NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday took a swipe over the Animal Welfare Board of India withdrawing its appeal to celebrate February 14 as ‘Cow Hug Day’, asking whether the government was “cow-ed” by the jokes made at its expense or was it merely “cow-ardice”.
Tharoor’s dig came a day after the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) said it has withdrawn the appeal to celebrate February 14 as ‘Cow Hug Day’ following directions from the government amid widespread criticism on social media.
Reacting to the development, Tharoor said on Twitter, “Was the Government cow-ed by the jokes made at its expense or was it merely cow-ardice?” “My guess is the original appeal was an oral instruction: ‘Valentine’s Day: let them hug their guy’ & the last word was misheard by a Hindu Rashtravadi as gaay!’,” the former Union minister said.
The withdrawal of the appeal came just a day after Union minister Parshottam Rupala said it will be good if people respond positively to the call given by the board to celebrate February 14 as ‘Cow Hug Day’.
February 14 is observed as Valentine’s Day across the world.
“As directed by the Competent Authority and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying the appeal issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India for celebration of Cow Hug Day on 14th February, 2023 stands withdrawn,” the board’s secretary S K Dutta said in a notice posted on its website.
It was for the first time that the AWBI had appealed to cow lovers in the country to celebrate ‘Cow Hug Day’.