The hashtag #beefban was blowing up on Twitter a day before, which made me write this article. It is an established fact that the priorities of Indian government are loused up but we never knew they are messed up to the extent of making cows safer than the women of this nation. Well, well, don’t take me wrong, I have nothing against the innocent cows, but was just wondering if the status of women could be buried any deeper in the sand.
The recent beef ban in the Indian state of Maharashtra is absurd on so many levels that it’s a difficult task to start analyzing why it is wrong. Let’s start with the punishment itself. The ban imposes a five years imprisonment for possession of beef. Now the supporters of this ban will ask what the problem with this is. The problem is that for sexual harassment, the punishment is just two years. What does this indicate? This indicates that we should adopt cow as a daughter, mother and wife and continue living life with a cow. Because well, women are not that important, but cows are. We live in a society where we recite, “gaaye humari maata hai.” We are never taught that we must respect the human version too. Because who cares about humans? We care about cows.
Another school of thought argues that this ban is justified on the ground of animal rights. The issue with this argument primarily is that in a country where humans aren’t respected and protected enough for them to feel safe to walk at night, this ban on cow slaughter just questions the very existence of human rights. Furthermore, if we have to save animals, what is the progress on saving the tigers, goats, dogs, cats and all other sort of animals? Why are we so possessive about cows? I cannot really begin to solve the mystery. Just because India, for the most part, is a Hindu nation, does not mean we go on to dictate our cultural practices on other religions. This ban just violates the secularism of Indian nation. There are so many hindus who do not believe in the “gaaye humara maata hai” concept and enjoy red meat. How does our government come up with the idea of deciding that which animal we can eat and not about how many people should it protect? And what about other issues which the Maharashtra has been suffering with? Mumbai inhabits Asia’s largest slum area. Maharashtra government has done nothing about it. The power supply problem of the city is a public talk every second day. And things like human trafficking and drug mafia are too small of problems for Maharashtra government to act upon. I hope that after the public outrage, the government of Mahrashtra realizes the troll it has made and rearrange its priorities so that human problems are their main concern. I am sure, cows will understand.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Rashmi Bagri, our intern.