On Beef and Communalism

Recent developments in the political scenario does not point to tranquility, it shows us the obverse. The Central Government has been accus...

Recent developments in the political scenario does not point to tranquility, it shows us the obverse. The Central Government has been accused with one of the most undignified allegation of fanning communal hatred among sections. And one of the most vehement, unrelenting critic is the Congress, which seems to be rather justified in its "protest" against the rift that the present government is trying to create. People have witnessed mud-slinging amongst the political parties, and loyalist SRK fans have been bewildered to hear their idol labelled a "Pakistani agent". There has been a lot of highs and lows, a lot of drama, and a pinch of sincere worry between this meddle. However, one burning question remains: should the people be allowed to have beef? (pun intended)

I commend the Delhi High Court's decision to quash a PIL seeking a ban on the sale of beef and cow slaughter last week. I might just have been prosecuted for seditious propaganda, had the much-loathed section 66(A) (IT Act, silly) not been struck down by the apex court.  I am confident that most citizens abide by the tone of secularism, and the vast majority do not want sectarian clashes. Therefore, I have the free liberty to put up some interesting observations; and I believe they are the concerns of the society at large.

There are some obvious fringe elements present in the BJP. From Yogi Adityanath to Uma Bharti, these people have at times, dared to openly criticise the Muslim population. They bear no remorse for their past statements and stand by it till date. To top it all, VK Singh's inappropriately timed comment, tagging the minority Muslim population as "dogs" is downright despicable. Despite repeated reminders from the first citizen of the nation, certain people just don't get it; and there is no possibility they would in the near future.

What brings in a stark contrast is Modi's silence on these issues. If an entire nation expresses its outrage over some particular incident worthy of condemnation, should the PM not join in to express his views? Or is it some sort of a North Korean democracy where people are virtually shut off from the government?  Most of the mess is cleaned up by some top-rung ministers, but the absence of the de facto leader is conspicuous by itself. Twitterati conveyed its displeasure at Modi's wishing Navjot Singh Siddhu, who suffered from an acute deep vein thrombosis, at a time the Dadri lynching took the country by a storm.

There have been some allegations put forward against the media. Veteran politicians have charged the media of 'hyping' incidents of communal distress. While Arnab Goswami has battled it out with his stereotypical unbeatable shouts, the fact is clear: The media is just doing its job. Whether it is paid media or not, such incidents ought to be reported, and every citizen of India has the right to know what is happening around him or her. Censoring the media would result in even greater pitches for essential freedoms from the opposition.

The point is, why not let the common man live his life? Bringing in religion out of nowhere is just thoughtless and irrational. To put it in plain words, some people love to hatch controversy out of nothing. Take for example, the right-wing Shiv Sena. It exerts such influence that Ghulam Ali's concerts have to be rescheduled. It commands such power that it blackens Sudheendra Kulkarni's face, the event manager of a book launch episode of Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, a former Pakistani foreign minister. And the police smells a whiff of nothing.

There have been cases where respected and eminent people from the fields of humanities, science, filmography and art have returned their national awards to protest against what they term as "growing intolerance". They are absolutely legitimate concerns that the Union Government is trying to downplay. It is high time to stand up and take action. Let us pledge not to indulge in activities that promote a theistic ideology. India has survived over the years due to its nature of religious tolerance. After all, isn't it better not to disturb the fine tune of ethnic harmony?

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  1. Very useful article. Very interesting to read this article. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

  2. Good effort!!! But you've simply stated the facts; it could've been better had you written from an acerbic, avant-garde perspective, which Arundhati Roy does to success...

  3. Appreciate your input. Will try to incorporate your suggestions in future posts.

  4. Keep up your efforts Dipankan. Extremely useful and informative articles are updated here.