With his appointment as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath Yogi, said the protection of Cows was very significant for both his government and the BJP administration at the center. Just days after an announcement, he ordered a ban on illegal slaughter houses in his state.
Yogi believes that rural economy thrives around cows and his belief came into limelight with the several steps taken by his government to encourage Cows protection. Such efforts by the safron leader caught plenty of attention and praise from his Hindu followers on different media sites. The decision of shutting down illegal slaughter houses turned out as closure of thousands of meat shops in UP. It wasn’t a bombshell on vegetarians but to a few hardcore non-vegetarians who cherish delicacies like tundey and gulati kababs. The agenda of Cows protection is not confined to one state, the Maharashtra state government in 2015, introduced a ban on illegal bulls, bullocks and buffaloes. The Bombay High Court in January this year also struck down relevant sections of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act that prohibited possession of the meat.
The announcement to protect the holy Cows leads to a sudden rise in the numbers of cow vigilantes who claimed to be real patriots of India or say Hindutva. They consider themselves as the true guards of holy mothers and few fools call them cow vigilantes (who take law into their hands to penalize what they may perceive to be crime) rather than gau rakshaks. Since then extra-judicial killings and violence are occurring in the name of cow protection. Such murders aren’t surprising to the nation, 86% killed in cow-related violence since 2010 are Muslims, reported an IndiaSpend content analysis of the English media. The mayhem of the 2015 Dadri mob lynching in UP is still fresh in our minds, where mob of villagers late night attacked the house of a Muslim man and slew a 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi on the suspicion of slaughtering a stolen calf. The mob dragged the entire family outside the house and repeatedly kicked and stabbed Akhlaq son, Danish, who was left half-dead in the streets.
A report by IndiaSpend also reveals that about more than half (56%) attacks were based on rumors. These vigilantes have not only killed people but also gang-raped women. In an appalling incident in August 2016, in Mewat, Haryana, a woman and her 14-year-old minor cousin were allegedly gang-raped after being accused of eating beef. Their two other relatives were murdered. Later when the case was registered in the Police station, it was verified that the victim family didn’t consume beef meat. Four men were arrested and charged with rape and murder. What even if they had consumed beef? Does it give authority to these vigilantes to demonstrate their double-standard patriotism by raping a woman? By a few so called protectionists, this can be easily justified in a quip that they provide protection to our holy cattle (Gau Mata) and the rules and laws made by these gau rakshaks are of course above the decrees mentioned in our Indian Constitution.
A few months ago, a phd scholar in IIT, Madras, was attacked in the vegetarian mess, allegedly for beef eating. Pehlu Khan and Junaid (a minor Muslim boy) were beaten to death by Cow vigilantes. According to the witnesses, these Gaurakshaks (Predators) termed victims (Prey) as “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters”, and taunted them with terms such as “mulla” or even asked them to loudly shout “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
These killings of men and women taking us back to the Independence movement where the nation was provoked by the zealotry and religious politics. Even these Gaurakshaks who said to be followers of Gandhi are seemed to be ignorants of the fact that Mahatma Gandhi himself opposed killing of Cows but he also asserted that he would not kill a human being for a protection of Cow. He also said “Cow slaughter can never be stopped by law. Knowledge, education, and the spirit of kindliness towards her alone can put an end to it.”
By quoting such lines here, I’m not agreeing to Cows killing even, why only Cows I strictly oppose the killing of any beast for meat such as goats and hens because if it is about giving us something back, the way cow does then these two equally deserve protection like their Cow mate.
Therefore, before it gets too late we need to understand, slaughter of men in the name of Cows threatens to hack the soul of diverse India and there is an urgent need to stand for its very soul.