INDIA: The First Roundup

"The cow," wrote Mahatma Gandhi, "is the mother to millions of Indian mankind. She is a poem of pity." By tradition and training, many another devout Hindu through the centuries had assumed the same attitude toward the beasts who roam India's city streets and country lanes by the millions. It is a statutory crime in India to kill a cow. In 1944 a high-caste Hindu, who accidentally let one of his own cows strangle herself, was forced to roam the streets for three days with a halter around his neck, mooing for food and forgiveness.

In recent years, the increasingly...

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