C for cow
More sacred than human life?
Is there any difference between a cow and a human being? If this question is asked somewhere in the Hindu majority area of India the answer would be a clear-cut ‘Yes’. All Hindus would say, “A cow is more sacred than a human being because it gives us milk, it listens to our prayers, it saves us from distress and sufferings. It is a symbol and source of prosperity.” But in other parts of the world, situation regarding the sacredness of cows is altogether different. All over the world, people love to eat cow’s meat but a cow is nowhere respected and honoured as a sacred ‘goddess’ as it is in Hindu culture. Cow’s meat, commonly known as beef, is considered the most precious type of meat having a lot of nutritional values. Experts say that beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12 and a very rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, selenium, zinc and phosphorus. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, iron, potassium and vitamin B2. Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient which is present in many plants and animal organs.
As far as, the Hindu culture is concerned, particularly in India, every year many precious human lives become prey to cow-related clashes. According to a survey conducted by the IndiaSpend, during the period of over nearly eight years from 2010 to 2017, Muslims remained the target of 51pc of violence incidents and most of these incidents were related to cow-slaughtering. The survey report says, as many of 97pc of these attacks were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence incidents took place in the states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party. These incidents took lives of 28 Indians of which 24 were Muslim. As many as 124 people were also injured in these attacks. It is very interesting to know that more than half of these attacks were based on rumours. “Twenty cow-terror attacks were reported in the first six months of 2017,” said the Hindustan Times in an analysis. The paper said, “This number is more than 75pc of the 2016 figure, which was the worst year for such violence since 2010. The attacks include mob lynching, attacks by vigilantes, murder and attempt to murder, harassment, assault and gang-rape. In two attacks, the victims were chained, stripped and beaten, while in two others, the victims were hanged.”
Indian media has ever been doing all its best to bring a positive change into the attitude, approach and behaviour of the Hindu-dominating society with reference to the narrow mindedness regarding sacredness of cow. The Hindu is an esteemed newspaper of India. It usually condemns cow-related human slaughtering in the Indian society. The paper said in a report that in August 2016, in Mewat, Haryana, a woman and her 14-year-old minor cousin were gang-raped after being accused of eating beef though the woman had been continuously denying eating beef throughout this cruelty. Two other relatives of the woman were murdered on the spot. Four men were arrested and charged with rape and murder. Somewhere in the mid of May 2017, on the instruction of the Modi government, the environment ministry of India issued a notification titled Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017. This notification put a legal ban on cow slaughter across the country.
According to the India Times, as per the notification, only those who furnish a written declaration that the cattle will not be sold for the purpose of slaughter will be allowed to sell them. Upon the sale of cattle, the animal market committee will take an “undertaking” that the animals are for agricultural purposes and not for slaughter. This ban provided a legal pretext to the Hindu extremists and they became more’ bold’ in slaughtering the Muslims for eating beef and certainly this ban triggered an increase in cow-related violence throughout India. The recent example of cow-related violence was observed in May 2018 when a Muslim tailor Siraj Khan was accused of killing a cow and was beaten to death by a mob in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. He was forty-five. Siraj’s friend Shakeel Maqbool was also brutally attacked and was shifted to a nearby hospital in a critical condition.
If the situation regarding the value and importance of the cows remain the same, one day the number of cows in India would exceed the number of the minorities particularly the Muslims
Muslims in India are facing the worst type of violence not only for slaughtering of cow but also for buying or carrying a cow for the purpose of milking or ploughing. It is something very interestingly contradictory that the Hindu extremists, who are so caring for the cows, always keep silent the massacre of the helpless Kashmiris in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir and on the brutal bloodshed of the Muslims in Burma. It seems that for the Hindu extremists, cows are more important than the human beings. If the situation regarding the value and importance of the cows remain the same, one day the number of cows in India would exceed the number of the minorities particularly the Muslims.
By ALI SUKHANVAR