These last few weeks have seen a busy me in a more-than-busy India. From Mayapur (in West Bengal, where I met and spoke with Dr. Vallabhbhai Kathiria—see previous Latest News post), next stop was Delhi, for a week of presenting ‘Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics’ at various ISKCON temples and to a few significant folks. Among the latter, Dr. Bibek Debroy kindly gave time to receive a copy of the book. He was keen to give suggestions who else to meet and where I might give presentations. Aside from his high central Indian government advisory position, Dr. Debroy is an accomplished translator of Sanskrit literature to English, so we also discussed his translating work.
A six-hour drive to Chandigarh brought me to a last-minute-arranged but very hospitable group of scholars at Punjab University, for a small but quite formal (Indian-style!) book launch. The upshot of this event was that the University officials have recommended that all of its circa 190 subsidiary colleges purchase a copy of ‘Cow Care’.
Next stop: Pune, in the highlands of Maharashtra, where I was happy to meet our friend Prof. Shrikant Bahulkar at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. Upon handing my book to Prof. Bahulkar, he showed his scholarly nature by immediately going to the book’s index where, he explained to me, he was checking to see whether I had included discussion about the controversy over whether cows were sacrificed and their meat was eaten in ancient India. Yes, this is discussed in Chapter 3. As it turns out, Prof. Bahulkar has done extensive research on this subject, so it will be interesting to see whether he considers that I treat the subject properly, in the book review he has promised for the Journal of Hindu Studies.