Hindus are critical of Peafowl Management Plan of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government, which talks about trapping and maybe euthanizing peacocks; stressing peacocks are revered and played an important role in Hinduism.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that ACT Government should show some maturity and find something constructive to do with tax dollars instead of hurting the Hindu sentiments by removing peacocks.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that in Hinduism, peacock was mount of Lord Karttikeya (Skanda, Murugan), the god of war. Its feathers adorned the head of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu and subject of major Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad-Gita and Bhagavad-Purana. It was also associated with other Hindu deities like goddess of knowledge Saraswati, god of storms Lord Indra, etc. Moreover, it was considered auspicious and Hindu families kept peacock feathers in their home shrines.
Rajan Zed urged ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Director of City Presentation at Transport Canberra and City Services Stephen Alegria to quash the Peafowl Management Plan and instead think of spreading the population throughout entire ACT of majestic and gorgeous peacock; which symbolized grace, love and beauty; brought joy and harmony to the mind; and reminded celebration of life.
Peacocks had coexisted harmoniously with humans in Australia since 1800s and should be preserved/protected for upcoming generations if ACT wanted to continue to claim the title as the happiest and most livable city in Australia, Zed indicated.
Rajan Zed further said that besides Hindus, peacocks enjoyed a considerable support in a big sector of ACT community which liked having peacocks around, admiring their iridescent green and blue long tail covert (the train) with feathers bearing colorful eyespots and their complex dance. They actively encouraged peacocks’ presence through regular feeding. In addition, some sectors of the community would not support euthanasia.
Zed stated that environmental impacts of ACT peacock population were likely to be negligible and they had not been declared an environmental pest anywhere in Australia. Moreover, their activities had not been identified as a key threatening process or a pest species under the relevant Commonwealth or ACT Government legislation. They were not causing an unacceptable damage to social or economic assets of ACT. Their impact on native species populations was minor and there were no reports of humans/livestock contracting disease/parasite from peacocks. Moreover, there were animal welfare issues and high costs associated with the plan which might outweigh its benefits; as the trapping and relocation cost was $1308.68 per bird in 2013 besides loss-of-productivity due to staff diversion, reports suggest.
Rajan Zed noted that ACT government should show respect to the religious sentiments of some communities. Feeding birds was intrinsic to Hinduism and many started their day by feeding them as an act of kindness and religious duty. Ancient Shvetashvatara Upanishad identified Self with bird: He is the blue bird, he is the green bird.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religions of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.