BANGALORE: The harvest festival is here. And offering worship to the cows is a precursor to the event (or alternatively on the third day of Makara Sankranti). The livestock, especially the cows, are thanked on this day. In rural India, they are adorned and taken out in long processions.
Babubhai, a resident of Kengeri, explains: “Kanu Festival is the third day of Pongal and is dedicated to the cattle. We offer prayers to the bulls, cows and other farm animals since they help the farmers. Moreover, cows give milk and even their dung is used as manure and alternatively as fuel in many villages in the country.”
Senamma, a resident of Dasarahalli, said, “It is a thanksgiving festival for cows. The animals are bathed and adorned with Vermilion, colour papers, bells and strings. Their horns and hooves are painted in bright colours. In the past, they were made to run across a path of fire to mark the festival.” This ritual however has been banned, though it is still prevalent in some parts of the state. Farmers say that this practice was followed to effectively kill the parasites that live on the cows.
Despite a thanksgiving day for cows, the cattle owners still allow their cows to wander around the city even after Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has been imposing a fine of Rs 100 on cattle owners.
Joint director of the BBMP Animal Husbandry Dr Parvez Ahmed Peeran said, “The proposal to increase the penalty on erring cattle owners is still with the BBMP Council awaiting clearance .”