Do you know? Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath’s favourite cow Nandini has a Muslim caretaker
Lucknow, March 20: Mahant of Guru Gorakhnath Temple Yogi Adityanath’s promotion as Uttar Pradesh chief minister might have propelled him to the national spotlight, but as head of the temple, the 44-year-old spent most of his time away from political discussions, tending to cows and performing “gau seva”.
As the all-powerful head priest, Adityanath is said to control life in eastern Uttar Pradesh and the pivot of his social appeal revolves around in favour for the cow, considered holy in Hinduism.
A close associate in the Gorakhnath Temple says that “Yogi Adityanath gets up at 3 am. After yoga and daily prayers, he feeds the cows on his ‘gaushala’. He takes his breakfast only after feeding the cows,”
The ‘gaushala’ is set up in across 2 acres of land on the Gorakhnath temple premises. Several volunteers every day tend to the more than 500 cows at the gaushala.
One of the volunteers in the Gorakhnath temple ‘Gaushala’ is a Muslim man, identified as Man Mohammad, who has been working at the cow shed since his boyhood.
Man Mohammad’s father Inayatullah also used to offer his services at the ‘gaushala’. Man Mohammad told Hindustan Times he had been assigned the task of bathing the cows and arranging for their foods.
“Yogi Adityanath calls the cows by their names and feeds them. He has a strong connection with the cows. Nandini is his favourite cow,” said Sunil Rai, supervisor of the Gorakhnath temple ‘Gaushala’.
“Ghee is also prepared from this milk which is used to light earthen lamps at the Gorakhnath temple. Cow Milk is also distributed among seers in daily ‘bhandara’ (religious feast). Milk produced here is not sold in the open market,” said Sunil Rai.
“The cow pats from the ‘gaushala’ is used for making bio-manure,” Sunil Rai said.
The association of cows with the temple and Hindu politics in the region is an old one, fostered by Adityanath’s guru, Avaidyanath, who strongly advocated for anti-cow slaughter measures and ‘gau seva’ even in Indian Parliament.