India: Shankar Lal, a leading figure of the Rashtriya SwayamSevak Sangh (RSS) claimed that the Jersey cow is a demonic creature and the cause of juvenile crime.
Jersey cattle are a small breed of dairy cattle. Originally bred in the Channel Island of Jersey, the breed is popular for the high butterfat content of its milk and the lower maintenance costs attending its lower bodyweight, as well as its genial disposition.
RSS is an influential Hindu nationalist group which counts Narendra Modi, the prime minister, among its members. Mr Modi was educated by the group as a child and entered politics with its support.
The group has successfully lobbied for the slaughter of cows for beef to be banned in some parts of India because it offends higher caste Hindus who worship them as a source of life.
According to the RSS’s cow protection section, the move would improve the condition of the animals, which often roam the streets and eat plastic waste, and also provide milk and medicines. It would also teach children the importance of the animal in sustaining life.
They must, however, be “virtuous” Indian breeds and not Jersey cows if they do not want their children to turn to crime, the group’s leader Shankar Lal said.
Indian cows are saatvik, he explained – virtuous or pure – and drinking their milk not only increases consumers’ productivity but produces no evil thoughts.
By contrast, the Jersey cow, has “devil in the milk, poisonous particles”, he said.
It’s not clear it is a cow at all but “some kind of an animal which makes you think impure thoughts and do wrong deeds [which] results in increase in crimes”, he added.
Jersey cows were first imported into India during the British Raj for cross breeding with Indian varieties to improve the quality of milk.