Meet India’s first cow minister Otaram Devasi who likes to address himself as “Gaupalan Mantri”
NEW DELHI: His community - Rabaris, a livestock-dependent tribe traditionally-addresses him as 'Bhopajj' or priest. He dresses up like a cow-herd himself: a long white cloth wrapped around his bare torso, red turban, dangling ear rings et al. With a lathi in tow, he walks into everywhere, even the chief minister's office in Rajasthan.
新德里：他的族群 - 拉巴利斯，一个依靠牲畜为生的部落，习惯称他为'博巴姬' ，或祭司。他一般把自己打扮成牧牛人的样子：一件长长的白衣裹住他那光溜的身躯，红色包头巾，晃荡的耳环，如此等等。他走到哪里都拖着一根包铁粗杖，即便是去拉贾斯坦邦首席部长的办公室。
Otaram Devasi, 48, happens to be the Rajasthan's minister in charge of cow affairs. As for himself, India's first-ever minister for the 'divine' bovine likes to address himself as "Gaupalan Mantri".
48岁的奥塔拉姆.代乏西, 正是拉贾斯坦邦主管牛务的部长。而他自己，这位印度有史以来第一位'神'牛部长则喜欢自称为“谷帕兰 - 曼曲"（印度一种语言的牛部长）.
BJP and Vasundhara Raje had promised a separate ministry for cows in its poll manifesto. And when the party came to power with Raje as CM in December 2013, she promptly announced a ministry for the protection of cows, which was later transformed to a "department" after the move struck a Constitutional hurdle since states can't set up new ministries. In October, 2014, Devasi was made minister of Dairy and Devasthan - administration of temples that get government funds - with the extra charge of the "Gaupalan department". His responsibility also includes overseeing Rajasthan's Gau Seva Commission and Cow Conservation Directorate.
Three months into his tenure, Devasi says he is proud of what he has done with securing the future of cows in this desert state. And he believes he has set up a department for rest of India to emulate should any other state want to follow this 'Rajasthan Model.
Devasi, who himself owns "20-25 cows", wants the canvas for cow protection to be bigger. "I have sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Union budget so that I can impress upon him on the urgent need to set up a cow ministry at the Centre," Devasi tells ET.
"I believe if cows have to be saved then every state in India must have separate ministries for cows," he says, insisting that he's not being just rhetorical.
So what about buffalos, goats, even the state's official animal, camel? Devasi dismisses the question, almost chiding you for being naive. "Cows have a spiritual importance unlike other livestock animals. They must be protected at any cost. I would request Modiji to ban cow slaughter and, if need be, introduce strong legislation for that," he says.
For Rajasthan, there are three things high on his agenda: clamping down on rampant cattle smuggling, introduction of a helpline number on the lines of 108 ambulance services to help cattle in distress besides starting a one-of-its-kind "sanctuary" for cows near Bikaner or Jaisalmer. By sanctuary, he mans a protected area full of green grass not far from the desert so that the cows, especially those of the indigenous breed, can eat and live in peace.
Another day, another time, the 6 feet-1 inch-tall Devasi would have stood even taller among the Sangh Parivar stars. Long before Ghar Wapsi or Ram Mandir became fashionable causes for the typical Hindutva agitator, 'Gau Raksha' was the first priority of the Sangh. In fact, the only open public intervention ever done by the most powerful Sarsangchalak of RSS ever, MS Golwalkar, was on 'gau raksha'.
Akash76 Y (Hyd)
Congrats to him, he will go down the history books
Manoj Kaushik (Unknown)
I applaud this effort and appreciate his work...and I am in favor of having this ministry in every state..!!
Nilay Das (Mumbai)
Not interested in religion / animal based politician and politics.
Sankar Km (Santa Clara, CA, USA)
Lalu Prasad Yadav will be wondering why he did not think of this possibility earlier.
ASHISH KUMAR (Nagpur)
After mother, it is cow who feeds humanity, and such steps really good for the country. May you live long Vasundhra Raje Ji
Anurag Gahlawat (Unknown)
u got be kidding me...cow minsiter ....are u sure is it not animal welfare or something like that
animals also have soul not only stupid humans have, have little soft corner towards them .
Srinivasc (Hyderabad) Replies To Raju
Jai Ho ! They too deserve equal respect along with other Representatives !
胜利啦 ! 他们也该与议员一样得到平等的尊重！