Beef it up!

Let me start this with ascribing a very bad-word to myself. I am a Secular human being – meaning my views and opinions are not guided by a religion. Not the oldest religion, not the popular religion and not the religion of peace. So while I have been brought up in a Hindu household and educated in Christian missionary school, I persevere to disengage my views from cultural mores instilled in me by either religions. But enough about me.

The frenzy gripping India these days is this sudden explosion of intolerance. Or maybe the intolerance was always there but suddenly people have started noticing it. One person was brutally murdered in Dadri for allegedly eating/storing beef. Delhi police raided Kerala house kitchen for allegedly serving cow-meat. First incident is deplorable and hopefully, the culprits will brought to a swift justice. Second incident is a typical political SNAFU and I don’t think is worth a comment.

What is worth a comment however is this reaction from intelligentsia of my dear country. People right, left and center are returning state-sponsored awards to oppose the growing intolerance in the country. It’s a welcome change. I have always been lamenting the increase of intolerance in the country and thankfully the people who matter have taken notice.

One can argue that they are late. They didn’t return these awards when Sikhs were murdered in 1984 in north India. They didn’t return the awards when Kashmiri Pundits were made to flee their homes in late 1980s. They didn’t return their awards to oppose AB Vajpayee’s government when horrendous 2002 happened. But their sensibilities have been touched by 1 (one) mob-murder in UP. But I wouldn’t make these arguments. At least now they have woken up.

I am hoping they’re making UP CM Mr. Yadav’s life hell with their protests! Why Mr. Yadav, you ask? Because Law and Order in UP is his responsibility. I am interested in finding out how much this outrage Mr. Yadav are facing? Why should Mr. Modi answer for things not falling under his purview? Surely, we can’t expect him to field every question for everything happening everywhere in the world?

As far as the issue of beef eating is concerned, I am all for allowing people to eat what they want. If a community is so concerned about protecting the cows, let them put money where their mouth is. Buy all the cows up for slaughter. House them better, care for them, make beef costlier than caviar. That will show the rest of us how much really care for cows. Beating unarmed a 50-year-old is an act of cowardice. Browbeating political parties in to making self-serving legislation is only more so.

I really applaud the people who are fighting against such an illogical law. No one has a right to hold their own religious beliefs sacrosanct for the rest of us. Freedom of religion allows you to follow your religion. But it doesn’t allow you to bind others by edicts of your religion. I am all for champions of tolerance.

Here is how this tolerance thing works, if a religion considers something like eating cow-meat sacrilege, its followers shouldn’t be made to eat cow-meat. But they cannot stop others from eating cow-meat. Now for getting the full-view of tolerance, replace highlighted words with “drawing a particular prophet” and read the previous sentence again. I wouldn’t force you to take same stand on both topics. Who am I to force anything of anyone?

But as you take your courageous stands and rejoice that you are standing for something noble while hosting “beef-parties” please ask yourself, would you hold a “draw a particular prophet” event once you had your fill of beef? I hope your answer is a yes. I hope you are not a hypocrite but an honest wo/man. I hope you really are secular.

They see only their (own) shadows, and their shadows are their laws.
And what is the sun to them but a caster of shadows? 

Kahlil Gibran


About bforbihag
Poochhate hai wo ki Ghaalib kaun hai, Koi batlao ke hum batalaaye kya?

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