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Shaadaab S. Bakht: Cow is holy, so is life
July 27, 2018
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ON COW VIGILANTES 
 
 
Like an un-crinkled chrysanthemum the smile was. It had two characteristics. First, it wasn’t manufactured, but spontaneous and flowed like a country brook covered in tranquillity. Secondly, it was enormously loaded. That could-have-been-life-changing smile was followed with a pat, which I think landed on my right youthful shoulder, naturally accommodative, not dependent on workouts for shape and untouched by life’s trepidations.

That pat came as we were walking the road that was subsequently to become our different paths. We had to be fenced off by the realities of our lives. And we were.

The pat was followed with words that were my initial lessons in racism in

the country I was born in and want to be buried in. The words: “We have many things in common, we admire the same literary masters, read the same dark novels, gorge on the same food, don’t use props to prop up our so-called presence, never follow the crowd, but, a big but, we go to different places of worship. The whole thing is so stupid, but real. It shouldn’t be given any weightage, but it always is. The world is dirty, but we are a part of it. We don’t care, but our parents do. And that makes it impossible.” And it remained impossible.

The pat was followed with words that were my initial lessons in racism in
the country I was born in and want to be buried in.
Therefore, I was not at all surprised to read what happened in Alwar district, Rajasthan, India, last week.

If we with all our liberal moorings couldn’t deal with religious segregation how could we expect some hapless villagers to do so?

In the above district a 28-year-old Muslim man was beaten to death by cow vigilantes and worshippers, the police said.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan condemned the incident in which some villagers caught and beat up Akbar Khan, calling him a cow smuggler, who would have helped the animal’s slaughter. (In some Indian states beef is eaten by Muslims and Christians.)

“The incident of alleged lynching of a person transporting bovines in the Alwar district is condemnable. Strictest possible action shall be taken against the perpetrators,” Raje tweeted.

Khan, a resident of Mewat in Rajasthan, was transporting the animals to his village along with another man when they were stopped by a group of cow worshippers near Lalawandi village in Alwar.

They were brutally thrashed, the office of Additional Director General Jaipur Range (ADGP), Ramgarh, received this information.

When the police team reached the spot they found an injured Khan lying in the mud. Two persons were standing there with two cows, ADGP Hemant Priyadarshi told the media.

Khan told the officers that he and his companion Aslam had purchased the cows from Ladpur and were on their way to their village when they were attacked.

“My limbs are broken,” said Khan covered in mud before collapsing. He was immediately rushed to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead. The victim and his perpetrator were sons of the soil, but separated by religion.

It is really unfortunate that religion, created essentially to civilise the primitive man, has become almost the singlemost reason for throttling relationships, ethnic rioting and communal murders at freewill. It has also become a politician’s weapon.

That is certainly not to suggest that we do away with religion. We don’t bring down the temple because the priest is corrupt.

Because the fault lies not in our scriptures, but in our minds. Then what is the answer? Let’s play freedom’s grandmaster, not illiberality’s slave; tolerance’s campaigner, not prejudice’s bedfellow and love’s suitor, not hatred’s pimp.  
 
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