The Myth of The Holy Cow

9788189059163

Navayana, New Delhi, 2014

54fbc68f58846

207 pages

Price INR 399.00

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Book Club Price INR 340.00
INR 399.00
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In this book, historian Dwijendra Narayan Jha argues that the ‘holiness ’ of the cow is a myth and its flesh played an important part in the cuisine of ancient India. Citing Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina religious scriptures, he underlines the fact that beef-eating was not Islam ’s ‘baneful bequeathal ’ to India. Nor can abstention from it be a mark of ‘Hindu ’ identity, notwithstanding the averments of Hindutva forces who have tried to foster the false consciousness of the ‘otherness ’ on the followers of Islam. This new Navayana edition features an excerpt from Dr B.R. Ambedkar ’s 1948 work on the connections between untouchability and beef-eating. Ambedkar marshals evidence to argue that in the Vedic period, ‘for the Brahmin every day was a beef-steak day. ’ The publisher of this book is Navayana.

D.N. Jha

Dwijendra Narayan Jha (1940-2021), popularly known as D.N. Jha, was educated at the Presidency College, Calcutta, and Patna University where he taught history for more than a decade. He was professor of History at the University of Delhi until his retirement in 2005. He has authored several books including The Myth of the Holy Cow (London, 2002) and Rethinking Hindu Identity (London,2009) which have not gone well with India’s Right Wing establishment. Professor Jha was elected sectional President of Andhra Pradesh History Congress (1987) and General President, Punjab History Conference (1999). A UGC National lecturer (1984-5) and Honorary Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, he was secretary, Indian History Cogress (1986-9) which elected him its General President in 2005-6. A recipient of the prestigious H.K. Barpujari Award in 1995, he was honoured by the Asiatic Society of Calcutta in 2011 for his significant contributions. (2004).