Sunday, October 11, 2015

Holy Cows

Quite recently, there has been an uproar about cow eating. Muslims will eat it no matter what, Radical Hindus will protest and even go to violent means to stop it. Basically this is the case in hand. Radical Hindu groups some organized and many individual lead unorganized have even gone on the extend of killing some Muslims on suspicion of Cow eating  in Dadri. Dadri being a close phonetics to Babri, some radical Muslims have been co-relating both the events as atrocity towards minorities.
I will be keeping my point of view from a very neutral and rational angle and will try to be human being rather categorizing myself in any sect, cast, creed or religion. I am not a scholar of any religious texts and do not vouch for their authenticity or adulteration that might be present. Thus it is absolutely a waste of time to debate over whether my text is purer that yours or vice-versa.
I closely believe that religion is a means to live your life and it is You and only You who can decide how you want to live. My father or a friend or my wife/husband might guide me, help me identify what is right & what is wrong but they are not going to live your life for you, cause they are too busy living their own life. Since, you are living your life, you should decide how to live it. Now since we are all tied in a Social Fabric we need to maintain some social norms. Social norms are subjugated by mostly two sections of Society. One is Religion and the other is Politics.

Religion because, most religion tell you how one should live their life in the most "ideal" way. They tell you what should be done and what should not be done in order to attend God. So God fearing people tend to follow those or else they think that they will end up in hell.  These social norms are ever changing and some of them are really difficult to follow in today's world. Every religion has a few of them. We have been very systematically successful in curtailing those which are impossible to do in this age and have retained which might still be done somehow. This is the dichotomy. The fact that we have selfishly and to our comfort changed our original religious texts and still say that the text is sanctum-sanatorium that needs to be followed in order to become a pious follower of the sect.

The Second in Politics, which has lead us to create an alter ego to God. These politicians specialized in hate politics and blind followers of the British Raj believes in dividing people in the name of income, cast, religion, sex, qualification, social status and always favoring some section of people rather than giving a fair playing ground. They decide what is right and what is wrong. They decide what the citizens should wear, eat, fear, love, go, not go, do and not do. They have been highly successful in injecting these ideas into our mind so slowly that they seem to be the right logical thing to do. The irony is they often refer to Religion as their guiding star.

Now coming to the Cow issue, Hindus believe in worshiping Cows as Mothers. At least those who are from rural India and are yet to come in terms with western ideologies, those who have Cows at home, those who's livelihood depends on Cows and serious Hindu religious followers. Most Hindus who eat beef, somehow feels that they have achieved something special. They have been successfully able to defy the major belief system of Hindutava and also because they have liked it from the first time. Experimentation at the cost of an unknown consequence that has roots to their God-fearing nature. I am not judging whether it is good or bad. After all who am I to judge for others. However, for me I would not like to have beef deliberately or intentionally unless I am left with no other option but to eat it in order to survive. The main reason behind this is because it is an higher animal in the animal kingdom than say a Goat, Lamb, Pig or Chicken. It has emotions which are very human like and thirdly because and it might sound cliched but I have been drinking Cow's Milk ever since I left breastfeeding, I feel the logic behind considering a Cow as a Mother is very respectful towards such an animal. But that is purely my belief system and it might sound not right for some. Also a major reason Hindus often eat beef is because majority Hindus are very liberal in their thinking and are not conservative in certain theories. Like for example, unlike Christians and Muslims, Hindus very often visit temple on a regular basis. They go and visit temples on festivals or to seek blessings on special occasions. Yet almost all Hindu Households have a small corner in their house dedicated to God. That becomes their personal temple and requirement to go to Public temples becomes irrelevant many times. They have somehow constructed their own theories for such practices and which are perfectly alright.

Muslims on the other hand will not touch pork no matter what. This is true for almost all Muslims barring a very few. They have their own logic and which I feel is also true. But the main reason behind this is because their Texts have banned it. Muslims being ardent followers of their Text will do things which are only mentioned there. They are OK with beef though. But they are ok with Chicken and Mutton as well.

Therefore, there is only one more thing to discuss. The question of tolerance and National Ethos. If I am living in a country, we need to respect the major national belief system of that nation. The cloak of secularism is fake here and does not hold true in such situations. Compare this to a situation. Suppose I am stuck in an Island with fifty survivors of a plane crash.The island has all the resources needed to survive for a lifetime and there is no way of communicating to the outside world and all knows that they need to live there for the rest of their life. At first people are bound to go panicky and will go helter skelter and do random stuffs to come to terms with this fact. They will destroy natural resources to find food, shelter and safety. They will try to form groups, have individual spaces and try to protect their privacy. But once things settle down, they would try to become organized. They would have chosen a leader, distributed work and have laid basic norms and principles that needs to be followed. They would have also devised ways and means to control misbehavior, indiscipline and designed punishments for those who disobey. They all try to live as a unit rather than individual because that is in their best interest. The question comes here, that whether an individual or a sub group of people try to violate the principles of the rest for something as silly as eating habits or clothing? Suppose out of the surviving 50, 40 are Hindus and 10 are Muslims. Will the 10 Muslims start having a beef party at the beach while the Hindus fumes, mainly because 35 of these Hindus actually dislikes it? Can they afford to do that, even if they want beef by disturbing the Harmony? Supposing 40 people were Muslims and 10 people were Hindus, Could the Hindus hurt the sentiments of the Muslims and kill Pigs and eat them? That would just not be 'proper', wouldn't it? The same thing happens if I visit a Muslim friend I would try not to hurt his religious believes but at the same time I would also expect the same from him. If I dont get that from him, that does necessarily means I will hit back, that can also mean that I stop being Friends with him.

Lamb, Chicken, Pork, Beef or Panner is a personal matter and should remain as a personal choice but either banning it completely is not a wise decision nor allowing it freely is, if it is our major National Ethos. The solution can be many and without hurting anyone. Have control over slaughter houses and make them Govt authorized. No illegal means of beef slaughtering will be tolerated. Reduce beef export to 90%. Increase good export quality production of Agri Seeds if required, meaning creating alternatives in place of the revenue loss. Have control over number of restaurants serving beef. Disallowing beef in major Hindu religious places and near temples or major Hindu populated areas. The same thing should also be done for Pork.

But, even after these controls are taken the people unless becomes open minded and open eyed, it will remain to be a major problem for our nation.

The cost of a meat cannot be the cost of someone's life, it needs to be measured in a different scale altogether.