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

The Myth of the Holy Cow

by D N Jha

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Product ID:25345

Language

English

Publisher

Navayana

ISBN

9788189059163 - Year: 2009 - Pages: 207

Binding

Paperback

D N Jha

Author: D N Jha
Publisher: Navayana
Year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 207
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788189059163

Description

In this book, historian Dwijendra Narayan Jha argues that the ‘holiness’ of the cow is a myth and its flesh played an important part in the cuisine of ancient India. Citing Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina religious scriptures, he underlines the fact that beef-eating was not Islam’s ‘baneful bequeathal’ to India.

Nor can abstention from it be a mark of ‘Hindu’ identity, notwithstanding the averments of Hindutva forces who have tried to foster the false consciousness of the ‘otherness’ on the followers of Islam.

This new Navayana edition features an excerpt from Dr B. R. Ambedkar’s 1948 work on the connections between untouchability and beef-eating. Ambedkar marshals evidence to argue that in the Vedic period, ‘for the Brahmin every day was a beef-steak day."

COMMENTS

While cow veneration and vegetarianism may be the hallmarks of Hinduism today, Jha compiles copious evidence that this has hardly always been the case.
NEW YORK TIMES

Jha draws on an amazingly wide range of material an enlightening endeavour, demonstrating a critical understanding of a popular misconception.
-JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES

Jha traces the history of the doctrine forbidding the eating of cows soundly and thoroughly covering both the classic texts and cutting-edge scholarship, Indian and European.
-TIMES LITERARY SUPPLMENT

This little gem of a book provides a wealth of evidence exposing myth creation and the way symbols are used politically to divine people.
-SOCIALIST REVIEW

Contents

Preface to the Navayana Edition
Abbreviations
Note on Transliterations
Introduction

1.Animals are verily food’ but Yajnavalkya Favours Beef
2.The Rejection of Animal Sacrifice: An Assertion of the Sacredness of the Cow?
3.The Later Dharmasastric Tradition and Beyond
4.The Cow in the Kali Age and Memories of Beef Consumption
5.A Paradoxical Sin and the Paradox of the Cow
6.Resume: The Elusive ‘Holy Cow’

Bibliography
Index
Appendix: Untouchability, the Dead Cow and the Brahmin

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