MANY TIMES in my childhood years, while watching India Pakistan cricket matches, immaturely and not knowing the context and history, I used to wonder about why Muslim League under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah advocated and supported Two Nation Theory which resulted in the creation of Pakistan, as the two countries could have lived together in harmony as single united country and subsequently India Pakistan cricket teams would have been a single strong team ruling the entire cricketing world. However after even a brief study of history, one comes to know easily about why Muslim league demanded the creation of Pakistan in 1940, and now with fascist and communal face of India wide open, there remains no further scope of any such query. The seeds of communalism sown by Britishers have grown into huge trees with deep roots, strong trunk and countless branches. Thanks to all the nourishment it received all these years at the hands of communal elements in India.
After Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, now beef is being banned in the only Muslim majority (so called state) of Jammu and Kashmir. Neither the collective conscience, nor the fundamental rights (particularly the right to freedom of religion) were cared while pronouncing such an unjust and biased decision.
The irony however is that after such communal and fascist policies every Institution of Indian society gets busy in defending their government and institutions. Be it soulless politicians, judiciary, police and particularly media every organ of Indian society remains busy in drawing logic and reason out of such draconian policies and decisions. This however is not surprising given the fact that a communal party, and politicians with criminal and communal background were overwhelmingly voted to power, which again reflects nothing but the increasing communal mindset of Indian society.
The ban on beef in the Muslim majority state of J&K comes at a time when Muslims here where busy in the preparations of Eid al-Azha and Qurbani. This has again added to the already fragile faith of the people here on democratic and justice institutions of India. Now like before the Kashmiri Muslims once again will have to fight for their rights and thus a new cycle of unrest and violence is likely to follow.
At a time when Mumbai High Court ridiculed the ban on animal slaughter there as not feasible and when Mumbai witnessed protests on the streets by political parties, including ruling BJPs ally Shiv Sena and opposition MNS, it is really confusing that what made J&K High Court to impose ban on beef in the only Muslim majority state and subsequent BJP welcome to it, knowing the sensitivity and ramification of the issue here.
The question also arises that if such a decision by HC came after the petition stated that slaughtering and sale of bovine animals severely affects the religious sentiments of a section of the society, What about liquor? Does that not hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims in Kashmir? Is it not that India is pumping alcohol in Muslim majority Kashmir even when prohibition of liquor and other intoxicating drugs is in directive principles of state policy in Indian Constitution or is it that the religious sentiments of Muslims are not important for BJP?
Intolerance and communalism have already bifurcated India and now the divisive forces have turned their eyes on Jammu and Kashmir. With Jammu likely to support and enforce the beef ban, Delhi has successfully communalised the state of Jammu and Kashmir and murdered the age old Kashmiriyat for the sake of its so called national interest. With Jammu voting BJP and Kashmir giving a strong mandate to PDP the division within the state got quite clear in the last year elections. Initially however the alliance of PDP-BJP was advocated as an alliance for Kashmiriyat, peace and progress but within a year only the communal and anti Kashmir mind set seems getting better of PDP-BJP alliance. And with issues like beef ban, Chopper tax row, Article 370 and a difference of opinion with regard to solution of Kashmir, talks with Pakistan and Hurryat, the alliance seems less likely to complete its full term. And if does in presence of such issues, it will be nothing but a suicide for PDP particularly in Kashmir.
Though Kashmiris will not accept and follow any such beef ban, but it is time for our society and leaders to unite and protect our religious rights and at the same time show tolerance and stick to communal harmony and treat an issue like beef ban as a handiwork of few communal elements only. With such a mindset we can protect our religious rights, destroy communal forces, safeguard our Kashmiriyat, and above all continue to enjoy Bud maaz wazwan (Beef wazwan).
Currently serving J&K Education Deptt., author, is an M.Phil Psychology and has previously worked for Action Aid International, Medecines Sans Frontieres and J&K Police .
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