With profound regret and sadness I announce the death of Gomati. She was 22 years old.
This sad event occurred on Friday, July 02, 2010, at her shed near Kengeri, Bangalore. Grief stricken owner Ghee Varghese said Gomati died of natural causes due to old age. Gomati is survived by her calves Hari Prasad and Sundari.
Gomati was born in the fall of 1988 at Kanakapura, a few miles from her recent residence. Born and brought up as a Hindu cow, she was sold to Ghee Varghese by the end of 2009, a Christian owner from Kerala who relocated her to her current shed in Kengeri.
Ghee Varghese bought Gomati with the idea of cashing in on her in a butcher shop after squeezing out the remaining ounce of milk in her. But the sudden ban on cattle slaughter in the city punctured a hole in Ghee Varghese’s plans. Though the Law allows slaughtering of cattle over 12 years old, he unfortunately didn’t have a birth certificate to authenticate her age, and efforts to secure a fake certificate proved too costly to be pursued. Gomati was purchased on borrowed money, and the lenders who apparently knew the ‘Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Act’ had come into effect queued up in front of Ghee Varghese’s house to get their money back.
With pressure mounting on, Ghee Varghese changed her name to Elizabeth in a furtive attempt to pass her as a Christian cow in the market, but cow activists who sniffed out the matter threatened to protest by burning BMTC busses, and police vehicles. The activists, on an additional note, claimed that they would press the Government to declare all cattle ‘Hindu’.
Ghee Varghese was ordered to take care of the animal till her last breath. Elizabeth spend her remaining days grazing in the church backyard while her owner, who could not muster any cash to buy cattle feed, watched helplessly.
Gomati’s condition grew worse late last night, and by 6 am IST today morning, she was pronounced dead. Just after Gomati’s death, owner Ghee Varghese spoke to Tomato in a whimpering voice that he never intended to sell her to the slaughterhouse, and he loved her more than his mother. Tomato understands this as a desperate measure from a man who has quietly accepted his losses, and wanted to appease the government and the cow activists to limit further damages.
However, as a mark of respect to the sacred animal, the government has announced that Gomati will be given a State burial with six rounds of bullets fired into the sky. The body will lie in state on the pavements of Mysore road till the government finds a suitable burial ground after the closing down of Khadi Grama Udyog Ltd, a year back, which the BMP had tied up with to bury the dead animals. “This may take a week or so”, said the govt spokesman. In an alternate method, the government could call on scavenging birds to clear off the skin and flesh which would result in an easy burial of only the bones. All government offices, schools and colleges in the stench radius will remain closed for a week to mourn the death of the holy animal.
The government further iterated that this act of homage is a perfect testimony to the fact how reverential and devoted the state is to cow and cow worship, and declared any dead cattle in the future will be honored the same way.
With cameraman Tintu Mon P.P, Joshi Mukard reporting for Tomato News.