By Radha Mohan Dasa
Date: 13 February 2008
Time: 1630 hrs
Venue: Parliament Square
Hundreds of students and Hindu leaders will join devotees to re-enact the RSPCA’s killing of the temple cow Gangotri just as scores of people will make a tumultuous sound by blowing on sacred conch-shells outside Parliament Square on 13th February 2008. The protest against the actions of the RSPCA will be held on the same day that a British delegation will pay their final respects to Gangotri by scattering her ashes in the holy river Ganges in the ancient pilgrim city of Varanasi in India.
The procession which will start from Parliament Square and finish outside DEFRA will include singing, chanting, slogans, drums, cymbals, costumes, colorful robes and banners, and culminate in the mock killing of a ‘cow’ by protestors dressed as RSPCA officers.
On the same day, priests in India will chant ancient Sanskrit verses, light lamps and offer prayers as devotees scatter Gangotri’s ashes into the sacred river.
“Our travel to India is our final act of respect to Gangotri,” said Gauri Dasa, President of Bhaktivedanta Manor. “We are agonized by her killing and British Hindus also wish to voice their concern on the same day. Their protest in London is an expression of this desire.”
“The temple nursed Gangotri in a way no farmer could ever afford to do. The RSPCA seem to have missed the point that Gangotri was not being made to suffer. On the contrary, she had survived so long precisely because of the quality of care she had received. Our society must be able to recognize that just as we do not allow the euthanizing of human beings, Hindus do not accept the euthanasia of cows.” said Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North, who had initiated an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons against the killing of Gangotri.
Rickie Sehgal, a member of the Justice for Gangotri Taskforce and Chair of the Hindu Forum of Britain’s Membership Committee, said, “The RSPCA do not seem to be aware of the levels of resentment and anger in our community as a result of this despicable killing of Gangotri. We do really want some answers from them.”
Organisations that will take part in the protest include ISKCON, the Hindu Forum of Britain, National Council of Hindu Temples, VHP UK, Hindu Council of Brent, Swaminarayan Hindu Mission and several others.
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