Dalits and cows


And the fate of the BJP

Hindu extremism is undermining the whole of Indian society silently. After Modi’s coming into power, a very visible increase in this extremism is being observed


I was really shocked to know that India was the largest exporter of beef in the world in 2016 followed by Brazil, Australia and the United States. Even in 2015, India was the world’s top beef exporter, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The cow is honoured and respected as a sacred animal in the Hindu society particularly in India where Hinduism is observed by more than 80pc of country’s population. In most of the Indian states restrictions have been imposed on cattle slaughter and every year so many people from other religions are slaughtered for slaughtering cows. CNN said in a recent report, “Buffalo meat exported from India is cheaper. That helped the country generate record export earnings from beef last year, although growth is moderating from the 30pc annual rate seen between the years 2010 to 2013. But it is something very astonishing that on the one hand India is on the top of the beef exporting countries whereas on the other hand every year so many Muslims are killed for the sin of slaughtering cows. In other words cows and buffaloes are more sacred, more precious and more prestigious than human beings in the Indian society.

Hindu extremism is undermining the whole of Indian society silently. After Modi’s coming into power, a very visible increase in this extremism is being observed. People belonging to different minorities are leading a very insecure and unsafe life among the Hindu extremists. Last year, on the night of 29 September, a 58-year-old man Akhlaq was killed and his family brutally injured by a mob in Greater Noida’s Bisada village. This brutal massacre was very well organised by the Hindu extremists in the area and was fully supported by the temple authorities and the local administration. Akhlaq’s old mother Asghari Begum told the media with her silently weeping eyes, “The mob ran to the first floor of my home and dragged my son out, along with 22-year-old Danish. Both were beaten with whatever they (attackers) could lay their hands on. There was blood all over my son’s face.”

In short apparently slaughtering cows has become a very dangerous issue in Indian society, particularly for Muslims. Some of the balanced and neutral Hindus are of the opinion that if Mr Modi wants to sustain and maintain the sacredness of the cows and buffaloes and he is serious in saving the lives of Indian Muslims, he will have to impose a strict ban on the export of beef from India in the same way as he has recently put a ban on currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1000. Further, to save the lives of millions of Indian Muslims from Hindu extremists, Mr Modi will have to frame some law for the protection of the Muslims in case they slaughter a cow because India does not belong to the Hindus only.

Corruption is not the only menace in India; there are countless others too; maltreatment with the low-caste Hindus, hatred against the Muslims, exploitation of the Sikhs and atrocities against Kashmiris. On the 28th of this November, the New Indian Express reported a very painful incident from Muzaffarnagar. According to the details a 30-year-old Dalit was allegedly shot at by a gram pradhan and three others who also thrashed the victim’s family members after accusing them of stealing a radish. Gram pradhan Anil, his son Nishant and nephew Sarouttem, reached young Dalit man Sunil Kumar’s house in a car and started beating his family members. When Sunil Kumar protested, the accused opened fire at him. He was taken to the hospital in a very serious condition. Doctors are still trying to save his life. In another incident as many as 37 members of six Dalit families were forced to migrate from their native village Maniyari in Chanasama taluka of Patan following social boycott by upper cast members. The families migrated to a nearby village on 19 November. A senior member of the migrated families while talking to the Times of India said, “Patels, the high-caste Hindus, have boycotted the Dalits. No one would talk to us or buy goods from our shops. The Patels also did not employ Dalits as farm labourers. So we were left with only one option of saying good-bye to our native village.” In short, Mr Modi’s political career is facing a lot of challenges and threats from within the Indian society. People are repenting on their decision of casting vote in favour of Mr Modi. The situation needs a lot of sincere efforts for the reformation of the rapidly deforming Indian society. If the ill-feelings of the Indian people remain the same, it would become very difficult for Mr Modi to present himself as candidate in the next elections and same would be the fate of the BJP.