On November 15th, 2009, the streets of Hyderabad were painted with saffron color when thousands of devotees of Mother Cow took to the streets demanding a total ban on cow slaughter and a declaration that the cow be named as India’s national animal.
The massive Vehicle Rally was headed by Bhakti Raghava Swami, who was recently appointed the Minister for ISKCON’s Varnashrama-based Rural Development Ministry in India.
Speaking on the occasion to newspaper reporters just before the start of the rally, Swami stated that unless and until people realize the importance of cow protection and make a collective effort to protect the cows, we should not expect peace and prosperity in today’s troubled world. He went on to explain that the welfare of a nation begins with the welfare of her cows.
Quoting from the Bhagavad-gita, he reminded those present that Lord Krishna descends from time to time to punish the miscreants, to give protection to His devotees and to re-establish the principles of dharma. Bhakti Raghava Swami said that as devotees of Lord Krishna it is our fundamental duty to strive for cow protection. He concluded by stating that Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, introduced the noble service of cow protection not only in India but also in the western world where beef has become the staple diet.
The TV and Print media of Andhra Pradesh covered the rally very extensively thereby taking the message of Cow Protection to millions of viewers.
The rally started from Marredpally, passing through the main streets of Secunderabad and Hyderabad with about 100 motorcycles, 25 cars, 5 buses and 6 mass transport vehicles, along with hundreds of people wearing attractive T-shirts depicting a beautiful picture of our Mother Cow and a declaration stating “I will protect Mother Cow.”
Devotees, Youth, Women, Children, Environmentalist and Animal rights activists participated in the rally enthusiastically.
Later in the evening, Bhakti Raghava Swami attended a mammoth public meeting of “Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yatra” where about 10,000 people had gathered. Swami shared the dais with Raghaveshwara Bharati, who is leading the 108 day Ratha Yatra across India. Addressing the public meeting, Swami congratulated Sri Raghaveshwara Bharati for taking up this program and stated that the Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yatra is aptly named because cow protection is meant for the welfare of the entire universe (Vishwa Mangala).
He stressed that only when cows are protected and our villages safe and taken care of can there be real happiness and harmony in this world. Bhakti Raghava Swami reiterated the 3 Point Formula of Land, Cows & Krishna as the only solution to all the problems mankind is undergoing today.
One of the objectives of the yatra is to solicit signatures totaling 21 crores or 210 million from those caring for our Mother Cow calling for a total ban on cow slaughter in India. The signature campaign ends in January 2009. To show solidarity for protecting our Mother Cow who is the fundamental pillar of dharma, you can participate in this herculean endeavor by signing online at the official website of the organizers, www.gougram.org.