Peacocks do not have sex, but rather shed tears to conceive, said a judge in western India whose unique theories have set off a social media storm in the nation.
At a hearing in the Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday, Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma urged the Indian government to declare the cow — considered sacred in the Hindu-majority nation — as the national animal since it is “as pious as a peacock.”
“The peacock is a lifelong celibate. It never has sex with the peahen. The peahen gets pregnant after swallowing the tears of the peacock,” Sharma said on his last day in office before retiring.
Sharma’s comments, made in response to a non-governmental organization’s petition on the condition of state-run cow shelters, sparked a flurry of jokes and comments on social media.
“Profoundly ironical, that it was the peacock (not its tears but plumage) that led Darwin to propose the landmark theory of Sexual Selection,” Anand Ranganathan said on Twitter.
Some users posted wildlife footage of peacocks mating to disprove his theory, while several pointed to suggestions that his celibacy claim came from ancient Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
In his 145-page order, Sharma cites Hindu scriptures to bolster his case — listing the “miraculous” age-defying qualities of cow dung and urine.
“[Mother cow] is the only animal that inhales as well as exhales oxygen,” he said.
“Cow urine has the miraculous property of destroying any kind of germs. It provides strength to mind and heart. It stops aging,” he said, adding that its horns “acquire cosmic energy.”
“Houses plastered with cow dung are safe from radio waves,” he said.
Cows have become a focal point of nationalist discourse since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government made cattle protection a key theme.
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