Ministers locked horn over goats’ marriage


Two ministers have locked their horn over the validity of chanting vedic mantras while holding a mating exercise for goats – termed swamvara — in a village in Nain bag (Dhanolti) by a local NGO in association with department of animal husbandry.

At one end of the bickering is Uttarakhand Minister for Animal Husbandry Rekha Arya eager to host the ‘swamvara’ this year and taking her on is Uttarakhand Minister for Tourism and spiritual guru Satpal Maharaj.

Emboldened with the good response that the exercise received in 2017, the Uttarakhand Sheep and Wool Development Board (under animal husbandry) plan to support it again with an NGO Green peace on February 23 and February 24.

In view of this, Arya decided to hold a media briefing on Monday, but had to cancel it twice. Soon it transpired that mere fact that the vedic mantars would be chanted again during the exercise had hit a raw nerve with Maharaj. “The mantras shouldn’t be chanted in this fashion. In Santam Dharam, there is a special place and time for chanting the mantras,” he had told media persons.

Last year, a local entrepreneur cashed on the innocuous breeding exercise initiated for goats by terming it ‘swamvara’. Along with dressing up goats with flowers and chanting of vedic mantras the swamvar culminated. The exercise piqued the curiosity of the tourists and media alike. The Sheep Development Board had even showcased ways to improve the breed of goats and educated the farmers about keeping the goats disease free.

Amid fretting and fuming by Satpal Maharaj, Rekha Arya reiterated that the board is associated with the local NGO in terms of encouraging goat rearing and ensuring that the villagers are given information about taking up gotary. “It is swam ka var for the goats. Our job is to showcase good breeds of goats, improve livestock and set up check up camps for the goats and sheep,” she said.

While the board is going ahead with the preparations, state government spokesperson Madan Kaushik reiterated that the ‘Swamvara’ would go on without the chanting of mantras. As we know that Vedic chanting is part of sanatam dharam and should not be misused.


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