The Myth of the Holy Cow

The Myth of the Holy Cow

Product ID: 13354

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Author: D N Jha
Publisher: Verso
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 183
ISBN/UPC (if available): 1859844243


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 fundamentalist groups backing it.


While cow veneration and vegetarianism may be the hallmarks of Hinduism today, Mr Jha compiles copious evidence that this has hardly always been the case.
-New York Times, Arts and Ideas

This book may not please Hindu fundamentalists but its research is impeccable.
-The Telegraph, Calcutta, India

The pen might still be, if not mightier than the nuclear arsenal, at least a weapon worth scanning for, like knives at airports, a weapon capable of subversion.
-Times Literary Supplement

A meticulously researched, strongly worded, persuasively articulated challenge to long-held religious beliefs, The Myth of the Holy Cow is a unique and iconoclastic contribution to the study of Hindu beliefs, practices, history and customs.
-Wisconsin Bookwatch

A well-argued and soundly documented study.

Jha draws on an amazingly wide range of material, an enlightening endeavour, demonstrating a critical understanding of a popular misconception.
-Journal of Asian Studies


Preface to the Verso Edition


Note on Transliterations


Animals are verily food but Yajnavalkya Favours Beef
The Rejection of animal Sacrifice:
An Assertion of the Sacredness of the Cow?
The Later Dharmasastric Tradition and Beyond
The Cow in the Kali Age and Memories of Beef
A Paradoxical Sin and the Paradox of the Cow
Resume: The Elusive Holy Cow