From Ganesadasa:

Vrindavana. Land of Krishna and His pastimes, gopis and cows. The holy Mecca for all Hindus. The beautiful Yamuna river meanders through its fields, past Kesi ghata and the other places of pilgrimage. Land of serenity, bhajan and meditation. Place of peace. Right? Think again.

Three nights ago my western friend who has spent the major portion of the past 20 years traversing this & other holy places of India, was awakened around 2am by the loud sound of cows mooing and screaming. When she went to her 4th floor window to see what the ruckus was all about, she saw those cows running helter-skelter for their lives up and down the road she lives on in Chaitanya Vihar, a relatively new government development in the area.

What she saw was nothing less than shocking, and horrified her. A group of local Brij-vasis were hurling rocks and pieces of brick at a  large truck and then running for their lives. The truck was staffed by eight men armed with submachine guns and other rifles and because of the heavily armed opposition the local people were worried for their own lives and severely restricted from doing anything much.

The men in the truck were stealing cows and calves on a main thoroughfare, right outside Radha Dham, one of the largest apartment complexes now in Vrindavana.

This is not a new thing. It used to be done in the outskirts of remote villages where hardly anyone was around and the picking was easy. Now, up to eight trucks at a time, all plied by unconscionable submachinegun-toting dacoits, pull up in the middle of populated residential neighborhoods to apply their craft of cow rustling. Even in the most holy city of Vrindavana where Krishna’s cows have remained the zenith of India’s ‘sacred cow’ image.

It is happening all over the country. Five years ago there used to be around one thousand cows wandering around the precincts of Manipal, the well known university town five kilometers outside Udupi, another hallowed Hindu town Now that population has been reduced to forty. In Maharashtra, cattle stealing goes on big time. And why shouldn’t it. Each cow fetches about Re.40,000 and is shipped to places like the U.A.E. and even some western countries. The ’employees’ in each truck share about Re.10,000 for each cow, so it’s also lucrative for them. The thieves either brake the legs of the cows or calves and throw them into the truck or stab them with syringes loaded with tranquilizers to prevent the cows from resisting further.

But now Vrindavana!? Hasn’t this crime gone too far? And what are the police and other political authorities doing about it? Apparently not much. The above-mentioned story happened not more than 400 meters from a police check-point; all within hearing distance of the screaming cows and calves.

One simple community effort would be to supply all the chowki-dhars and residents with whistles, to be blown as soon as any of these trucks is detected. The Army &  police, armed with their own weapons, could confront the armed dacoits, whenever the alarm was sounded. All it would take is one shoot-out. All the dacoits could be killed. Once the word got round to those who contract for such downright theft, it is doubtful that they would be willing to risk their lives so often.

Asramas & Goshallas
There are more goshallas per capita in the town of Vrindavana than any place in the world. In Sant Colony, where this author is presently residing, every second dwelling is a goshalla with at least 5-10 cows in each one. There are thousands of mandirs and hundreds of asramas occupied by thousands of sadhus who supposedly promote spiritual life, the spiritual equality of all living beings AND why GoRaksha – the protection of cows & bulls – is one of the quintessential items to the development of human virtues. Milk is considered by Vedic texts to be amrita and a miracle foodstuff. It is said that all the Devas reside within the body of GoMata. Even her stool & urine are used to bathe the Supreme Godhead with in abhiseka ceremonies. Panca-gavya and panca-amrita are glorified throughout all Hindu texts. Vrindavana is also the birthplace and kernel of the Hare Krishna movement.

And WHAT are these local sadhus doing about this grossest of atrocities? Cows and bulls are considered the mothers and fathers of human society. What adult would stand by and watch, while their parents were abducted in front of their eyes? Why are the asramas and their residents not banding together and forming protest committees to confront the politicians and the police superintendents? Why is the very fabric of India being allowed to be torn apart right in the most holy city of Vrindavana, while so-called spiritual societies all go about their daily business of preaching about the importance of cows in spiritual life?

Two days ago in the Raman Reti area of Vrindavana precincts, the Jagad Guru Dham Kripalu mandir sponsored a huge feast and celebration in which thousands of the sadhus in Vrindavana were fed a sumptuous feast replete with expensive sweetmeats and who were all then given an umbrella and a large shopping-gift bag containing stainless-steel lotas, bed sheets & new cloth.

Is it not possible for organizations such as this and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) with their extensive political connections, international memberships, huge Hindu congregations in London & elsewhere and their western brainpower & penchant for rallying against injustices, to devote some of their resources and manpower to orchestrate some coordinated protests outside their local, state and national MP’s offices, the police and the Army and to petition these men to stop this act of societal degradation? Where is the willpower to resist the thuggery? If this is NOT stopped in India & stopped immediately, Nature’s remedy will be that Indians will find themselves embroiled in endless wars just as the West is, after 100 years of gross animal slaughter for palatal enjoyment.

The famous English playwright George Bernard Shaw, put the law of Karma succinctly;

We pray on Sundays that we may have light
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread;
We are sick of war, we don’t want to fight,
And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.