Why Cow Slaughter Represents Regressive Minds and Hegemonic Ideology
Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti had entered India along with the barbaric invader Muhammad Ghori, all the while motivating him to fight Prithviraj Chauhan. He and his followers used to bring a cow to a popular temple near Ajmer and slaughter it and then cook kebabs from it and eat it to spite the local population, which was Hindu. The idea was not to eat a delicious meal but to spite and insult the locals. That was the trigger for Chisti, who passes off as one of the most popular Sufis in India.
On May 27th 2017, Kerala Congress party workers, led by Youth Congress party leader Rijil Makkutty, in Kannur slaughtered a live cow, skinned it and distributed its meat.
The incident happened on Saturday, as the state witnessed protests and beef festivals organised by various groups against restrictions imposed by the BJP-led Union government. In a video shared by BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan on his social media pages, a Youth Congress leader is seen raising calls of protest against the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi before giving a go-ahead to a man to slaughter the cow, with at least two children watching the proceedings.
The Youth Congress leader, Rijil Makkutty, also announced that meat of the slaughtered cow would be distributed at the venue.
Let us understand this clearly – some people, specially the so-called liberals and “freedom advocates”, are mad in India that they are being stopped from killing a living being, killing of whom they consider as their human right? So if someone is being stopped from killing another being that is bad? If killing of cows or any animal is a right, then how isn’t a cannibal’s right a perfect and legitimate right?
We are a society where playing with an animal – Jallikattu – is vilified and made into an issue of animal rights and feelings, but killing that animal is considered to be a matter of choice!
Why Cow Slaughter is NOT just a dietary choice?
Even till today the main livestock in Saudi Arabia consists of Sheep (63%), Goat (30%), Camel (5%) and Cattle (2%). So where did the practice of eating beef as a preferred dietary choice come from to be so central to the Islamic identity in India? How come ban on beef is being framed as an attack on the Muslims and Islam? If there were no cows to begin with in Arabia of Muhammad’s time, how and why did Muslims become so attached to beef?
Till date, whenever a Hindu is converted to Islam, he or she is first fed beef. As if beef is like a sacred ritual that bestows the gifts of Islam on someone. Strange isn’t it when the home of Islam was devoid of any cattle?!
So let us ask the question that is so begging to be asked –
Is beef and cow slaughter an instrument and an expression of Islamic Supremacism as opposed to being a dietary choice?
If one looks at the examples of Chisti and the process of conversion of Hindus to Islam and actions of various barbaric rulers alongwith the truth about Arabia – specifically of Muhammad’s times – one would realize that it IS an instrument of humiliation used by Muslims against the Hindus. It is and was always a political statement of spite!
In almost all the riots in India, cow’s head has always been used to foment tensions by planting it near or inside a temple. In Kashmir, cow slaughter was also a common way to warn the Pandits of the coming danger. It was a tool and code in every riot and before a massacre.
Why Banning Cow Slaughter Evokes so Much Hindu Emotion?
Many commentator have tried to argue about meat – even beef – being or not being consumed in Ancient India and have even resorted to interpreting scriptures in their own way. Let me say something clearly – these arguments are inconsequential. For Chisti and others did NOT use cow slaughter and beef eating as a way to further the harmony – but to humiliate and spite the Hindus. When beef is used for conversion, it is not to further the ancient Hindu roots, but to cut off any loyalty to the past “faith”.
The fact is that cow has been central to the households in India and an important part of the family wherever they were reared. In one part of my family in UP, cows were kept at home and cared for. They were treated and cared for as a part of the family. It was common to see how they felt the pain and joy of the family and shared the emotions.
Irrespective of how some sects or people may interpret Hindu historical contexts, the fact is that Krishna has been central to the spiritual backbone of Hinduism. And, his love and care for the cows has seeped into the Hindu psyche deeply. And, for good reason. Cows have nourished and helped raised countless families in Indian heartland for many millennia. The relationship is not transactional – it far deeper than most human relationships. Its a bond of gratitude and love.
Freedom to Contemptuously Kill for Eating is a Sick and Regressive Mentality
In a day and age when humans are busy ripping apart this planet due to a skewed and criminal sense of greatness where animals, fishes and forests are being destroyed, isn’t it heartening that we have in India a tradition, where someone is not just loving but indeed grateful for a being who nourishes and feeds one? How many of us pause to thank the source/s of the food that come on our table? The reason why so many farmers in India die and no one cares for them is because we are criminal consumers. There was a time – not that long ago – when the country would erupt in cries of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan” (Gratitude to the soldier and to the farmer). That sensitivity, that conscious awareness of what is really sustaining one’s life is now gone. That doesn’t lead to a society of higher consciousness. That creates a society of destructive criminals. To whom everything and everyone is merely a tool and a utility.
With such attitudes and way of engaging with the world and life on this planet, sustenance of life itself will be destroyed. We are because of this planet and every small life on it. If the smallest of the fishes die, the entire chain of fishes will too. Life is too intertwined to be looked with the eyes of an isolationist hegemonic species. We are part of the whole system, not apart from it. We kill others – and carelessly and contemptuously at that – then we will not survive.
And, survival will need blossoming of our consciousness where we realize our bond and connection to every species who makes our life possible. When we pick up a morsel to eat, do we ever think if taking out of this planet what has gone into that morsel is worth the life it is sustaining – mine? If I was to look at the equation of contribution to life on the planet – is my life worth what is going towards sustaining me? Am I contributing enough towards life on this planet to justify my own living and the destruction that is being caused because of me?
Instead of celebrating a culture and a level of consciousness where people have traditionally revered a being who through various ways – milk most prominently – has nurtured and nourished our generations, the Cow Slaughter enthusiasts are contemptuously killing a being to regressively push the society to be numb to what makes its existence even possible. Their idea of taste trumps any reverence or respect for life itself. Just because it is a life different from theirs. That is not “liberal thinking” or freedom. That is regressive barbarism. Even animals don’t kill and eat for spectacle.