In India Muslim Lynched for Alleged Storing and Eating Beef
The Hindu religion is a religion of peace and penance. However this very quality of Hinduism proved its downfall against a fanatic Islam. From the 9th century onwards the Hindu concept of tolerence and forgiveness proved to be their downfall and over a periodof time they were subjugated by the Muslims.
The Hindu religion revers the cow as the mother and it is held in high esteem by all sects of Hindus.. Till the advent of the Muslims the killing and consumption of beef was not only banned, but it was thought of as a sacrilegious act.. After the conquest of India by the Muslims, beef eating was introduced in India, as many Muslims were beef eaters. Despite this one can say with authority that most Muslim rulers did not make an issue of cow slauhter and many Muslims did not consume beef. This was because a large number of Muslims were converts from Hinduism.
Gandhi was also opposed to cow slaughter and was against the consumption of beef.. He considered the cow a sacred symbol and wrote profusely to enforce a ban on cow slaughter. After 1947, the situation changed as India became free and after 1100 years of Muslim and British rule, the Hindus tasted power. However the Hindus opted for a secular state and this was in my view a step as an appeasement to the large Muslim minority which constituted almost 15% of the population.
In such a scenario a few states did ban cow slaughter, but overall many in India continued to eat and consume beef . It was almost like the adage " Live and let live" as Beef eating though not propagated continued among small communities.
Hindu Revivalism and effect on Cow Slaughter
From the sixties Hindu revivalist organisations started becoming a force in India. The issue of cow slaughter which had remained dormant came to the fore. Strident agitations to ban cow slaughter started with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, RSS and many political parties like the BJP and Shiv Sena advocating a ban on cow slaughter. Despite the Congress government being in power, many states banned slaughter of cows.Cow slaughter was also banned by the erstwhile ruler of Kashmir and the same incorperated in the constitution, despite Kashmir being a Muslim majority state.
The BJP came to power in many states in India during the last general election. States like Haryana and Mahrashtra enforced stringent laws making killing and consuming beef a criminal offence punishable by an prison term of 5-10 years. In addition Hindu leaders started a campaign to ban cow slaughter all over India. As on date 24 of 29 Indian states have banned cow slaughter. However it must be noted that Buffalo meat is not banned and only the cow is singled out.
Do you feel ban on cow slaughter is justified ?
The Incident in Utter Pradesh
Utter Pradesh is India's most populous state and has a sizeable Muslim population. Both Hindus and Muslims have lived in relative peace for centuries, but in the last few decades a resurgent Hinduism has created a schism between the two communities. Cow slaughter is one of them and Hindus do not want cows to be killed for beef. It has now become an emotive issue as the cow is considered a sacred animal. With a Hindu party the BJP backed by the Hindu revivalist cultural organisation the RSS in power in Delhi, the issue of cow slaughter has come to the forefront.
About 40 miles from Delhi, the national capital an incident ina nondescript village has set the flames of communial tension afire. A rumor was spread that a villager was storing and eating beef in the village. The local Hindu temple broadcast this news on the loudspeaker and this angered hundreds of Hindus. Names are not important as the enflamed crowd gathered enmasse and rushed to the villagers house and lynched him to death. His son was grievously hurt and is battling for life in the local hospital. A fact that has emerged is that another son of the man lynched, is a serving airman in the Indian Air Force.
After the incident scores of politicians rushed to the village to make capital of the incident. The UP government sanctioned Rs 46 Lakh as compensation to the next of kin. But the fact remains that cow slaughter is an emotive issue in India and I will say that it is important not to hurt the sensibilities and beliefs of he Hindus. In case this man was consuming beef then perhaps it was not correct. However to incite a mob to lynch a man to death is not what the Hindu religion teaches..
India is a nation witha 85% Hindu population and there is no doubt that for this vast majority the cow is a sacred symbol. Whether the killing of cows is banned or not all people who eat beef must voluntarily eschew eating beef. After all in case you do want to eat meat, there is no ban on any other type of meat. In this the leaders of the various communities have to come forward and educate the concerned people to respect the emotions of Hindus.
The Hindus did a great thing by opting for a secular state and the minorities must realise that doing anything to hurt the Hindu culture and sensibility is not good politics.