Social media users have been actively mocking a judge in India after he said, on his last day of office, that peacocks are ‘lifelong’ celibates’ and shed tears to conceive. Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma made these claims at a hearing in Rajasthan when urging India’s government to make the cow the official national animal.
“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.
The cow, which Sharma claims is ‘as pious as a peacock,’ is considered sacred in Hindu-majority India. Shortly after Sharma made these statements, social media users began ridiculing him – some even went so far as to disprove his claim by sharing wildlife footage of two peacocks mating.
“The peahen gets pregnant drinking the tears of the peacock. That makes me weep,” tweeted Ruth Saldanha. “I hope I don’t get pregnant.”
“Never knew peacocks had such a messed up life,” tweeted Dheeraj Tiwari.
Currently, the tiger is the national animal of India and the peacock is the national bird.
Sharma’s comments were made in response to an NGO’s petition on the condition of state-run cow shelters. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing government came to power in 2014, many states in the country have enforced a ban on cow slaughter.
Last month, the government enforced a ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter across the country. The consumption of beef is prohibited in the majority of Indian states, with some imposing up to life imprisonment for infringements.
The protection of cows has even filtered into the streets, with vigilantes killing those – mostly Muslims – suspected of eating beef or smuggling cows.
In his 139-page ruling, Mr. Sharma also recommended life imprisonment for individuals found guilty of slaughtering cattle as 330 million gods and goddesses reside inside a single cow. He then went on to declare that the cow is the only animal to both breathe and exhale oxygen and cited Hindu scriptures that say cow dung and urine have healing and ‘ age-defying qualities.
“Cow urine has the miraculous property of destroying any kind of germs. It provides strength to mind and heart. It stops ageing,” he said. “Houses plastered with cow dung are safe from radio waves.”
“(Mother cow) is the only animal that inhales as well as exhales oxygen,” he said.
Many Hindus believe that cow urine in herbal Indian medicine has a number of ‘miraculous’ healing properties, including the ability to cure a number of diseases. Mr. Sharma plans to practice at India’s Supreme Court in New Delhi.