Kurukshetra (Haryana), Sep 30 (IANS): The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other Hindu groups, supported by leaders of other faiths, Wednesday urged the government to declare the cow as a national animal.
Members of the groups said they had started a 108-day national campaign that will cover about 20,000 km, starting from this holy Hindu town and culminating at Nagpur in Maharashtra.
The campaign, called Vishwamangal Gau Gram Yatra, was initiated here amid the chanting of holy mantras by the Shankaracharya of Shimoga, Jagatguru Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati.
Vijay Bhardwaj of VHP told IANS: "There was a time when the cow was considered the most holy being. Now the cow is struggling to survive."
He said the Hindu groups will meet President Pratibha Patil and urge her to declare the cow a national animal and to draft laws against its killing.
Other prominent people participating in this movement are Hindu leader Sadhvi Rithambara, VHP international president Ashok Singhal, the Dalai Lama's envoy Rimpoche Dolma Gyara and Muslim representative Moinuddin Sabri.