Even as the Centre and certain states are locking horns over the ban of sale of cattle in animal market for slaughter, the Rajasthan High Court has suggested that the cow should be made the national animal and slaughter of a cow should warrant a death penalty.
But the Rajasthan High Court is not the first to have made these demands.
In March the Gujarat Assembly passed a law -- The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2017, -- which stipulated a maximum punishment of up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh for the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks. People convicted for transporting, selling or storing beef could be imprisoned for up to 10 years and not less than 7 years, under the same law.
The maximum punishment was increased from three years to life imprisonment.
And as far as making the cow the national animal goes, there have been many who have asked the Centre to make cow the national animal. Here are some examples.
1. The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind
Amid cases of cow vigilantism and mob justice, the president of the Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, had asked the Centre to make the cow the national animal.
"The government should give national animal status to the cow and we will support it... These gau rakshaks are exploiting religion to loot and murder people... We respect the religious sentiments of our Hindu brethren but no one can be allowed to take law and order into their own hands," The Times of India had quoted Madani as saying.
2. The Meo Community
After the death of Pehlu Khan, the Meo panchayat in Rajasthan had demanded that the cow be made the national animal because it will stop politics on the issue.
The Times of India had quoted Sher Mohammad, Sadar(Head), Meo panchayat, Alwar as saying, "We will constitute a committee which will write to the Central government to demand declaring cow as a national animal. Our committee will also write to chief minister Vasundhara Raje for the same. I think with this, we can expect peace and no more lynching cases would take place in the name of saving a cow."
3. This 'Gau Rakshika'
Sadhvi Kamal, who calls herself a Gau Rakshika, and is reportedly the president of the Rashtriya Mahila Gau Raksha Dal, said that Narendra Modi should declare the cow as the national animal.
The woman made unapologetic comments on Pehlu Khan's death. However, later she said she was inspired by Mother Teresa. India Today quoted her as saying that Modi was king, and like kings in the past, he should ban cow slaughter.
4. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan
The leader of Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan held a cow milk party for the premier of his latest film Jattu Engineer, attended by Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and he said that the cow should be made the national animal.
inUth.com quoted Akshay Bhola, the media manager for the event as saying, "The idea is to promote the film Jattu Engineer but also popularise cow milk. We want to make an appeal to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he can give the due recognition to the holy animal cow equivalent to the national animal if not more."