As residents of the “secular” and democratic country – India, whose constitution “guarantees” everyone the right and freedom to practice their own religion; we all should be proud of the secular fabric that exists in the country. But the recent controversy about Madhya Pradesh government’s decision  to strengthen the existing cow slaughter prohibition Act (Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Pratishedh Adhiniyam 2004)  made me re-think about the greatness of India when it came to being “secular”.

I searched the internet and read about some of the laws that exist with respect to animal slaughter in the country and was quite baffled to know that the Directive Principle of State Policy in Constitution calls for protection of cow and progeny. Cow holds a “special” status in the country (Ala Brahmins) and slaughter, possession, sale, transport of beef and beef products is prohibited and amounts to “crime” which can even lead a person into the prison (T&C Apply) . But the same generosity is not shown to other animals. May be they are ‘Dalits’ of the animal community. Sounds funny? It isn’t!  In fact it freaks me out that how we want to shove the beliefs and values of a particular community (Hindu) just because it is in the majority. Today, nearly two-third of Indian states have banned cow slaughter.  Main features of legislations enacted by the States/UTs on cow slaughter  How can we curtail the freedom of others at the expense of a particular community?  Cow might be holy to the Hindus but it isn’t for others. What about the Muslims, Christians, Parsis & Sikhs who want to eat beef but can’t eat because it’s not available in their cities. And even if it is available; finding a beef shop is like ‘finding needle in a haystack’. Will Ganga stop washing your sins if people set up a beef shop in Haridwar?  We never bother about the slaughter of pigs and selling of pork which is prohibited in Islam. Why? The answer is simple – because Muslims make only a certain 13.4% of the total population of India. Firstly, state should NOT have any in what people can sell (Exclude drugs, arms, etc) or eat and there should be no second thoughts about it. Secondly, even if it has (which it should NOT), why should it have double standards? Doesn’t it hamper the very idea of secularism?  We are in the 21st century and instead of moving ahead we want to go back into the dark ages. What more could explain Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s claims of cow dung being the solution for every god damn problem and Cow being our only savior! As one MP of the party said “Marne se bachna hai to gai ki sharan mein aana hoga (To escape death, leave yourself at the mercy of the cow),” This just makes me sad!!

What makes me even sadder is the hypocritical ‘holier than thou’ attitude of Hindus towards cow. Technically speaking; Hinduism is based on the concept of omnipresence of the Divine, and the presence of a soul in all creatures, including animals. Thus, by that definition, killing ANY animal would be a sin. No?  But still they eat & I think it’s fine!  Who am I to dictate? But I fail to understand my Hindu brothers & sisters who are OKAY with eating all sorts of non vegetarian delicacies ranging from chicken & meat to fishes & prawns but when it comes to cow the ‘Virat Hindu’ in them rises.  Can anyone be more hypocritical than this? I can’t understand the “compassion” that comes out only for cow and not for other living beings. Their compassion, like them, has double standards. If a cow and a dog is slaughtered in front of my eyes, I would feel equally sad for both and no where will be my sadness more for the cow. To me; both are living beings. Also, why & how cow became so “sacred” for Hindus and other animals didn’t remains a mystery to me because there are MANY Hindus who do eat beef. Also, to my knowledge no where any Hindu scripture professes special status to cow. And the same logic applies to Muslims also who are OKAY with eating all other non vegetarian cuisine but have issues when it comes to Pig because it is “unclean”. Give me a break!

In a book published a few years ago on India’s dietary traditions, Prof DN Jha, spoke about historical evidence of beef-eating practices in ancient India. Historian Romila Thapar also said the same “The eating of beef was reserved for specific occasions, such as rituals or when welcoming a guest of high status,” But as expected, she drew flack from the ‘rightists’ of our country and history text books for Class VI authored by her were changed! It’s high time we realize and speak up against the archaic ideas and notions that exist in our country. India faces zillions of problems today – inflation, depreciating value of rupee, terrorism, rising prices, corruption, poverty, unemployment etc. but we are still trapped in this ‘what-to-eat’ and ‘what-not-to-eat’ debate! We surely have lop sided priorities. And as I end this post; I leave you all with a question to ponder upon –  “Do you want to “talibanise” even the food in India?”

P.S. – I don’t advocate ‘vegetarianism’ anywhere. To each his own!


9 thoughts on “HOLY COW!

  1. Fallacy in your logic. The Bible is not holy to me. So is it ok if I burn it? The Indian constitution prohibits that too. There are constraints in India that the constitution places on free speech and freedom in order to not hurt other comunities. The cow is holy to Hindus and hence the constraints apply. There are similar restrictions on a cross, or the quran, etc. I don’t agree that communities in India need protection from free speech, but at least the constitution is consistent. Can’t say the same for you.


  2. i came to ur blog frm ur twitter profile. earlier i thought u r a nice guy and geek but after reading above blog post ….. i conclude that u r chootiya.


    use ur brain for creative things.


  3. I don’t think you’re a “chootiya” at all! (If I do indeed understand that word.) I really agree with you. A “Secular” community that celebrates & embraces it’s diversity & wants everyone to feel united really shouldn’t enact laws based on a specific religion that effect everyone. One example in the US is that Liquor Stores can’t open until “Church” let’s out on Sundays..some areas still have laws that won’t permit a Liquor Store to be open at all on Sunday. This law doesn’t even cater to mainstream Christians..just the more fundamentalists believers. I totally believe in separation of Church & State.


  4. “Marne se bachna hai to gai ki sharan mein aana hoga (To escape death, leave yourself at the mercy of the cow)”

    Does that imply forced conversion to Hinduism?


  5. Your article is a holy crap ,one of the most bullshit article ever read.Its a shame that so much freedom of speech is given in India that anyone can write whatever crap he wishes too ..To reply to your question of what if christian ,sikhs ,muslims etc etc want to eat beef ,let me tell you tht these people are not from India .They are outsiders .Its a shame on the pretext of secularism amd right to speech n blah blah ,these people can raise their voices so much ..Cow is most sacred to hinduism and jainism and other high class religions and we will shout for ban of cow slaughter in all the states across India .If these people want to eat any meat ,get out from our sacred land .Cow is divine and must be protected ,,and people like you who speak for killing of cows will rot whole their life..and see only backwardness like the dalits ,STs and SCs and muslims have seen because they eat cows..


  6. after reading this article and the logic given in it, the only thought that comes to mind is that the excessive insistence on freedom of speech can lead to retarded thoughts coming to mainstream. Cow is considered sacred/motherly by Hindus and we will not let others to kill our mother, and for what? to satisfy taste buds?? NEVER!


  7. Wonderful article!
    Agree to each and every word of it!

    *Funny to see many chips, who don’t know the value of secularism & freedom of speech because they have never know what lies on the other side, jumping in response* 😉


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