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The Great Indian Cow Politics

Since the BJP’s electoral victory in 2014 we have had a range of issues that suddenly became important to our nation, the “majority” Hindus were under the threat of extinction from the Muslims who were having many “wives and children,” thus BJP leaders (who themselves have no kids) like MP Sakshi Maharaj and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti exhorted the Hindus to have more kids to strengthen the Hindu religion.

The next important issue for Prime Minister’s Digital India was the conversion of Hindu tribals to Christianity and Islam, thus they had to do the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ of tribal Christians who had left their faith, the Muslims were offered 5 lacs while the Christians were offered 3 lacs for reconverting to Hinduism. More important than all these threats to our nation was the threat to the Hindu women from ‘Love-Jihad,’ Muslim men were entrapping Hindu girls in love and getting married to them. To fight love Jihad, Hindu men were encouraged to fall in love with Muslim girls and get married to them.

My sincere belief is that if all these major problems of our nation are solved, we would be the most developed country in the world today. China would start buying electronics from us, United States, Russia and Israel would stand in queues to buy our weapons. European countries would flock to us for submarines, fighter jets and satellites.

BJP leaders had just started solving the issues of ‘Ghar-Wapsi,’ ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘decreasing Hindu population,’ when suddenly the Gau Mata was in danger. Gau Raksha Samitis sprung up all over India, especially the BJP ruled states like MP, Rajasthan, Gujrat and more recently in UP.

In their attempt to save the cows, a 50 year old father of an Indian Air Force technician was dragged out of his house in Dadri and lynched to death by a mob led by the local BJP leader. His fault, rumors that his refrigerator contained beef. In Gujrat, four Dalit youths who caught skinning a dead cow were stripped, tied and beaten with rods by cow vigilantes who had accused them of killing the animal (which they had not). In MP, two Dalit women were attacked for allegedly carrying illegal cow meat, which later turned out to be Buffalo meat. Another Kashmiri Muslim youth was killed for having taken a ride on a truck that was transporting cattle. More recently a dairy farmer who was transporting cows from Alwar district of Rajasthan was lynched to death under the pretext of cow protection. We have television debates and newspaper columns and common man discussing the hooliganism in the name of cow vigilantism, but not a single word was been spoken by the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan in criticism. In fact we have BJP leaders defending the Gau Rakshaks and laying the onus on the victims. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi even went to the extent of denying the mob lyinching in Alwar (which is recorded and uploaded online by the very attackers).

Is it really the protection of Gau Mata?
Article 48 of the Directive Principles of the State Policy reads as follows:

“The state shall endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle”

Directive Principles of State Policy is a part of guidelines to the central and the state governments for framing policies, it must be noted that the Directive Principles are not enforceable in any courts of law. Rajani K. Dixit writes in Kafila.in that: “the Directive Principles of the Constitution are not against the slaughter of cows, but of milch cattle in general, and not for religious but for economic reasons. The term ‘milch cattle’ includes cows, buffaloes as well as goats. India consumes much more of buffalo milk as compared to cow milk.”

Since the day BJP came to power it was clear that the goal was to polarize the majority Hindu population though issues like Ram Mandir, Gau Hatya, Love Jihad. These issues were to be constantly propped up in their attempts at polarizing the voters for electoral gains. The recent dastardly act in Alwar was a proof of the fact that Cow Vigilatism is nothing about the cows but about Muslims, a Hindu man named Arjun, who was accompanying Pehlu Khan (the victim) was asked to go away by the goons.

For political analysts, it was clear since the 2014 election campaigning, that even if 35 % of the 80% of Hindus’ votes were to be polarized in BJP’s favor, no party would be anywhere close to the number of seats it would gain. The anti-incumbency factor of the ruling Congress, coupled with numerous corruption scandals and the systematic attempts (by BJP) at polarization, ensured a smooth victory for the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls. These issues are brought up time and again to ensure further polarization at regular intervals.

Apart from polarization, an important factor that encouraged the BJP to pursue this hooliganism was the economic blow to the Muslims and Dalits in India. Since these are the two communities, who are mostly involved in this business it would be a severe blow to their economic interests. Apart from Business interests the whole issue of cow slaughter is meant to create a sense of fear among the Muslims and the Dalits.

Since BJP’s 2014 victory, a green signal is given to tens of thousands of lumpen goons to vent their barbarism on poor and helpless people. These goons roam the streets of small towns and villages looking for people transporting meat, live cattle, or the hides of cattle that have died of starvation. Around 200 such groups are estimated to be active in Delhi alone and more than 200 are to be found in Gujrat. The modus operandi of these groups is to stop all trucks carrying livestock or hides, accuse the owners of having slaughtered cattle, beat them up and release them after they hand over all the cash they possess. Till the time the victims of Gau Rakhshaks were Muslims, Modi maintained a studied silence, but when the victims were Dalits, it took an election rally and a stage for the PM to declare that “Shoot me if you must but do not shoot my Dalit brothers.”

The BJP’s love for Gau Mata can be gauged from the fact that Sangeet Singh Som, a BJP MLA from UP was the Director of Al Dua Food Processing Private Limited that describes itself as a “leading producer and exporter of “HALAL MEAT” from India” and a specialist in the export of “halal buffalo, sheep/lamb, goat meat and hides.”

Today, while the Gau Rakhshaks go on a rampage killing innocent people all over India, the Sangh Parivar is busy with Ghar wapsi and Love-Jihad and our Prime Minister is busy visiting the whole world and promoting ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ and promising a ‘Shinning India.’

(Views expressed in the article are author’s own)

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