Hindus denounce Miami peacock removal plan

Hindus are critical of the reported February 13 decision of Miami City Commission of relocating peafowl; stressing peacocks are revered and played an important role in Hinduism.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Miami City Commission should show some maturity and find something constructive to do with tax dollars instead of hurting the sentiments of Hindus and others 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 Mayor Francis X. Suarez, Commissioners and City Manager Emilio T. Gonzalez to rethink about the issue, quash the proposed peafowl management plan and instead think of spreading the population throughout entire Miami 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 USA since 1800s and should be preserved/protected for upcoming generations in The Magic City of Miami, Zed indicated.

Rajan Zed further said that besides Hindus, peacocks reportedly enjoyed a considerable support in a big sector of Miami 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.

Zed stated their activities had not been identified as a key threatening process and they were not causing an unacceptable damage to social or economic assets of the City of Miami. Moreover, there were animal welfare issues; and high costs associated with the trapping and relocation plan, besides loss-of-productivity due to staff diversion, might outweigh its benefits.

Rajan Zed noted that Miami City Commission 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. There are about three million Hindus in USA.