Senior Congress politician Shashi Tharoor criticised the Animal Welfare Board of India’s decision to withdraw its petition to commemorate February 14 as ‘Cow Hug Day’ on Saturday, questioning whether the government was “cow-ed” by the jokes made at its expense or merely “cow-ardiced.”
Tharoor’s jab came a day after the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) retracted its appeal to commemorate February 14 as “Cow Hug Day” in response to government directives and considerable social media backlash.
Reacting to the news, Tharoor said on Twitter, “Was the government intimidated by the jokes made at its expense, or was it just cow-ardice?” “I believe the original request was a verbal instruction: ‘Valentine’s Day: let them hug their boyfriend,’ and the last phrase was misunderstood by a Hindu Rashtravadi as ‘gay’,” the former Union minister stated.
The petition was withdrawn barely one day after Union minister Parshottam Rupala stated that it would be excellent if people responded favourably to the board’s demand to commemorate February 14 as “Cow Hug Day.”
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 around the world.
“As ordered by the Competent Authority and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, the Animal Welfare Board of India’s plea to celebrate Cow Hug Day on February 14, 2023 has been withdrawn,” the board’s secretary S K Dutta stated in a notification posted on its website.
The AWBI appealed for the first time to cow lovers in the country to observe “Cow Hug Day.”