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Valentine's Day or Cow Hug Day? India debates a political animal

Call to celebrate cattle over cupid abandoned but religious friction remains

A woman with a cow as Indian Hindus offer prayers to the River Ganges: Officials briefly floated a proposal to celebrate "Cow Hug Day" on Feb. 14 instead of Valentine's Day.   © AP

NEW DELHI -- An ill-fated attempt to persuade Indians to ditch Valentine's Day and instead observe "Cow Hug Day" has spotlighted the country's social and religious frictions as the government increasingly seeks to break from Western influences.

The Animal Welfare Board of India, which falls under the government's Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, earlier this month issued a notice appealing to all Indians to celebrate the cow on Feb. 14.

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