.
GoShala and Organic farm products: Cottage industries to ashram brands:
A GauShala can produce its own products and so can its own associated farm, which can produce organic produce. There will also be a market created for ashram products, products from NGOs, from gaushalas, etc.
Such products are getting increasing acceptance and will out-compete most multinational products. They will also thwart unethical policies of Pharma industry based on exploitative prices.
Even jobs like tending to cattle, collecting urine and dung and preparing products out of them can generate employment. So even this villlage woman collecting valuable cow urine is doing not a laughable but a laudable job.
There is growing acceptance by the scientific and corporate worlds, for cow products, and a lot of GauShalas and Ashrams are becoming brands, moving from the status of a cottage industry to a national and still later, international brand.
Reduced need for money as a medium to satisfy needs: self-production with barter
One needs money to buy things one cannot get. But if one gets the things one needs by self-production or local production, then we need the medium of money less and less. There will be support given to barter too. This increases self-reliance of village communities.
This can disturb the prevalent system of debt economy, which generates wealth by handing out loans and then getting them repaid by interest, and where bad loans burden the exchequer, where farmers drawn into debt commit suicide and where such a debt economy is used to promote investments in stocks.
Swadeshi patriotism, intra-Swadeshi patriotism and ashram branding:
What better way of Swadeshi and rural empowerment? There will be competition between one swadeshi brand and another, rather than between swadeshi and videshi.
In this process, Indians may find their aatmaa and identity again, by choosing to take up neither communism nor capitalism.
Unlike with the Ram Mandir movement, where there was concentration of energy into one place – Ayodhya, the benefits of Go Suraksha will be decentralised.
GoSuraksha followers will also be encouraged to be implementers of the idea: ‘form your own gaushala’. The more the better.
Education activity in GauSiddha medicine or Agroecology is also a great source of income to the energetic and teaching-oriented.
Courses in Gavyasiddha medicine are recognised by the AYUSH ministry of the central government of India. Meanwhile, a lot of decentralised courses are available across the country by private institutions.
The Gau-centric, temple-centric, village-centric model was a success for millennia, why doubt it now?
The economic reason that India attracted invasions – and the economic reason Indian village life and society remained largely unaffected no matter who invaded India and occupied her, was India had many regional economies based on regional agroecology and culture, which had built up India’s prosperity from down, upwards. Not only that, the resilience to military invasions also came from within that same indigenous Hindu culture, based on the same localized, decentralised model. This is outlined in the books by Dharampal ji, like the book ‘The Beautiful Tree’.
Thus, across India, the Pahadis of Himachal or Garhwal, the Tamilians under Puzhi Thevar, the Deccan kingdom of the Marathas and Vijayanagara, the Ahoms, the Malayalis under Pazhasi Raja, the Paikas of Khurda – Odisha, Raja Pratapaditya of Jessore – Bangla, etc. could all generate economy, nutrition, cultural resilience and military resilience from the soil they grew food from, and from Dharma; Hindusthan knew how to manage her health, rivers or water tables, topsoil fertility or food security, as well as her defence without losing swatva; it was all funded by nutrition from the soil! And it was this agro-resilient India that attracted everyone from Alexander, to bin Qasim, to the Portuguese or British.
Upsetting our economics: Colonisation; Post-colonial conspiracies too (?)…
The first to upset Indian economic stability were the British with their East India Company. They broke local economies through taxation, curbing of local consumption and production; they set up cattle slaughterhouses and worked towards dismantling our agriculture; they selectively empowered some classes, and disempowered others; they disarmed some classes while they promoted militarization of yet some other classes; they stopped Indian indigenous education; etc.
It is not without reason that a conspiracy is suspected: why was the Green Revolution most propagated in Punjab, the land of fertile riparian plains and the birth of the Vedas? (Today, Punjab is on the verge of collapse due to chemical farming.) Why was Gujarat chosen as the main province for launching the White Revolution, given that the whole of Gujarat has an economy based on livestock, without much of non-vegetarianism, and with some of the best Desi cattle breeds? (Today, Gujarat is also the land which has the most polluted cities like Vapi, bang in the middle of the once-fertile Tapi-Narmada belt / the Upper Western Ghats. It is the home turf of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.)
Could these choices have been purposefully made to break that strength of Indian society and agroecology?
There is scope for such thinking. Late Rajiv Dikshit ji was one such person who had raised doubts and objections. But claims and counter-claims need scientific verification and unearthing of more proof. Meanwhile, Rajiv Dikshit ji is no more, with speculation (no proof) that he was poisoned. Yet, even today, the legacy of Rajiv Dikshit ji lives on, like the laudable effort of Maharshi Vagbhatt GoShala and Gurukul, which has become a movement with momentum.
Gau Versus Rothshild?
The internet is filled with the theory (right or wrong) of a Jewish-Rothshild-Illuminati-Freemason-Noahide lobby that controls world banking and engages in ruthless profiteering through plundering of natural resources, inequal distribution, debt-based trap and the speculation and inflation of stocks and urban property. Assuming that such a fearsome oligarchy exists, only the economy of that nation or community which follows the said model can be affected when ‘strings are pulled’. Not the economy which has its own local base.
Hence, a village-based return of Hindus, with care of their customs, cattle and their forests will not allow them to be economically affected if they disengage themselves from the economy driven by any world oligarchy.
GoKaarya could therefore mean much more: a return to that socio-cultural, economic and political resilience. This will be another virtual yudhda fought in the mindscape of society.
On taking up GoPaalan: Redefining what is meant by investment and insurance
A villager not disturbed by ‘development model economics’ or who has ‘escaped English education’, who is well-versed with his own culture, does not view the stock exchange as anything with credibility. His village culture enjoins him to share seeds, ploughing bulls and labour, if not happiness and woes. His insurance eventually is his collective village. Seeds which were to be sown were the basis of food and were and are still always shared, without being bought, in traditional farming.
The meaning of wealth to a Hindu is not a bank balance, some expensive city apartment and some equity holdings. To a Hindu, wealth is on eight forms, the AshtaLakshmi.
Dharampal ji has shown that pre-colonial India managed drought, localized education, had a fair share of village production and managed resources; the threat lay from invasions. Of course, colonisation changed things.
- This is not to say that a family doesn’t need investment into movable properties- even in pre-colonial India, while 70% people earned their livelihoods through agriculture, 30% who didn’t had urban lives – Naagara culture – and had earnings through specializations;
- This is not to say that a family doesn’t need any insurance (life / mediclaim): he certainly needs crop insurance;
- This is not to say that a farmer doesn’t need a bank, loans or backup;
- This is not to say that a family doesn’t need any exposure to the urban world: globalization is everywhere;
- This is not to say that there wasn’t any disease, drought or exploitation at all.
But while there was disease, there were yoga and Ayurveda / Siddha health systems; food was organic, tasty and offered complete nutrition, not harmful chemicals; if there was drought, water was managed by the whole community as we see in Jaislamer villages or Vijayanagara irrigation and villages and forts had granaries and seed banks to prevent droughts from escalating into famines; etc. Rarely do we hear of villagers dying of epidemics or starvation as we hear of from colonial times. The village pond provided water to all, and all participate in its desilting. The temple was the repository of monies, energy and faith, skills and culture. The village Gaushala provided the best of bulls and cattle.
Thus a community to which an individual belongs (whether a jaati or a graam or a commune) was the localized form of insurance, investment and security, altogether.
Does not the present socio-economic system simply urbanise the ruralites, reducing food production while raising food dependence, increase yield per acre but reduce nutrition per acre, destroy biodiversity while being unable to prevent lifestyle-related and overcrowding-related diseases, social problems and inflation?
While a villager can grow food, grow thread for clothing, grow material for housing, generate power through solar / wind / biogas options, harvest / manage water, recycle his waste almost completely, stay healthier and live better and longer, a city-dweller breathes unclean air, and pays for water, food, labour and power and grows no food. Thus treating a city property as an investment needs to be rethought. If more people can understand this, property, the means to attain property (debt economy – housing loans) and the speculation economy of stocks, commodities and property will be less pursued. Better life would be the alternative.
The benefits of such an economic model aren’t restricted to any one jaati or panth, and are also available to non-Hindus living in harmony.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Versus Gross National Happiness (GNH)
India should eventually change from the model of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Gross National Happiness (GNH) which is followed by the tiny neighbour of India, Bhutan. GNH is an official parameter of Bhutan.
A study of village economics would be incomplete without consulting ArthaShaastra by Kautilya
Vishnugupta Chanakya, or Kautilya, wrote the Arthashastra, which is the status of an Upaveda, and remainse the best way of applying gaubased village centric economics to daily politics.
The lobbies opposing such a return to roots, triggered by an interest in cattle and village life, will be:
The capitalists as well as the communists.
The capitalists have long been dependent on the urbanizing craze that allures a village dweller; but the person returning back from city life will abandon the pursuit of all things whose lure is just fashion, image and lucre. So the hyperbole about a substance-less boom will deflate. The pursuit of GDP will be changed into DeGrowth. Mindless consumerism, pursuit of obsolescent perishables, hedonism will be curbed.
The communists are most worried when the solution to problems is found without embracing communism: no bloody takeover of a government, no armed revolution, no atheism, no abandonment of culture, no nihilism, no curbing of profit-incentive-based functioning, and no curbs on private property or meritocratic entrepreneurship… and no disharmony between integrated communities co-existing together.
What the UN says:
The UN has acknowledged way back in 2003 that “agroecology as understood as the applications of the science of ecology to agricultural systems, can result in modes of production that are not only more resilient, but also more productive and sustainable, enabling them to contribute to the alleviation of rural poverty, and thus to the realization to the right to food”.
(Abstract: Commentary VI: Agroecology: A solution to the crises of Food systems and Climate Change
Chapter One: Key Development Challenges of a Fundamental Transformation)
Thus, going back to villages and engaging in Organic Farming, keeping cows and connecting with communities, is fully consonant with what the UN had agreed to in 2003.
In following blogs: the Political and the Agroecological and cultural benefits of GoKaarya will be discussed.