After the slogans of ‘Ghar Vapis’ and Love Jihad’ have entered the phase of ‘diminishing returns.’ The RSS needed a new scintillating vibrating slogan to win the Bihar elections. ‘Beef Vigilatism’ is new rapier that would harm and hurt the Muslims economically and make them feel more insecure while it would instill a sense of offense and hate in the mind of Hindu masses against Muslims.
Let us quote here the book ‘Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India’ by Akshaya Mukul.
“After India gained Independence and Jawaharlal Nehru became prime minister. A delegation of Hindu leaders called on him to demand a ban on cow slaughter. Nehru heard them patiently and then asked, ‘Why do you people run a campaign that I eat beef?’ The delegates denied they had spread this information, but suggested that the best way for him to silence his critics would be to ban cow slaughter.”
Is it not an open secret that a large number of communities in India, other than Muslims, consume beef in India – Christians, Dalits, groups in the North East? Why the Muslims have always been made the sole target of the proponents of the anti-cow slaughter movement from its inception in the late 19th century?
It would be interesting to recall that the Constituent Assembly had declared their approval for a ban on cow-slaughter in the 1940s. The only condition the Muslims member suggested was that the Constitution should specifically mention that the ban had been imposed to uphold the religious sentiments of Hindus – and not because of economic reasons, all of which they claimed were dubious and difficult to sustain logically.
Let us look at the historical and ethical backdrop of this Ban. The learned Constitutional Father Dr. BR Ambedkar in his 1948 work “The Untouchable and Why They Became Untouchables?” had linked the status of Untouchables to their eating the meat of the dead cow.
In a fascinating essay, Negotiating the ‘Sacred’ Cow: Cow Slaughter and the Regulations of Difference in India, researcher Shraddha Chigateri stated, “This unique constitutional protection would have meant that the protection of the cow would have been treated on par with other human fundamental rights such as right to life, right to equality, etc”
Syed Muhammad Sa’adulla, a Muslim member from Assam, was forthright in declaring,
“I do not want to obstruct the framers of our Constitution, if they come out in the open and say directly: ‘This is part of our religion. The cow should be protected from slaughter and therefore we want its provision either in the Fundamental Rights or in the Directive Principles
’ But, those who put it on the economic front … do create a suspicion in the minds of many that the ingrained Hindu feeling against cow slaughter is being satisfied by the backdoor.”
Sa’adulla said there were thousands of Muslims who did not eat beef, and that cattle for the agriculturists among them were as useful for them as they were for their Hindu counterparts.
According to Article 48, which reads, “The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and other milch and draught cattle.”
Nevertheless, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh enacted laws banning cow-slaughter. That the Congress was in power in these four states. Both Maharashtra and Haryana have followed suit, the latter imposing an incredible 10 years of imprisonment to anyone found guilty of slaughtering a cow, a bull or an oxen, or even caught carrying or consuming beef.
However, the ban has also stoked suspicions that Muslims are slaughtering cattle clandestinely, leading to police cases being filed against them.
The killing of Akhlaq is not the first or would NOT be the last story. The RSS, in garb of cow-protectionists, has got an ever-ready weapon of rumor about cow killing to foment instant trouble and generate hatred against Muslims and to garner votes for BJP.
This is absolute racism. They are trying to argue two things theoretically, in a very funny way. One, they are saying that there was no culture of eating beef before the advent of Muslims. This is absolutely false. Of late, they have started saying that even untouchability was created by the Muslims. It is through this theoretical framework that they are trying to reach out to the Dalits and also convert them to Hinduism and vegetarianism.
The most important issue is that if you ban killing of animals and leave them to die a natural death, would the agrarian economy survive? Who would rear the cattle then? Why do people rear cattle in rural India? Because they give birth to calves, and calves become bulls. Before the mechanisation of agriculture, bulls tilled the land and provided agrarian labour. The cattle have other economic benefits – manure is used for fertiliser and fuel, and once it dies or is killed, its skin is sent to the tannery and bones are used for making items such as combs. But when the economic benefits of the cattle diminish what to do with the animal? What is the line of life if you do not kill them for food?
How many Indians have seen the cows being buried?
By Naim Naqvi