This story first appeared here on June 5, 2017.
The Hindutva juggernaut which rode on with Ram, love jihaad and ghar wapsi on top of it, is riding with cow this time. There have been countless incidents of lynching, maiming and robbing of Muslims and Dalits in the name of saving holy cows. It is to be noted that there are large number of such attacks which go unreported. The videos of such lynching and maiming uploaded on the social media by the perpetrators as instances of latter’s bravado are horrendous and blood curdlingcomparable only to the violence during Partition. This spectacle clearly shows the collusion of State with the criminals who fear no law. These shameful visuals show how brazenly Hindutva perpetrators make merry, celebrate and enjoy the ‘game’ of lynching. These criminals who are out on religious duty of saving holy cows are worldly mortals also. This is proved when we find them robbing the victims before lynching.
This killer cow juggernaut continues to roll down despite our PM, a senior RSS leader, describing most of these lovers of ‘gaumaataa’ in August 2016, as anti-social elements. According to him: “It makes me angry that people are running shops in the name of cow protection…Some people indulge in anti-social activities at night, and in the day masquerade as cow protectors.”[i]
If despite this strong rebuttal by the PM, almost one year back, violence in the name of cow has become more common, covering larger areas of India, more strident and beyond control; it may have either of the two following explanations. Firstly, PM playing to the gallery spoke those words in order to diffuse the social anger against such criminal activities. Secondly, the current cow vigilantes are the ones who are not anti-social elements but fall into the category which has Prime Ministerial approval and sanction as genuine holy cow saviours. There is no doubt, these gangsters have sanction of the RSS and law and order machinery.
Unfortunately, judiciary which is supposed to ensure that Indian rulers govern as per rule of the law and many times calls for scrutiny the issues of public concern before it has so far kept quiet emboldening the criminals. In fact, a judge of Rajasthan High Court instead of looking into the atrocities being committed by the cow saviours (Rajasthan tops in cow violence and recently witnessed horrendous public lynching of Pelu Khan; the perpetrators uploading full video of the lynching)[ii]ordered that cow be made a national animal and anybody found killing it should be given death sentence.[iii]
Indian home minister, Rajnath Singh, a prominent ideologue in the RSS hierarchy, even invented a ‘scientific’ reason for holiness of cow. While referring to a report of the US department of Agriculture he told a gathering of the RSS leaders that “80% of genes found in the cow are found in humans too” he called upon Indians to “save and worshipcow”.[iv]
Not surprisingly, as RSS cadre Singh was very selective, partisan and wrong. The findings of a leading English daily of India, based on a world acclaimed journal SCIENCE show that many other animals have greater percentage of genes like human beings. Chimpanzees, cats, mouse, dogs have 96%, 90%, 85% and 84% respectively genes like human beings. These are not only animals but even fruits; bananas having 60% similar genes.[v] It is to be seen when Rajnath Singh is going to announce these species also as HOLY! We also need to know from him whether minorities and Dalits are human beings tooto be saved from lynching.
The latest victims have been the beef-eaters of IIT-M (this institute at Chennai continues with older nomenclature of the city Madras) who were victims of murderous attack by the ABVP (RSS student wing) activists in the campus.[vi] The continuing murderous attacks by the Hindutva cadres in the name of cow make one thing very clear that these fascist elements are totally illiterate about present day India and have absolutely no knowledge of India’s history, specially Vedic history which they glorify as golden period.
If somebody is looking for a gurukul or university to graduate in deceit and lies, doubtlessly, the RSS will be his or her best choice. Its mastery over this trait is unparalleled and is proved once again by its criminal disregard of facts on the controversy over beef-eating in Indian history by Hindus of India. It aggressively claims that beef-eating started in India with the arrival of Muslims as rulers who initiated and subsequently popularized it in order to denigrate Hindus and their holy symbols. Golwalkar, a shameless liar while responding to a question, “How did cow slaughter begin in our country [India]?” replied, “It began with the coming of foreign invaders to our country. In order to reduce the population to slavery, they thought that the best method to be adapted was to stamp out every vestige of self-respect in Hindus…In that line cow slaughter also began”.[vii]
Such propaganda helps the Hindutva gang in terrorizing the largest minority and Dalits of India who consume beef and are in its trade. It is to be noted here that since the early 20th century, coinciding with the rise of Hindutva politics, cow has been the most important issue which has triggered the maximum cases of violence against the Muslims and Dalits of the country. It is immaterial to the Indian heirs of Nazi propagandist Paul Joseph Goebbels that the claim that beef-eating started with the arrival of Muslims in India is not even in keeping with the Vedic version of history as narrated by ‘Hindu’ chroniclers..
Swami Vivekananda, regarded as a philosopher of Hindutva by the RSS, while addressing a meeting at the Shakespeare Club, Pasadena, California, USA (February 2, 1900) on the theme of ‘Buddhistic India’, declared:
“You will be astonished if I tell you that, according to old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it.”[viii]
This is corroborated by other research works sponsored by the Ramakrishna Mission established by Vivekananda. According to C. Kunhan Raja, a prominent authority on the history and culture of the Vedic period:
“The Vedic Aryans, including the Brahmanas, ate fish, meat and even beef. A distinguished guest was honoured with beef served at a meal. Although the Vedic Aryans ate beef, milch cows were not killed. One of the words that designated cow was aghnya (what shall not be killed). But a guest was a goghna (one for whom a cow is killed). It is only bulls, barren cows and calves that were killed.”[ix]
One of the greatest researcher and authority on Indian politics, religions and culture produced a brilliant essay on the subject titled ‘Did the Hindus Never Eat Beef?’ All those who are really interested in understanding the Indian past and wish to challenge the supremacist myth making for cleansing and marginalizing minorities must read this monumental work of Dr. Ambedkar.[x]
Dr. Ambedkar after studying very large number of Vedic and Hindu scriptures arrived at the conclusion that, “when the learned Brahmins argue that the Hindus not only never ate beef but they always held the cow to be sacred and were always opposed to the killing of the cow, it is impossible to accept their view”.
Interestingly, the findings of Ambedkar were that cows were sacrificed and beef consumed because COWS were HOLY. According to Ambedkar: “It was not thatthe cow was not sacred in Vedic times, it was because of her sacredness that it is ordained in the Vajasaneyi Samhita that beef should be eaten.” (Dharma Shastra Vichar in Marathi, p. 180). That the Aryans of the Rig Veda did kill cows for purposes of food and ate beef is abundantly clear from the Rig Veda itself. In Rig Veda (X. 86.14) Indra says: ‘They cook for one 15 plus twenty oxen’. The Rig Veda (X.91.14) says that for Agni were sacrificed horses, bulls, oxen, barren cows and rams. From the Rig Veda (X.72.6) it appears that the cow was killed with a sword or axe.”
Ambedkar concluded his essay with the following words: “With this evidence no one can doubt that there was a time when Hindus, both Brahmins and non-Brahmins, ate not only flesh but also beef.”[xi]
The violence unleashed by Hindutva cadres on vulnerable sections of Indians also underscores hypocrisy as an integral trait of the RSS. In fact, to say that it indulged in double/triple speak would be an understatement in its case. RSS cadres are killing indiscreetly poor Indians, not only for slaughtering cows but for even transporting these animals. At the same time RSS/BJP are ruling single-handedly States of Goa, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal and Manipur where cow slaughter is legal and beef is staple diet. The RSS dictum seems to be that in some areas you will go to hell for slaughtering COWS and in some areas you will rule for slaughtering COWS.
There are studies available which show that ban on cow trade and ban on beef is going to put Indian farmers under more severe burden who are already facing crisis of existence. After Modi government’s coming to power farmers suicides have increased by 30% and ban on cow sale is going to play havoc with farmers.
In fact, Sharad Pawar, a seasoned politician who learnt his politics as a leader of farmers has come out with an amazing proposal. According to him as Modi government is banning cow trade and slaughter under the diktats of RSS, the affected farmers who cannot afford to feed barren cows should leave them with RSS organizations to SERVE these HOLY COWS. It should not be a problem for RSS as it is one of the largest colonizers of land after government in India He has even demanded that RSS should turn its headquarter at Resham Bagh, Nagpur into a GAUSHALA so that individual farmers are not forced to feed such cows.
One not so hidden agenda of the holy war on cow seems to be to destroy the economy of Qureshis (who are in meat traders) among Muslims and Dalits who control skin processing. It is also to see the death of industry which at the retail level is almost in the unorganized sector. This will open Indian meat market to world meat processing cartels.
RSS trained in fascist culture practises multiple agendas with multiple tongues. Whenever one polarizing agenda loses steam or becomes controversially hot the same is abandoned and a new polarising issue is taken out from the hat. Going around polarizing with Ram temple, ghar-wapsi (conversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism), love-jihaad, now it is the turn of cow to divide India. The issue of cow as the only issue faced by India today is also an attempt to divert attention from poverty, unemployment, riots, violence against Dalits minorities and women. The RSS/BJP rulers believe that they can fool all the people all the times. They will prove wrong, that is sure, but by the time it happens democratic-secular India is going to have terrible time.
[vii]MS Golwalkar, Spotlight, Bangalore, Sahitya Sindhu (RSS publication house), 1974, p. 98
[viii]Vivekananda, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, vol. 3 (Calcutta: Advaita Ashram, 1997), p. 536.
[ix]C. Kunhan Raja, „Vedic Culture‟, cited in the series, Suniti Kumar Chatterji and others (eds.), The Cultural Heritage of India, vol. 1 (Calcutta: The Ramakrishna Mission, 1993), p. 217.
[x]B. R. Ambedkar, ‘Did the Hindus never eat beef?’ in The Untouchables:Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, vol. 7, (Government of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1990, first edition 1948) pp. 323-328.] https://countercurrents.org/ambedkar050315.htm
Also see great work by Professor DN Jha, The Myth of the Holy Cow, link: https://archive.org/details/TheMythOfHolyCowJha
[xi]B. R. Ambedkar, ‘Did the Hindus never eat beef?’ in The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, vol. 7, (Government of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1990, first edition 1948) pp. 323-328.