A Symbol of Goodwill

A cow donated by the RSPCA has given birth to a healthy calf at a Hindu temple.

In the early hours of February 23rd, amidst tears of joy, priests, farmers and congregational members witnessed the birth of a healthy female calf. This was no ordinary calf, but a symbol of reconciliation and a new era between the RSPCA and Hindu communities across Britain.

Gangotri, a cow dearly loved by everyone was killed by the RSPCA at Bhaktivedanta Manor’s farm in December 2007. This deeply offended the entire Hindu community and a campaign was launched. The Gangotri Task Force’ worked with DEFRA, politicians and legal experts in order to raise awareness of why all life is so sacred to all Hindus. The Archbishop of Cantebury Rowan Williams, patron of the RSPCA, also worked to solve the dispute it even caused a fierce debate in the House of Commons.

Last December the RSPCA apologised unreservedly and indicated its wish to build a progressive relationship. Welcoming their gesture, the community hopes the RSPCA will sign a protocol that will protect future cows.

The calf’s mother, Aditi, was a gift to the temple by the RSPCA and the birth brings good tidings to Bhaktivedanta Manor Krishna Temple. The new calf has also been named Gangotri’, a name that is steeped in Hindu theosophy and history. Gangotri will live out the entire course of her natural life in New Gokul, a farm that is currently being built on 80 acres of land around the temple which was George Harrison’s home before he donated it to the Hare Krishna Movement. When its timber barns are completed it will be a working, vegetarian, ox-powered farm. No tractors will be used. All the cows will be milked by hand and allowed to live in a completely natural organic way.

Kapil Dudakia, the chair of the Gangotri Task Force said, “The whole community is ecstatic with this tremendous news. Only last month we saw the arrival of Aditi to the Temple in all her splendour and today the birth of Gangotri has brought in an auspicious era for all our diverse communities to celebrate life and a new beginning together.”