Travelling down the road in Mehruali I came upon her, lying near the dumpster, her body bloated, her milk-white skin stretched beyond boundaries. It was hours before the Delhi authorities noticed this cow, who died a slow death after feeding on vegetables wrapped in plastic bags. The number of cows that die in the city because they are left to scavenge from open bins by cattle owners is alarming. The plastic not only chokes the bovine, but it also forms a hard ball in the rumen of the cow, that eventually kills the animal. Death by plastic surely outnumbers the fictive number of cows that are being slaughtered and consumed by our Muslim brethren.
This Eid, it was with a sense of deep fear that the festival was ‘celebrated’. According to the scriptures, God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son to test his loyalty. When Abraham and his son submitted to God’s will, He ordained that a goat be sacrificed in place of his son. It, however, appears that some segments of our population have forgotten how to distinguish animals. In Mewat, Haryana, the police have taken over from the cow vigilantes and have been seen sniffing biriyani to ‘detect beef’ in the festive preparation. The matter is so grave that many of the poor stall owners, who earn some extra money during the festival, have shut shops out of fear. What is worse is that these charges are being made without any evidence and the sniffers have declared that they have found beef in some of the biriyani, just by smelling it!
If people’s lives weren’t at stake, one could almost laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Don’t the police have better jobs, like catching criminals? Unsurprisingly, the incident of a Muslim family being lynched in Mewat went unreported until recently. They were allegedly killed and their girls raped several times by a group of youth from the RSS.
In the name of being protectors of the cow, these self-styled vigilantes are looting, killing and raping innocent people. All this while the animal in question, is languishing at road crossings, eating off dustbins.
Worse still, self-styled godmen are whipping up communal tension among these vigilantes by propagating hate speech. Instead of new stores selling more products guaranteed to change your life, would it not be nice to see these cow protectors open some sheds to house the cattle and the government sanction some exclusive grazing lands. The footage of the rivers of blood in Dhaka misled certain sections of our society against the Muslim populace. Such polarisation does not auger well for settling matters in Kashmir as well.
Good work is being done, like the Plastic Cow Project by Karuna Society, which filed a petition for a complete ban on plastic bags. The society has also been performing rumenotomies (surgeries on the lower abdomen) and have removed up to 70 kg of plastic from a single cow. PM Narendra Modi can bring about a real change by aligning with groups like Karuna and distancing himself from the ‘vigilantes’.
He can set an example for the rest of the ruling party to follow.
Meanwhile, the violence in places like Mewat needs to be curbed, since stirring the communal cauldron can only lead to further polarisation. If the cows of our cities are well taken care of, the fear of the animals falling prey to cow slaughter or death by plastic is completely minimised.
Chairperson of Grievance Cell, All India Congress Committee