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The Myth of the Holy Cow
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The Myth of the Holy Cow

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Hugely controversial upon its publication in India, this book has already been banned by the Hyderabad Civil Court and the author’s life has been threatened. Jha argues against the historical sanctity of the cow in India, in an illuminating response to the prevailing attitudes about beef that have been fiercely supported by the current Hindu right-wing government and the f ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published February 17th 2004 by Verso (first published June 2002)
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Jha has clearly done his homework in writing the book. The extensive footnotes and bibliography are evidence for that. The controversy surrounding the publication is quite unfortunate, because if the people who protested it and threatened the author's life had actually read the book, they'd have had to admit that the claim Jha makes (that the cow has not always had a 'holy' status in Indian religious traditions and was at one point routinely killed and eaten) is neither outlandish nor baseless. ...more
Johnny Cordova
It's an important and well-researched book presenting undeniable evidence that beef was a major part of the Indian diet through most of her history. It neglects, however, addressing the factors behind Hinduism's sudden veneration of the cow and gradual transition to complete vegetarianism. I'm giving it three stars only for begging a compelling question and failing to answer.
insightful and backed by reasons.

on a topic as sensitive as this,every statement is backed by logic.

an academic effort, though against the cult, one may agree to it or not, its a must read!
This book is banned as blasphemous in India; it argues that the sanctity of the cow in Hinduism is a relatively late development dating back no further than the end of the first millennium CE, well after Hinduism's sacred texts were committed to writing, and cites examples of cows being sacrificed well into the twentieth century. It's well-referenced and on the whole convincing to this non-expert (I took the equivalent of one undergraduate module on Hinduism). The main weakness, so far as I coul ...more
Navaneeth Vengallur
A factual account of the history of meat (esp. beef) eating in India. Unbelievably true. How the Vedic brahmins had the 'privilege' getting to eat beef every day, how the issue is politicised and much more.

Must read for beef-haters and religious fundamentalists. All the more relevant now since MP govt banned and Karnataka govt plans to ban beef eating itself (earlier only cow slaughter was banned).
Saji Maruthurkkara

Quiet an eye opener.
Hard to read as it reads like a phd thesis / research article rather than a book!! Go to last chapter to get a summary of the whole thesis.
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