BLUNT BUTCHER / ANCHOR
The recent row and din over the beef, Tundey Kebabs and cow slaughter opens a very relevant debate. And this time, the debate has to be full and final. India cannot survive on half hearted measures but some harsh ones, which will assuage the feeling of majority community. Otherwise, the way things are going, it will not be an improbability that some time down the line, millions of people from majority community will find themselves with backs to the wall. And if it happens, the essence and idea of India will be under a big question mark.
Admitted, that India is a democratic, secular and socialist country but that does not mean that the just cultural and religious aspirations of majority community will be put on the back burner. It does not also mean that the sensitivities of the majority community are to be given a go by. And, that is not the spirit of the Constitution. The spirit of Constitution means all people in the country should at least show some respect to the idea of India. Since ages, India has revered cows and a very small people consumed beef. It is interesting that when the debate on cow slaughter was taking place in 1951 the members who participated, copiously quoted from the law prevalent in Mughal times. In those times it was quoted during the debate, there was no law to allow cow slaughter. Mughals discouraged it on economic reasons.
The hue and cry over cow slaughter and shortage of beef has taken an ugly turn. It is thus high time for the government to ban cow slaughter throughout the country.
Indian Constitution, since 18th June 1951 to 8th September 2016 has been amended 101 times. On 2nd November, 1976 the basic structure of Constitution was amended, when the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi added words “Secular and Socialist” to the Indian Republic. Hence it is not a big deal at all, given the mood of the nation to ban cow slaughter than Constitutional amendment. Besides, Article 48 of the Constitution mandates states to ban cow slaughter.
The reality is that despite the aggressive stance of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in this matter, cow slaughter is allowed in North East except Assam and Manipur. Manipur is a strange case, where the then Raja in 1939 persecuted people on cow- slaughter, but in practice it is allowed. This leaves only four per cent of Indian population where cow is slaughtered for meat. Now arises, the question what is the status of Indian Government regarding the imposition of total ban on cow slaughter. BJP, despite its so-called commitment, will not press for a total ban because of political reasons. In North East it has just recently consolidated its position and it will allow not cows to come in between and spoil the political game. In Kerala, the Left Government will never allow such a ban because the history of Left is anti majority and all their rhetoric, and historical reading, is based on a different page. Communists, all through their history in India have never, effectively raised voice against Islamic terror or towards assuaging the sensitivities of Hindus. Even though they are in an overwhelming majority, Hindus have been taken for granted. It is another matter, what would have been the fate of Communists in a Muslim majority country. Cite an example where Left has thrived in a country governed by Sharia. There is none. The crux of argument is that if four per cent or ten percent or fourteen percent, cannot respect the sensibilities of majority where is the essence of India in existence. Does it not bring into question, the relevance of the present state of Indian Constitution and need to amend it. The ban on cow slaughter will have a salubrious effect on Indian social order. It will bring a sense of security to the majority community and also bring in a sense of responsibility among those who are on the other side of the fence. A nation thrives in social and economic order where people respect the view of the vast multitude of people numbering in hundreds of millions. But the moot point is, will BJP show some spine and take steps to ban cow slaughter throughout the country. Will BJP cry a halt to unnecessary cow vigilantism by giving cow brigade no cause to turn violent? The answer is for them to present.
The government will have to build a consensus in this matter. After all, in those places where cow slaughter is allowed people do not take meat every day. Beef, derived from cow slaughter is not as essential as oxygen. There are better and healthier sources of meat, buffalo meat is not banned; mutton and chicken are available aplenty. So nobody will jeopardise his life if he does not take cow as a source of his essential food. India is a great country where majority has always been peaceful, unassertive and amenable to the accommodation of minorities. This small step of ban on cow slaughter will only make India more peaceful and increase inter community engagement. Hence, the time is ripe to implement the spirit of Indian Constitution in right earnest. Will BJP show some guts in this matter. Let us see.
© 2016 State Times Daily Newspaper