Professor Anil K. Gupta of IIM, Ahmedabad is one of my heroes. Instead of just being a college teacher, twenty years ago he made his students into an NGO called Sristi to start looking into the practices of villagers with a special eye towards organic farming practices and animal medicine. He went on to patenting rural inventions and holding organic food festivals which lakhs of sellers and buyers attend. He has a magazine called Honeybee and if anyone ever deserved the highest government honour for recording cultural practices, it is Anil Gupta. His teams walk for hundreds of miles every year to scout and celebrate grassroots innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge and local conservation ethics. According to him “The Indian dream to become a knowledge society depends upon India’s ability to make knowledge assets more valuable and precious than physical assets. The lack of possession of physical or financial assets would then determine to much lesser extent the destiny of an individual or group than the possession of ideas, innovations and other knowledge assets. We must sow the seeds of imagination and innovation early in life.”
 
In the course of investigations, their team has found many practices that would be called “magic” today: the farmer of old could predict which day it would rain six months from now, just by looking at the weather of today. E.g. If the moon is full on the 18th of January, it will rain on the 20th of October. They look at questions like “Why do sugar grains attract small red ants whereas jaggery attracts bigger black ants?”
 
Read this: It used to be an age old practice in India to collect herbs by following animals, e.g. the mongoose is an enemy of the snake. After fighting with it the mongoose, the mongoose runs into the forest and rolls over an herb to get rid of the snake bite. The healers follow the mongoose and collect this herb for healing snake bites. 
 
He and many other cultural scientists say that most omens are rooted in the wisdom of ancients, that they have a basis in science. Study of Omens by Bhojraj Dwivedi is a well researched book into Sakuna Shastra, the ancient science of omens. It talks about the study of the seers of the sounds and actions of animals and birds with a modern science based interpretation. The signs that foretell the future are not based on superstition but on a very sharp observation of animals whose perception is much keener than ours and who can interpret the coming effects of our actions much quicker than humans. Who has forgotten the panicky movements of animals away from the shores and lowlands, days before the tsunami came?
 
I am still reading Shankar Adawal’s Charms Talismans and Spells and the last chapter is about omens. Let me repeat some: 
 
· If a cow is met at the start of journey that is auspicious
· If a cow is surrounded by many flies or dogs, rain will set in.
· If a cow bellows at night it is not a good sign. If a bull bellows at night, it is.
· If a dog brings a wet bone before the person, that is considered auspicious and a good omen for some good work
· If a dog standing in a southeasterly direction, howls while facing the sun, he is warning you of theft or fire
· If a dog picks up a shoe and approaches a person with his mouth upward, it is a fortunate indication. A dog that smells a shoe indicates a fruitful journey ahead
· If a group of dogs howl at night it indicates an earthquake  
 
If in the last part of the day, you see a crow coming from the southeast direction ,you will earn some money by the morning .
 
· While starting a journey, if a crow appears from the east, it indicates a fruitful result.
· If a crow crows in the house, you should be ready to receive a guest.
· In case two crows feed each other, the person proceeding on journey will remain comfortable.
· If you see a crow in the early part of the day flying from the northeast direction, an important and auspicious message is coming.
· While leaving the house , if you see a crow sitting on a pig, there is going to be legal trouble. A crow sitting on a donkey or camel is auspicious
· Crows sitting in a circle means a loss through an enemy
· If leaving the house, if you hear the squawk of a wild parrot, your work will be completed successfully
· An appearance of a horse from the North is always auspicious while starting a journey. The same result if you find a donkey on your left. If you talk about a rabbit or a snake while starting off, it is auspicious.
· If at the last part of the day, parrot speaks while facing the southeast, your enemies will be destroyed.
· If a man sees a Neelkanth (Indian roller bird) on his way it is an auspicious omen.
· If you come across an elephant, horse, peacock, bull, swan, a pot full of water, ornaments, lotus flower and a virgin carrying washed clothes you will have success in your mission.  
 
If you get into the habit of observing and recording animals you will see how much they tell you about themselves and you.
 
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In my shelter, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, I have 400 cows and buffaloes. They have been rescued from slaughter, accidents and acid attacks. I would have gone bankrupt feeding them. Amazingly, I have never had to spend a paisa. Next to our gate is a shop that sells green fodder and hay. Everyday dozens of people buy it for our cows. 

All these people have come because of astrological compulsions. Astrology is the way we map our lives by the movements of stars and planets. Jyotish, the ancient Indian system of astrology, says that planets represent energies that emit magnetic and electric fields which influence the lives of human beings. The horoscope is a map at the time and place of birth which shows the positions of the planets in relation to the person.

Are these influences unchangeable? No, says astrology. You can change your luck and mitigate the malefic influence of a planet. 

Dr Shankar Adawal has sent me his fascinating book called Charms, Talismans and Spells. He heads one of the biggest companies in India but is better known as an astrologer. He says by using of these astrological charms/talismans which come from the ancient Vedas, your desires will be heard by the universal energy source. He deals with the problems that we go to astrologers for: children, jobs, health, financial prosperity, marriages.

Feeding animals is a very easy way to change one’s luck. After all, eight of the 12 signs are represented by animals : Aries (Mesh) - Ram, Taurus (Vrishabh) – Bull ; Cancer (Kark) – Crab; Leo (Simha) – Lion; Scorpio (Vrishchik) – Scorpion; Sagittarius (Dhanu) – Half Body Human Half Body Horse; Capricorn (Makar) – Mouth of a Deer, Shoulders of a Bull and Eyes of an Elephant; Pisces (Meena) – Two Fishes

The law of karma means that a being lives within parameters created by actions performed in prior lifetimes. The energy that the planets cast are called grahas and these grahas can be tuned. There are nine (graha means ‘to seize or influence): Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu. When the planets are weak or in a bad place in the horoscope then they adversely affect the person.

All of us are affected by all the grahas all the time. What do these remedies (totkas) do? To give you a simile: the day will continue to be hot but you will get a fan to cool you; if cold you get a shawl; it might rain – but you get an umbrella. In short to bring relief and nullify your problems, the sages developed remedies using gems, mantras, prayers, colours, fasts, charity, metals and amulets. 

Surya or lord of the Sun represents the soul, the king, highly placed persons or fathers.

Chandra or lord of the Moon represents the mind, the queen or mother.

Mangala or lord of Mars represents energetic action, confidence and ego.

Budha or lord of Mercury is the protector of merchants and represents communication.

Brihaspati or the Lord of Jupiter is the Guru of the gods. He represents knowledge, teaching, eloquence.

Shukra is the lord of Venus and represents wealth, pleasure and reproduction. 

Shani is the lord of Saturn. He represents learning the hard way, career and longevity. 

Rahu is the head of the snake that swallows the sun or the moon causing eclipses. His job is to make your life difficult. According to legend, during the churning of the ocean the demon Rahu drank some of the divine nectar. But before the nectar could pass down his throat, Vishnu cut off his head. The immortal head is Rahu. The body is Ketu. 

Ketu is the tail of the snake. In special circumstances he helps achieve the peak of fame. He represents supernatural influences.

Remedies for different planets:

Sun: Feed wheat rotis to Cows and jaggery to monkeys on Sundays

Moon: Feed wheatflour balls to fishes on Mondays. Keep a white cow. Give water to all cows

Mars: Feed gram (chana) and jiggery (gud) to monkeys on Tuesdays

Mercury: Feed green grass or fodder to cows on Wednesday and millet (bajra) to pigeons. If Mercury is malefic give spinach to four legged animals for 27 Wednesdays. Do not keep birds in cages.

Jupiter: Feed soaked gram lentils (Chana Daal) and jaggery to yellow cows on Thursday and corn to pigeons. Give gram dal to a horse for 7 Thursdays

Venus: Feed milk to cats or feed fishes on Friday. Give part of your food to a cow every day

Saturn: Feed black dogs buttered or oiled rotis and to black cows on Saturday. 

Rahu: Feed buffaloes and free snakes from snake charmers on Wednesdays. Feed leaves to an elephant

Ketu: Keep a pet dog and feed multicoloured dogs regularly. Keep a cow or a rabbit. Feed ants with sesame seeds

In order to stop children being unpredictable, the child should offer one oiled chappati every Saturday to a dog

If a person believes that an evil spell has been cast on him, he should offer burfis (milk sweets) on Sunday and Monday to a cow. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday he should give motichoor ladoos (a ball like orange sweet) to a dog. 

Students who want to improve should offer jaggery and roasted grams to monkeys, Hanuman temples and feed the birds.

A child who stammers should offer green grass to a cow

While going for a job interview take a chappati and throw it in the direction of the crows. Soak black grams on Friday night and then mix with mustard oil. Give half to a horse or buffalo and half to a leper. Do this for forty days to ensure professional success

If your business is sluggish, make some besan laddoos, wave them round your head seven times and feed them to a cow on Thursday

If you want a promotion, offer the birds seven types of cereals. For your income to rise give wet black grams to monkeys

In order to get married give two balls of wheat flour mixed with a little turmeric, jaggery and wet gram pulses to a cow every Thursday

If your husband is a drunkard, take flour of the same weight as his shoes and roll a chappati just using your hands (without a pin or board) and bake it directly on the fire without a tawa and then give it to the street dogs. Do this thrice and he will become averse to liquor. (This is supposed to be foolproof)

If your husband, under the influence of another woman, ignores or criticizes you , take 300 grams of ladoos made of gram flour (besan) two ladoos made of wheat flour, three bananas and wet gram pulse and feed these to a cow that is feeding its calf. Your husband will change.

Once a month cook more sweet chappatis than the number of people and guests you have in the house and give them to any animal. This will save the family from quarrels and expense.

When Ketu is malefic to a girl, her parents should give food to a hundred dogs from sunrise to sunset in one day.

For peace and prosperity astrology suggests:

Dogs as pets normally take all the evils visiting that particular household protecting their human families

Make it a principle to donate the first chappati to a cow and the last to a dog. This invites goddess Lakshmi to the home. Looking after cows removes the Pitra Dosha from your chart 

Maneka Gandhi

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The nuns of an orphanage look for babies in the cradles outside their gates. We look in the gutter outside my shelter every day to find a cowering little dog. Labradors, Alsatians and Pomeranians dominate the throwaway list. I am sure that, if pedigreed, their owners must have tried to sell or give them away before they came at night and threw them into the gutter. But if they are Indian dogs, they are thrown away as garbage.

These Indian dogs whom you regard as junglies were once kept by the royal families and Mughals who ruled this country. When the British came, they trashed many of our customs and royalty. They made us feel that nothing Indian was good, it had to be foreign to be of any value. So Indian cow breeds disappeared , Indian cheetahs were shot to extinction, Indian parakeets gave way to foreign parrots and the Indian dog was thrown out into the road, to be beaten , starved, abused and killed while smugglers brought in poodles, mastiffs and cocker spaniels to become status symbols. The great granddaughter of the last Mughal king lives in the waiting room of a railway station. The same thing has happened to our dogs.  

You see them everyday. Let me tell you how to identify some:

The Caravan Hound: These came with the invaders from Asia with their caravans and are found in the Deccan Plateau. The head is long and narrow and broad between the ears with a tapering muzzle with long, powerful jaws. The nose is large and black. The ears are long and hang close to the skull. The eyes are dark hazel and large. The neck is long and muscular. The dogs are 68-72 cms in height and the females are 64-68 cms tall. The back is long, broad and well-muscled. The chest is strong and deep. The abdomen is tucked in. The tail is set low and carried in a natural curve, not over the back. The coat is fine and they are normally, fawn, red, cream, black, with white.  

Caravan Hound, Rajapalayam : Looks like a miniature Great Dane, with its muscular, and heavy build. It is usually white with pink skin. It has a deep chest. The hair is soft on the head but coarse on the body. It is about 65cms. tall and 25 kgs in weight. The females are smaller. It’s domed head is carried high. There may be a little wrinkling on the skin of the head and throat. The skin is loose all over the body and the eyes are usually deep brown. The ears hang and feel like soft leather. The jaws are long, fine and powerful. The tail is whip-like with a noticeable thinning after 1/3 its length. The straight legs are long 
 
Rajapalayam, Combai: The royal hound of the Marawa kings , it is slightly shorter than the Rajapalayam and heavier built. The dog is usually red or brown with a black mask with a dark line along the back. 
 
Combai, Chippiparai: has a compact streamlined body. The dog is about 50 cms tall and weigh 15-20 kgs. The head is domed, fine and long. The ears are small and may be semi-erect or rose shaped. The eyes are dark, the tail is bony. The chest is deep with a slightly curved back and a tucked-up belly. Usually white/fawn 

Chippiparai, Rampur Hound: was created by the Nawab of Rampur. This hound is powerfully built with strong jaws. The skull is broad. Males measure 60-75 cms in height and weigh about 27-30 kgs. Black, grey, brindle, fawn or white. The chest is deep in front but not very wide with well sprung ribs. The tail is long and tapering slightly curving upwards and carried low, The neck is long arched and broad where it joins the body. 
 
Rampur Hound, Kanni: is from Tamilnadu. It was so prized that it was given as part of a girl’s dowry.They are usually brown, cream, black & tan and brindle. 
 
Kanni, Mudhol Hound: comes from the royal state of Mudhol in Karnataka/ Maharashtra. Shivaji's beloved dogs were Mudhols. It is a hardy, keen sight hound. The head is small in proportion to the body. The skull is long, narrow flat and moderately wide between the ears. The muzzle is long and tapering.The eyes are dark brown or hazel . The ears are thin, triangular and set fairly high. They are carried flat and close to the head. The neck is long , supple and well muscled. The body is muscular with a well tucked in abdomen. The back is fairly broad.The tail is long and set on line with the body. The coat is smooth.It may be any colour.
  
Mudhol Hounds, Alangu: This is a tall breed with a short coat, red, fawn and black with white markings on their chest. The muzzle is black. The back is long with the tail tapering to a fine point. The ears are set high on the skull and pricked.  

Alangu Mastiff, Kaikadi : is white, tan, and black. The dog is small (about 40 cms or less) with thin long legs, but powerful thighs. The tail is long and tapering. The head is long and thin with prominent eyes and long ears that stand erect when alert. 
 
Kaikadi, Bakharwal: a black and tan large solidly built shepherd dog with heavy bones, pendant ears, a short, well-muscled neck, and a short muzzle. 
 
Bakharwal, Banjara Hound: indigenous to the North India, developed by the Banjara tribes. It has the speed of a greyhound . The coat is very thick and dense, soft to the touch, but not silky.

Bisben: One of the key features of the Bisben dog is that the length of the muzzle is equal to that of the skull. Its Tibetan Mastiff -like , lean, muscular body is covered with a thick, harsh medium-length coat. Normally black with large white markings on the feet and chest, but wolf-grey and tricolour dogs also exist. Average height is 45 cm.  

Bhutia Sheepdog : a Himalayan breed, similar to the Himalayan Sheep dog but larger in size and with a tightly curled tail. Either small (8-10 inches) with longhair or tall (32-14 inches)with shorthair. Generally black or redbrown, with patches of white on the ears, legs and body. Has a thick, coarse overcoat in black or tan and a thick, smooth undercoat. Luminous, dark rimmed eyes. Medium black ears and a pointed muzzle. Compact and muscular without being stodgy. Short legs, and a long back. Tail is plumed and up turned. 
 
Indian Spitz : was one of the most popular dogs in India in the 1980s when India's import rules said no to import . It is often called Pomeranian though the two breeds are different. Is usually white in color, but also come in brown and black.

Jonangi: is found along the east coast of India, from Bengal to Kanyakumari. It does not usually bark but makes a yodelling sound. The coat is extremely short and fine, in solid colours of fawn, biscuit, chocolate, black or white. 14-16 inches, it has a wrinkled forehead, thin curled tail, and tulip ears.  

India has 36 breeds. Go outside and pick up a perfect Indian pedigree. He waits for you, homeless, abused but still conscious of his royal lineage. That is why Indian dogs are so much more civilized and intelligent. 

Maneka Gandhi

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Hindus have their Gods. Christians have Saints. There are thousands of them and, like our Gods, each one “ looks after” a particular part of the world. There are Saints for Lost Causes, and Saint for acne. There are saints for death row inmates and saints for love. There are hundreds of saints for animals , who have demonstrated acts of compassion and charity on creatures great and small. Let’s remember these wise and wonderful souls. 
 
The list must naturally begin with St Francis of Assisi ,patron saint of animals, whose birthday 4th October (my mother’ birthday) is celebrated as World Animal Day. Born the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, he lived the life typical of a wealthy young man until 1209, when he heard a sermon that Christ had instructed his followers to go forth without money or possessions, to spread the words of love. Francis immediately converted to a life of poverty. With 11 followers he wandered through the mountainous districts of Umbria , cheerful and full of songs. It is said that no one in history has so dedicatedly carried out the work of Christ in Christ’s own way as Francis. Holding that nature itself was the mirror of God, he called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters” and many of the stories that surround his life deal with his love for animals. Once when Francis and his followers came to a place where birds filled the trees . Francis said, “Wait for me while I preach to my sisters the birds”. The birds surrounded him and not one of them flew away while he talked. The city of Gubbio was terrorised by a maneating wolf. Francis went up into the hills, found the wolf ,made the sign of the cross and bade the wolf come to him. Miraculously the wolf lay down at the feet of St. Francis. “Brother Wolf, you do much harm in these parts”, said Francis. “All the townspeople curse you. Brother Wolf, I should like to make peace between you and these people”. Francis led the wolf as easily as a lamb to the people and made a pact between the two. Since the wolf killed only out of hunger, the townsfolk agreed to feed him regularly. In return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks. Francis even made a pact on behalf of the town dogs who consented never to torment the wolf again. Gubbio was freed from fear.
 
Throughout his life, Francis preached about the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God’s creation and as creatures ourselves. On his deathbed, Francis turned to his donkey and thanked him for carrying and serving him throughout his life, and the donkey wept. Not surprisingly, Saint Francis is revered the greatest of all Christian saints.
 
Saint Anselm canonised in 1494,was also a wealthy youth who turned monk at an early age. Known for his fine moral and intellectual character, the true tenderness of Anselm’s nature appeared in his treatment of animals whom he regarded with respect as the product of God’s hand. In the love of animals for their offspring he saw an emblem of the love of God for man, and in any cruelty to animals on the part of man, he saw a figure of the devil’s malice and his hatred of all God’s creatures. One day upon seeing a bird teased by a boy who had fastened a string to her leg and let her fly a little way in order to pull her back again, he made him release the bird, calling what the boy was doing exactly how the devil tormented his victims. So also when a hare ran for shelter under the legs of his horse and the hunters crowded round for his capture, Francis sprang down and forbade them to touch the cornered animal. 
 
There is a female patron saint of sick animals ( I should put up her statue in my animal hospitals) St. Dwynwen of Tolentino, a 5th century Welsh daughter of King Brychan Brycheiniog of Brechon. Dwyn visited by an Angel, committed her life to God and founded a convent on what is now Llanddwyn island, just off the Isle of Angeles. Within that Abbey, there is a miraculous spring (Ffynnon Dwynwen) which works wonders with sick animals. Over time Dwyn’s name was invoked to heal sick and distressed animals, a tradition that survives till today. 
 
Dogs have three patron saints. They are Saint Hubert of Liege, Saint Vitus and Saint Walburga. Dog lovers too have a patron saint : St Roch. Born in 1293 to the wealthy Governor of Montpellier, France, he donated his property to the poor and disguised as a pilgrim, set off to Rome . Along the way, he nursed victims of the plague with miraculous results. Contracting the dreaded disease himself at Piacenza , he went into the forest to die alone. There he was befriended by a dog who would bring him food . Thanks to the dog and later, his master, Roch recovered and returned to Montpellier . He died young but recognised for his piety.In 1414, when the plague returned to Europe , public prayers in honor of St. Roch were held and the plague vanished. The letters VSR (Viva Saint Roch)are still inscribed over doorways in Europe as protection against pestilence.
 
The Patron Saint of Domestic Animals, St Anthony was born in Egypt in 251 A.D to wealthy parents. At the age of 20, he gave away his money and retired to an abandoned fort in the desert for 20 years. When he emerged from the fort healthy, serene and enlightened, his fame as a healer of men and animals began to spread. At first when his preaching was scorned by men, it was the fish of the sea that came swimming in shoals, before the eyes of the whole city, to listen to his words. A hungry mule venerated the Blessed Sacrament rather than eat food, in proof of St. Anthony’s teaching. A pig is said to have followed him everywhere after the saint cured the pig of a serious disease.Statues of St Anthony depict the desert hermit standing blessing the people and animals gathered around him. 
 
Regarded as the architect of Christian monasticism whose rules are used by monasteries and convents around the world, Saint Benedict, the original patron saint of Europe is always depicted with a raven. Perched on a thorn bush, the raven holds a piece of bread in its beak. Apparently Saint Benedict was fed poisoned bread by a jealous priest and saved by a raven. It was a raven that fed the Old Testament prophet Elijah, in his cave for many years.
 
St. Blaise, the patron saint of wild animals, was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia in the early fourth century. When persecution of Christians began he received a message from God to go into the hills. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them Blaise walked unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. 
 
St. Brigid gave sanctuary to a wild boar, turned a fox into a loving pet was kind to dogs and cows. St Colette was always accompanied by lambs and it was said that she understood the language of birds. St Gall was a special friend of bears who supplied him his needs in the forest. St. Isidore always shared his food with hungry birds. St. Jerome helped an injured lion who never left his side. St. Martin de Porres founded a shelter a place for cats and dogs, was kind even to rats and resurrected a pet dog after reproving its owner for having ‘put to sleep’ the loyal companion. St. Nicholas of Tolentino was a vegetarian who brought birds back to life. 
 
Celebrate Christ’s birthday by being kind to an animal, not eating it.
 
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Now that Dusshera and Bakr Id have taken the lives of millions of animals, let us look at the word animal sacrifice so that we understand what we are doing. After all the same animals are killed for food every day – in one year , the human race kills 56 billion animals – so why are we objecting to them being killed for religious practices ? 

Let me give you my Hindu argument first: I have a son whom I love dearly. One day, hypothetically, he comes to me and says “Ma, thank you for loving me and taking care of my needs for thirty years and being there when I needed you. I believe I should do something for you as well. So here is my thank you: I have brought you the severed head of your favourite dog and I have covered your house with blood, urine and feces so that it stinks. And once you have cleaned up the house, I promise you I will filthify it again at regular intervals. And every time there is a festival which the rest of the world is celebrating with sweets and loving family get together, I will come to you and kill some more of the animals that you love and throw the blood on your new clothes. And if society and the police tell me this is wrong and you look horrified and angry at my gifts of love, don’t worry, Ma. I will break every rule, get my friends to riot on the roads, defy all the authorities who want to stop me and become such a violent nuisance that everyone backs off and lets me kill. And Ma, don’t worry about the cost. I will take the money that you have gifted me or I will mortgage my land and borrow it from the local moneylender and, as a token of my love, since I know you love animals, I will have as many as I can killed.”

What would I say to such a son? I would tie him down and get a psychiatrist to examine him for mental disorder. 

Why do we pray to the Gods? Because they are our elders, parents, teachers, beloveds. They take care of us, they bring order to our universe, they give us hope that if life is not great this time, perhaps next time, if we are good and please them, we will get a better deal. And what do they ask from us in return ? Love and an adherence to their values of compassion, honesty and bravery. Every holy book says that when you want them to notice you , serenade them with prayers, flowers, dhoop batti and a token offering of sweets. As you would a mother/father. Be clean, frugal and respectful. Not maniacally cover yourself with blood and grin from ear to ear as you wield some hideous weapon and chop down meek defenceless animals who have already been beaten and starved so that are paralysed with fear as if you were some great warrior. And the next day go back to your normal work and cower before some office superior or village patwari / inspector who abuses you.

And , if you are Muslim , you do the same to your Prophet who was one of the greatest animal lovers that the world has known. You misinterpret the simple story that he told you about a holy man who was asked by Allah to love him above all else and to prove it by sacrificing his own son. And when he trusted Allah enough to obey him, the sacrifice was stopped. What a simple, beautiful story illustrating to all faiths that trust is the key to happiness and the ultimate test of love.

Instead you have turned it into a ritual where you go to a bazaar and buy goats, camels, cows, buffaloes and kill them. And if one of the animal has a holy sign on it , you bid lakhs of rupees for the thrill of killing an animal so dear to God that he has put his sign on it and sent it out into the world ? How weird is that ? Should your mothers tie you down and ring up the local lunatic asylum ?

Here is a piece written by Syed Rizvi who is a well known Pakistani physicist and the head of a group of scientists and engineers. 

“Once again, Muslims around the world have “sacrificed” millions of animals in a three day period during the month of Eid-ul-Adha to please God.

Sacrifice inherently means that you part with something that is very close to your heart and experience pain and a sense of loss during the process.

Abraham was asked to kill his beloved son. This act of Abraham can be seen as a spirit of true sacrifice.

Today, if I say that I sacrificed an old sofa, I will be laughed at, since the sofa doesn’t mean anything to me. However, this hypothetical act of mine is not much different from someone slitting the throat of a goat to please God and call it a sacrifice, since the person has had no attachment to the goat except a few bucks that he would soon forget.

I am just wondering if that is what God had in his mind when he asked us to follow a path in remembrance of Abraham’s devotion to God. Today what we do on the streets of Karachi during the Eid-ul Adha is a mockery of Abraham's devotion to God.

It is beyond my comprehension that our God, whom we regard as compassionate and merciful finds pleasure watching a helpless camel with one of his front legs tied off the ground and two of his hind legs so closely tied together that he becomes incapable of using those legs independently. And apart from that, his jaws are tied with a rope that he cannot even cry out. And then, a pious looking person sticks a knife into the camel's throat. The camel bleeds for hours and suffers excruciating pain until he dies.

I read somewhere that the Prophet stated “La taqtolu bil-la iza’a” if you must kill, kill without torture. I don’t see any concerns among Muslims honoring Prophet’s words. We Muslims are very good in cherry picking things; we choose what suits us and disregard those that hinder our ways of doing things.

I often wonder what if God had asked us to sacrifice our children to make him happy. I doubt any commandment like that would have seen the light of the day.  

Read the following verse. 

“It is not their flesh, nor their blood, that reaches Allah; nor yet their blood, but your devotion will reach him (Quran 2:196; 2:28. 35-37)

What happens on the streets of Karachi during these three days of the festival it does not take much to notice that the so called Qurbani has transformed into a blood orgy defied by all standards of human decency.”
 
Maneka Gandhi