HOLY COW

Muslims, meanwhile, are India’s poorest religious group, and beef just happens to be among the cheapest available sources of protein.
Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, 8 Oct 2015
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ast week, a Northern Indian mob beat a Muslim man to death for eating beef. Muslims, who make up 14% of India’s population, are India’s poorest religious group. And beef is among the cheapest available sources of protein in the region. Meat as sustenance has caused quite an uproar in certain Indian States over the past year. Some areas have banned and restricted beef, mutton, chicken, pork, and even eggs. The restrictions are coming to citizens via the reinforcement of long-dormant prohibitions on meat sales. The restrictions aren’t a problem for Hindus –they don’t eat beef at all because they consider the cow holy. What is a problem for them is when others don’t follow the same rules they do. Since last year’s election, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took control, opinions have been raging about meat consumption. Most of the party’s supporters are Hindu nationalists for whom eating meat and beef is sacrilegious. Thanks to them, the Government has been throwing around words like “beef ban” more than in previous years. Which brings us to Mohammad Akhlaq, the man who died because of beef. He was taken from his home in the village of Dadri, in the Northern Uttar Pradesh State, was beaten, and then killed. His death has been the center of a debate about religious freedom all over the world, and has people questioning India’s status as a secular nation.

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Debate: Related Articles
Three Different Perspectives on the Same Issue. Click on the title to see more
Consumption of Beef a Matter of ‘Individual Opinion’ says Manohar ParrikarIndia’s Beef With BeefHoly Cow, Unholy Violence

I have been hardcore RSS [Rasht Swayamsevak Sanghriya, an extreme Hindu nationalist organization] since childhood, and I can assure you that this had nothing to do with the RSS. We Indians are a very tolerant society, sensitive issues of this nature must be discussed. Violence of any nature by anyone is not acceptable in a democracy.Harsha Raj Gatty, The Indian Express, 12 Oct 2015

For many Hindus, cows hold a revered place and are often found within the vicinity of Hindu temples. Yet for large numbers of low-caste Hindus, beef is an affordable source of protein, and for India’s growing urban upper class, burgers and steaks are sought-after items, even status symbols.Zahir Janmohamed, Al Jazeera, 10 Oct 2015

When the secular nation state tilts in favour of one religion and seems to be persecuting another, there is bound to be a backlash. And that is what we are facing now: a karma-phala (karmic fruit) of karmic-bija (karmic seed) sown by the Congress on the one hand, when it unashamedly appeased Muslim religious orthodoxy, and the liberals on the other…Devdutt Pattanaik, The Hindu, 6 Oct 2015
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