Synopses & Reviews
Hugely controversial upon its publication in India, this book has already been banned by the Hyderabad Civil Court and the author’s life has been threatened. Jha argues against the historical sanctity of the cow in India, in an illuminating response to the prevailing attitudes about beef that have been fiercely supported by the current Hindu right-wing government and the fundamentalist groups backing it.
"A well-argued and soundly documented study..." Choice
"Not since Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses ... has a book caused such a violent reaction." Observer
"While cow veneration and vegetarianism may be the hallmarks of Hinduism today, Mr. Jha compiles copious evidence that this has hardly always been the case." New York Times
"A meticulously researched, strongly worded, persuasively articulated challenge to long-held religious beliefs, The Myth of the Holy Cow is a unique and iconoclastic contribution to the study of Hindu beliefs, practices, history and customs." Wisconsin Bookwatch
"Jha draws on an amazingly wide range of material … an enlightening endeavour, demonstrating a critical understanding of a popular misconception." Journal of Asian Studies
"The pen might still be, if not mightier than the nuclear arsenal, at least a weapon worth scanning for, like knives at airports, a weapon capable of subversion." Times Literary Supplement
"This book may not please Hindu fundamentalists, but its research is impeccable." The Telegraph, Calcutta, India
A book the government of India demands be ritually burned.
About the Author
Dwijendra Narayan Jha is Professor of History at the University of Delhi. His books include Ancient India in Historical Outline and Feudal Social Formation in Early India.