It was never about the cow, it’s the Muslims they are after

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The Hindutva-backed polarisation almost resembles a real-life adaptation of The Wolf and the Lamb story. Here, the only difference is that the wolf pretends to be vegetarian, though its thirst for blood is rising with enforced saffronisation of the otherwise secular country.

While a forensic report has recently said the meat taken from outside the house of Dadri’s Mohammad Akhlaq, a man beaten to death by a mob in 2015, belonged to “cow or its progeny”, the kangaroo courts there aspire to uphold the lynch-mob punishment for locals from the deceased’s community; provided Akhlaq fails to resurrect, to die a brutal death again.

Call it fate or coincidence, at a time when the group of BJP-led Panchayat in UP is demanding action against victim’s family, in a controversial video, VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi has vowed for “Muslim-mukt Bharat (Muslim-free India)”, saying it’s the “need of the hour”.

While Sadhvi’s video is only about her venomous statement, other such videos of communal performance in the recent past have often been about spine-chilling display of hatred.

India Today recently dedicated a news show to authenticate the veracity of hate videos, doing the rounds on social media, on how truckers are mercilessly stripped and beaten, almost to death, for merely ferrying cows.

Nowadays, a non-Hindu caught herding a cow, is liable to capital punishment, whichever way decided by vigilantes belonging to cow protection groups, mushrooming as if to compete under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India campaign.

From beef-mukt to Muslim-mukt, Hindutva start-ups seem allergic to nothing but the minority community, which has equally contributed in nation building in independent India.

But do Muslims hate the cow – the animal being used as a bone of contention between the two communities?

If Hindus worship the cow, the Quran teaches us to respect it. The cow or Surat al-Baqarah is the second and longest chapter (Surah) of the Quran. Al-Baqarah (the cow) has been so named after the story of the cow occurring in this chapter.

Muslims don’t slaughter animals out of a murderous intention. The most sacred of animals for Muslims is the one nurtured to be sacrificed on Baqr Eid.

Muslims are bound to rear the sacrificial animals with love and affection, where harsh treatment is forbidden, while the end product – its meat – is considered among the holiest of foods after the Zum Zum spring.

If the slaughter of animals for human consumption is murder, then every omelette is a tragic result of a foeticide.

So when masahari (non-vegetarian) Muslims have no criminal intention in the slaughter, and respect for cow in particular instances distinct in Quran, why must we polarise a secular state over eating habits?

If dislike for one another’s taste buds makes sense, then Muslims are forbidden from liquor consumption.

But then sensibly speaking, a Muslim MP like Asaduddin Owaisi won’t ever seek a “Yo Yo Singh mukt Bharat” for the Honey Singh’s popular Bollywood number “Char Bottle Vodka”.

India has a glorious history of being a nation proud of holding iconic unity in diversity, but the ghost of controversies over the holy cow refuses to cow down. Let such communal allergy not transform into a national energy.

After all, Muslim-mukt Bharat is not expected to be the end product of Modi government’s latest nationwide campaign: Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aagay Badh Raha Hai!

 

 

 

 

 

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