The horrifying Dadri lynching case reminds that humanity cannot be replaced by materialistic development. No matter how much progress India makes with a rising GDP and developing economy, there are still many out there who have been a victim of religious sentiments. I am grief- stricken and crestfallen to see such a sad state of humanity. The fate one such family was decided by a rabble of angry mobs without any legal trial.
On the night of 28 September 2015, 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq and his 22-year-old son Danish were dragged out of their home in Bisada village in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri district, and brutally attacked by a mob of 200 on the suspicion that the family had consumed beef. Meat samples were sent to the forensics lab and it was declared that it was goat’s meat but the authorities soon changed their mind and few days back declared that it was cow’s meat indeed. This revelation also comes to the light at the time of elections when politicians will use this play card to gain public support and play with people’s sentiments.
The state has called for a beef ban and consuming beef would be going against the law but does the state have the right to tell us what to eat and what not to? The Hindu-CNN IBN State of the Nation survey conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in 2006 had found that 60% of Indians are non-vegetarians, and it is only among upper castes – Brahmins in particular – that vegetarianism dominates. Let’s not forget that the maximum number of slaughter houses is owned by Hindus.
The question here is not just the ban on consuming beef but the political motivation behind it. Cow slaughter has been long banned in India but even today we sell leather products made out of animal skin. Why not ban that first? The ban on beef comes to the light when other forms of meat are still consumed by a large section of the society. Does the ban on beef consumption indicate the rule of majority? Beef has always been a part of diet not only among Muslims but other sections of the society. So why then ban only beef?
While there are many crimes and illegal actions that go unnoticed, here we are punishing an innocent man for consuming beef. Every news channel is busy discussing about the forensic lab reports but no one bothers to highlight the injustice done to this family. Many criticize this ban saying that it is not really protecting Hindu sentiment, but protecting the RSS or Hindu fundamentalist sentiment. The Muslims have long demanded a ban on alcohol and pork but both are consumed at large quantity throughout the country.
While some hold the view that it should be banned not only on the basis of religious sentiments but also scientific constitutional and environmental grounds, there are many who would support the ban as animal lovers but let us not forget the fact that banning beef will not reduce the slaughtering of cows. It will only cause loss to the leather industry which produces one of the finest leather products in India. We are not just talking about the ban on beef here but about lakhs and lakhs of job that are dependent on it.
Tell us what you think about the ban? Do you think ban on beef consumption will solve the problem of cow slaughtering? Do you think it is the right of the state to interfere in the food patterns of the community? Your views are important to us. Please do share what you think through the comment box below.