04/05/2015 1:57 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Is The Cow Set To Replace The Tiger As India's National Animal?

NOAH SEELAM via Getty Images
An Indian Hindu devotee offers prayers to a sacred cow on the eve of Gopastami in Hyderabad October 31, 2014. The Gopastami festival, which commemorates Hindu Lord Krishna becoming a cowherder, brings devotees preparing food and offering religious rituals to cows. AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

India chose the tiger as its national animal because of it's "grace, strength, agility and power".

The cow may not fit that exact definition, but increasingly there are demands to declare it as India's national animal, with people writing to the ministry of environment and forests, reported Mint.

"There are over 20,000 such requests from Maharashtra alone," a ministry official told Mint. As many as 15,000 appeals have been sent from just an organisation named Jai Gurudev Mangal from the Vidarbha, he added.

According to a report in The New Indian Express, Prakash Javadekar, the minister of environment and forests, is now wondering what to do about the truckload of requests received by them. In fact, the inflow of communication to the ministry on cows is so large, that Javadekar's office has been struggling to maintain a record.

"The Union Home Ministry will have to take a decision on declaring the cow as the national animal. Any national declaration comes from the home ministry only. It will have to be cleared by the Prime Minister as well," the environment ministry official told The Mint.

"Killing cows is like killing the idea of India; and there's a huge organised cattle mafia here as well. We need to protect our cows and thus it should be declared as the national animal. A cow protection task force should also be set up as well," a spokesperson for the Gau Gyan Foundation said.

Also read: Rajasthan Opens Cow-Urine Refinery In Jalore

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