The Battlelines are drawn.Both sides are ready.Weapons are drawn.Bloodshed is about to begin.The war has come.
But, this isn't the battleground nor is it 1526. This is 2016.This is India.Then why is there war? Well, this isnt your average war.It's a war between ideologies, between the millenials and the old,between the liberals and the conservatives, between the right and the left.It's a war between ideologues and no, this isn't the age old communism vs capitalism debate.It's a debate that kills, that harms, that maims, that tortures.That makes the life of the people on the other side a living hell.That opens them to incessant trolling and insults that hit where it hurts.That questions their identity as a citizen,that tells them to go to another country, that makes them the antagonists, that questions their love for their religion,that makes them out to be murderers.That is none other than: Beef - India's Divider-in-Chief.
We are all aware of the Time magazine cover page that called Modi India's Divider-in-Chief and as that debate still continues I believe Beef and not Modi is a bigger divider.People are Pro-beef ban and Anti-Beef ban but whichever side you support,you are open to criticism and trolling from the other side.
People who are Pro-Beef ban believe that in accordance with the beliefs of their religion Hinduism ,the cow is sacred and thus they don't want it to be killed and eaten.Cows are given the status of "mother" in Hinduism.So they want Beef to be banned in India in order to protect cows from being killed.
People who are Anti-Beef ban,mostly liberals believe that the state shouldn't decide what they can or cannot eat.Beef does not only consist of cows but also buffaloes and other bovines.The government has banned buffaloes too which has lead to large scale unemployment for the predominantly Muslim dominated buffalo meat industry increasing their economic woes.India is a secular,pluralist country with many religions and ethnic groups coexisting together.The other religions don't hold the cow as sacred.
According to an article written by Wendy Doniger in the conversation.com,during the Rig Veda,cow meat was consumed. The Vedic Indians generally ate the castrated steers, but they would eat the female of the species during rituals or when welcoming a guest or a person of high status.The Brahmanas,ancient ritual texts,that taught religious duty (dharma), from the third century B.C.,say that a bull or cow should be killed to be eaten when a guest arrives.
She also writes that the Mahabharata illucidiated the transition to the non eating of cows in a famous myth:
“Once, when there was a great famine, King Prithu took up his bow and arrow and pursued the Earth to force her to yield nourishment for his people. The Earth assumed the form of a cow and begged him to spare her life; she then allowed him to milk her for all that the people needed.”
This marks the transformation from killing and eating cattle to domesticating them.Some people gave up beef to rise through social class since brahmins came to be identified with cows and to be paid by donation of cows.
People who support beef ban argue that cows provide with milk,cheese and butter and their skin is used for making shoes after their death.Cow dung is used to prevent insects and used as a fuel.Cow urine is claimed to have medicinal properties though most of it hasn't been verified.They argue that killing such a useful animal would be disastrous for the economy.
But,this battle isn't just conformed to a war of ideologies.It has spilled out in the real world and revealed an ugly face of humanity that does terrible things in the garb of religion.
What is common between Mohammad Akhlaque from Dadri,Mazlum Ansari and Imteyaz Khan from Jharkhand,Pehlu Khan from Alwar? No,not their religious identity but the fact that they were all lynched on Assumptions of having possession of beef.According to a June 2017 Reutersreport, citing a data journalism website, a total of "28 Indians – 24 of them Muslims – have been killed and 124 injured since 2010 in cow-related violence"The report stated that "Almost all of the 63 attacks since 2010 involving cow-related violence were recorded after Modi and his Hindu nationalist government came to power in 2014".
According to Wikipedia, after an attack on four Dalits in Gujarat in July 2016, thousands of members of the Dalit community took to the streets to protest what they saw was "government inaction".The protests spread across the state. In clashes with the police, one policeman was killed and dozens of protesters were arrested.At least five Dalit youth attempted suicide, one of whom died.
“Cow is also the reason for global warming. When she is slaughtered, something called EPW is released, which is directly responsible for global warming. It’s what is called emotional pain waves.”
When kerela was facing the worst ever flood in years, many "sensitive" people took to Twitter to say " God punished you for eating beef" and "Why should anyone help people who ate beef?" because kerela has no ban on beef. If you are disgusted, imagine the plight of the Malayalis.Humanity at it's very lowest.Hinduism is probably turning in her grave,ashamed of it's "supposed" followers because if you actually follow your religion,you would never do this.
The ugly face of communalism has revealed it itself and is trying to find legitimacy in it by using the beef ban as a cover.The online trolling has spilled out in the real world in the form of violent lynchings. The videos of the lynched victims being beaten to death are recorded and uploaded.This is not concern for cows, it's hatred for different religions and castes.This is inhuman.This is intolerance in a relatively tolerant India fulled by government inaction.
Whatever camp you may be in Pro-Beef ban or Anti-Beef ban,lynching and violence is unacceptable. This needs to stop and the those people who believe that it is okay to kill humans under the garb of following your religion need to be stopped.Those people need to be publicly shamed and the government should be spurred to action to stop these incidents.Let law take its course instead of us meting out this "mob justice".
India has long suffered in the hands of divide and rule.We, as Indians, need to collectively take a stand against this violence.
Let beef unite us rather than divide.