No cow, no beef, no slaughtering – Will Indian Muslims be able to celebrate Eidul Azha with zeal?

Published: September 2, 2017
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Muslims offer prayers before sacrificing a goat on Eidul Azha in Allahabad, India, December 9, 2008. PHOTO: AP

India at 70 is an entirely different country as compared to when it started its journey as an independent nation in the summer of 1947. It ranks amongst the leading economies of the world, sent a satellite to the moon, is nuclear-armed, and is a country admired by most.

But unfortunately, this progress cannot mask its ugly reality. In 1947, the most pressing challenge, other than economic development, was settling the dust of the Partition. It was an urgent and long-term necessity needed to create societal harmony. An atmosphere where the country’s secular and multicultural temperament would return to normalcy was imperative.

Decades of sustained effort paid off and secularism firmly entrenched itself in our soil, despite discouragement by some right-wing fringe groups. The entire idea of nation building is built upon harmony and honing diversity and multiculturalism, which India worked effortlessly towards. This effort was important in order to heal the wounds of the Partition and weaken the religious fault lines.

The Hindu right-wing has always been a lurking danger, but the masses rejected their version of politics. However, with the gradual decline of the Congress party and some of the strong centrist regional players, the Hindu right-wing managed to move beyond the periphery, and today, it occupies mainstream politics in India. For the first time in independent India’s history, they managed to achieve a full majority in the parliament in 2014.

This date is proving to be a turning point in India’s history. A political force which has always advocated for the Two-Nation Theory and promotes religious divide has become the ruling force and the result of this is evident in today’s India.

Never before in independent India’s history has a Muslim felt as insecure as they do now. The 14.2% Muslim population has been reduced to such a state where their ethos, culture and history are being questioned. There have been numerous systematic attempts aimed at reducing the Islamic culture and history in India. They are now being made to look like aliens in their own country. This is evident through the beef banclosure of abattoirs and forcing the Muslim minority to sing the Indian national anthem in order to prove their patriotism.

Today, the situation is such that a Muslim is scared to carry any kind of meat with them. The spate of killings due to cow slaughter and beef eating has created a great fear psychosis in the minds of the Muslim minority. The decision to serve only vegetarian meals during Air India flights, the national carrier, also illustrates how parochial the present regime is.

The situation has come to such a pass that any harm to cows is automatically ascribed to Muslims. Every week, we come across a new story regarding cow-related violence. These attacks have reached unprecedented heights. The Agra episode, over a week ago, is a case in point where unknown assailants carried out acid attacks on cows and oxen. Even though the identity of the attackers is still unknown, the attack is being blamed on Muslims without any evidence whatsoever. This mind-set is an extremely dangerous addition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s version of India. So much so that now, Muslims prefer not to even carry food, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian, when they travel from one city to another. They would rather be safe than sorry.

This Eidul Azha, fear and apprehension within the Muslim minority as to how the religious occasion will play out is palpable. With extra vigilance being mounted on them by the Hindu right-wing government, it may not be as festive. Can Indian Muslims celebrate the occasion that revolves mainly around cow slaughtering and beef consumption with fervour and without any apprehension or hindrance? The blatant increase in beef lynchings and attacks on Muslims will prove to be a damper on the Muslim minority this Eidul Azha. There are rumours making rounds that some state governments have allegedly asked security agencies to register each and every animal sold during this religious occasion. However, the rumour is unverifiable.

Muslims have never been made to feel as outsiders by any government in power up until now, all thanks to Modi, whose regime derives its leitmotif from an anti-minority/anti-Muslim agenda.

It is not just the Muslim minority that consumes beef; a vast majority of Hindus, tribals and other minorities also consume beef. Forcing people to eat only vegetarian food is a direct attack on diversity and the democratic choices of Indians.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its patron, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), are not only tampering with history, they are also trying to alter the historical truth. Recently, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, which is under BJP’s control, history textbooks were alteredThey portrayed the local Rajput King Maharana Pratap as a victor in the famous Haldighati Battle in 1676 against the Mughal Emperor Akbar.

However, the correct historical truth is that Akbar defeated Pratap and ended up expanding his empire. By altering the historical details and facts, the BJP government wants to undermine Islamic history in India. They want to render the Muslims as a fringe religious group.

India at 70 faces a far graver crisis than it faced in 1947. It finds itself acting as a proponent of the Two-Nation Theory that wants India to be divided into two nations.

Santosh Arora

Santosh Arora

The blogger is a journalist from India.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Yogi Berra

    Muslims can eat Goat meat if they can afford it. In any case killing so many cows on single day is very disturbing to many Hindus. They do not approve of such practices.Recommend

  • kadwa sach

    Just as eating pork is a ‘no-no’ thing in Pakistan, so is cow slaughter in India where the religious sensitivity of the people has to be respected. I fail to see the purpose of this article. If you are critical of India not allowing cow slaughter, then Indians would also be justified in criticizing Pakistanis for not allowing the sale of pork and serving it in restaurants. Don’t throw stones at others when you live in a glass house, Sir. Writing such op-ed pieces is not serious journalism.Recommend

  • Test Test

    I dont know how this author comes to a conclusion that the Central government is forcing its citizens to become vegetarians. This is patently absurd. In India, state governments are in complete control of their own states and the central government has very little administrative responsibility in administering them. Almost 3/4th of India has a law against slaughtering cows and eating beef. This has nothing to do with BJP and Modi, this has been there since independence. The BJP state governments are enforcing this law but some previous governments ignored it. Now all other forms of meat is consumed and a majority of the population do consume meat but beef is not the staple diet of a majority of Indians including muslims, dalits and others. Just writing silly articles does not change that. What irritates the majority of people in India is the patently biased reporting by many media agencies which is what is reflected in votes as well.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Muslims are free to sacrifice goats.
    There is a reason why the “festival” is called Bakr-Eid.Recommend

  • wb

    “Never before in independent India’s history has a Muslim felt as insecure as they do now.”

    Correction. Never before in independent India’s history has Islamists and terrorists felt insecure as they do now. There will be more challenges and defeats for Islamists. Soon the government will clip the wings of Mullahs who have oppressed Muslim men and women alike with codified divorce laws which will take before a learned judge and not before a Mullah.Recommend

  • wb

    “It is not just the Muslim minority that consumes beef; a vast majority of Hindus, tribals and other minorities also consume beef.”

    More misinformation. Again you need to provide a valid link to prove your comment or profusely apologize to me and 1.2 billion Indians for your deliberate attempt to create communal riots and hurt religious sentiments of over a billion people.Recommend

  • Cosmo

    Dialy bomb blasts, tabking economy, honor-killings, street rapes and tatget killings. Can Pakistan Muslim celebrate Eid with zeal?

    Oh, I almost forgot about Ahmadias, forget celebrating Eid, are they able to survive in Pakistan with their head above water?

    Quit Defining Pakistan as being Anti-India and and find your own Identity!Recommend

  • genesys

    India at 70 faces a far graver crisis than it faced in 1947..what an extraordinary conclusion all because one group of people cannot slaughter cows.Amazing logic!!Recommend

  • M. S. Chaudhry

    There are other animals which can be sacrificed. When we go to a doctor, the first thing he would say is to refrain from eating beef. I don’t understand why Indian Muslims are so fond of eating beef. Recommend

  • kp

    psuedo, Country will be governed by law not anyone’s faith. Law says close all illegal slaughters so be it.Mr. arora if you are going to settle down in Pakistan or somalia, i will be more then happy to book your tickets.Recommend

  • SHAH S

    Time is coming when there will be No Muslims in Hindus–tan, but only Hindus with Muslim Names; Actually, Hindus and so called Muslims in Hindus–tan must understand that in Islam even Cow is not allowed to be slaughtered, only Bulls, Male Goats, Male Sheep and non egg laying chickens; In Islam also, the Slaughter for Qurbani & Sadaqa MUST be Male animal … No Female animal slaughtered is permissible… So, if the Law is passed in Hindus–tan that female Cows cannot be slaughtered, so be it; Then the slaughter of Male Bull, Steer, should not be an issue with Hindus and Muslims as well as anybody else including Hindus who want to eat Beef also, then has no issue ; as the Cow, the female Cow, is then protected and worshiped by Hindus as required;Recommend

  • Keyboard Soldier

    It’s a Hindu thing, and majority is authority.Recommend

  • stevenson

    If the majority of Indians respect cows and don’t eat meat like Beef why can’t Indian Muslims learn to respect the feelings of majority Indians? How would we like it in Pakistan if others insisted on eating pigs which we don’t like?Recommend

  • Gingerman78

    No pigs, no pork in Porkistan. How are they getting by?Recommend

  • PorkSmasher

    Is it Bakri Eid or Cow Eid?Recommend

  • IBN E ASHFAQ

    Good Mr. Jinnah could see what happens to Muslims in India after 2016. He was a shrewd person………and we created Pakistan for Muslims……..May Allah bless him for his fortitude……….May Allah protect us our Pakistan……BJP has reinforced the two nation theory.Recommend

  • Supriya Bansal

    This man has an amazing sense of humour….coz u can only laugh at such stupid articles …India is a great country and barring the psuesdosecularisits all citizens (Hindu/Muslim/catholic/Parsis/sikhs/tribals/Dalits etcetc etc)feel SAFE ….Recommend

  • SuperNeo™

    Name of the festival in Bakr- EID , and In this particular nation they kill Camel , donkey, horse , Chicken and name any animal… on this particular day .
    and on other days of year they sacrifice Humans.Recommend

  • FreeTibet

    They can try chicken, goat, lamb or pork.Recommend

  • Shiv

    Celebrating Did with zeal – what does that mean? Slaughtering cows?Recommend

  • Yogee

    “celebrating” the death of an innocent animal is sickness in itself.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    In Arabic cow is “bakr”, from which the term “Bakri Eid” is derived.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    In Arabic the name for cow is “bakr”, from which the term “Bakri Eid” is derived. The correct term is Eid-al-Azha. You probably don’t know that Abraham was also a prophet of the Jews, some of whom also indulge in animal sacrifice (called “qurbano” in Hebrew).Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Cows contribute too much to global warming by emitting methane, a noxious gas. And beef is eaten not only by Muslims and Christians, but also by Hindus, Jews and practically every community on earth. Consumption of beef could reduce hunger in India, where 836 million people are desperately trying to survive on less than half a dollar a day (http://www.bhookh.com/hunger_facts.php)Recommend

  • Harry

    It is time Pakistan open it’s door to Indian Muslims to move in, and truly be homeland for South Asian Muslims. Recommend

  • Patwari

    Showing the pain of 1200 years of Muslim Rule and conquest.
    What about sati? They changed that yet? Recommend

  • Sane

    What you said is fully biased . Don’t you see killing of Muslims in Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kashmir and India. There are 56 Muslim countries. Recommend

  • wb

    Nice try.
    Consuming only vegetarian food is the only way to reduce hunger in the world. More vegetation and agricultural land is wasted in feeding animals that are consumed as food than in growing vegetables, pulses etc. By stopping eating all kinds of animals, the entire 7 billion on Earth can eat happily, sufficiently and hunger can virtually be eliminated on Earth if everyone becomes vegetarian. That’s why everyone must become vegetarian. Recommend

  • Hassan Mirza

    Sacrifice is the main purpose of Eid-ul-Adha todayRecommend

  • Yogi Berra

    We are talking about killing millions of animals on a single day. What happens to hygiene, public health safety and water pollution? And with rising Muslim population in India this becomes a critical question. We cannot allow small minority to do what they want to do with impunity regardless of public safety concerns. The public safety is foremost. We are not allowing even Hindus to carry out certain religious practices now a days. Allowing Muslims to do such barbaric things is ruled out.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    “Bakr” means small Camel in Arabic.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    No. The Arabic word for camel is “gamal”, cow is “baqarah”.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Pork is very much there, imported one being eaten by foreigners & if caught in the wild, non-Muslims (Christians) eat it.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Because beef, being a rich source of protein, is consumed not only by Muslims but also by Christians & Jews, as well as a significant number of Hindus in the U.S. & Europe.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    57, and Muslims are being killed in the rest of the world merely because they are Muslims!Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    So why don’t you force non-Hindus to drink cow piss & eat cow poop?Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Who told you that in Islam, cow cannot be slaughtered? Cow worship is not part of the original Hinduism, it started much later.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Pork is forbidden in all the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity & Islam), not because pig is sacred but because it is dirty & filthy. By the way, import of pork is allowed for consumption by foreigners and in some areas of Pakistan where wild boars are found, local Christians & Sikhs also eat it. I have never heard of anyone being arrested in Pakistan for consuming pork.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Of course there can be problems resulting from killing so many animals over 3 days (not one day, as you think). But In advanced Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc, there is no pollution, as they have good waste disposal systems.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    baqara
    NOT baqrRecommend

  • m Khan

    Sacrifice and Sharing with poor, needy, down-trodden, neighbors, friends i the main purpose of Eid-ul-Adha. Sacrifice is only part of it. Its the rich sacrifising his wealth and sharing with very poor and needdy is the main purpose of Eid-ul-Adha. Remember, only 1/3 of sacrificial food belongs to the rich enoug owner who paid 100% of the price from his side. Very important lession.Recommend

  • m Khan

    No you cannot. Camels are rarity. chicken are way too small for creating shares. Other meats are very expensive. Beef is cheap. Even Goat, Sheep and Lambs are expensive. The purpose of Bakrid is not “sacrifice” alone. Its sharing 2/3 of the sacrificed food with poor, needy, down-trodden and friends and relatives and neighbors. Despite paying 100% of the price, owner and his family can only eat 1/3 of the sacrificed meat. Very important lession in ‘giving’ and ‘caring’ and ‘sharing.’ A reason why big animal is preferred. young animal is preferred. healthy animal is preferred. Price drives everything as 2/3 of share belongs to someone else in the name of creator.Recommend

  • m Khan

    Ofcourse not. He is blinded by true hindutva hatred. They hide behind this pseudo-patriot theme and abuse everyone else.Recommend

  • m Khan

    But Majority hindus eat Madras Beef Curry and Kerala beef? So did ramji, lakshmanji, sitaji and during the vedic times. Beef was eated everywhere. What majorit authority you are talking about. No wonder you are reduced to being keyboard soldier.Recommend

  • m Khan

    Go to south India, east India. Entire south india upper caste brahmin eat beef. They love their madras beef curry, kerala beef and pork vindaloo. You’ll be surprise. Only one miss informed is you. Eating habits in India highly versatile. Not every state is pure vegan as you like to dream of it being.Recommend

  • Hassan Mirza

    Really is that what you doing ? The nation of Pakistan mind set is doing business on other people money will share any thing for others ?Recommend

  • wb

    Dear Shakir, first of all, Bakra Eid is a name given by the converts of Indian subcontinent. The original name of the festival is Edi ul Adha. By the way, there is no Z in Arabic. It’s all D. That distortion is also made by Indian converts.Recommend

  • wb

    I’m a South Indian Upper Caste Brahmin Atheist. Is that enough to expose how stupid and idiotic your lies are? I don’t eat beef. Nor do thousands of South Indian Brahmins that are my relatives, family and friends. In fact, all of them are vegetarians, although I eat meat.

    You Muslims have become fine experts at the art of Taqiyah.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Banarsi Mulla back again,…ooops!! Brahmini Mulla. Hope you wearing
    your janeo brahmini thread the right way. Always over right shoulder,
    or your secret will be out. Scheduled Caste to Brahmini overnite. Good!Recommend

  • Patwari

    Is it Lord Ganesha or Ganesh? How do they spell Genesha? Or Gonesh?Recommend

  • Patwari

    So sorry. But you are dead wrong. What about the roving bands
    of RSS hindu thugs hunting for Muslims in every major city of
    Hindu Desh? Church burnings/vandalizing in Delhi. A whole cathedral
    up in flames in Maharashtra. [Home the fierce Rajputs, who ran
    pell mell when they saw Akbar’s armies. Or in the 1965 war the Rajputs,
    mostly skittered back and hid in Amritsar, where they were court martialed.
    Should we go on to whole Muslims villages set afire in Meghalaya and
    Manipur? How about the genocide of the indigenous in Arunachal Pradesh?
    The Christians in Kerala? Sikkim? Ladakh?Recommend

  • Patwari

    Paks are getting along very well. Eating cow steaks, cow stews, tandoori cow,
    BBQed cow, cow ground beef [qeema for you] cow payas, [delicious!] cow nihari.
    This could go on for 10 pages.
    Say, you hindus can deliver the excess cows to the border. The Paks will be delighted
    to take care of the rest.Recommend

  • Patwari

    The Muslims don’t make a big production of eating beef. They eat in the
    privacy of their homes. Or in restaurants that cater to Muslims. Muslims
    don’t go about flashing beef steaks or bulging pockets of beef. Or gnawing
    on choice beef ribs in bazaars and malls or neighborhoods. You get the drift?
    How about the hindus in England tell the British how their feelings are hurt
    each time they go to the supermarket and see freshly slaughtered beef.
    Same thing goes for Australia, New Zealand, France, and specially, specially
    the US where they love beef. .Recommend

  • Patwari

    Share. Well maybe not with YOU. They might run you out of town.
    Be sure you keep your running shoes handy. Strapped to your waist.
    You never when you might need to run.
    When YOU are running, do zigzags. You’ll be hard to catch.Recommend

  • Patwari

    You mean in Hindustan? Yes, they have BJP/RSS /Shiv Sena goons
    killing Muslims everywhere.
    First there has to be a crowd of about 500 hindus. To built up the courage
    to kill a Muslim. A mob of 300 to 400 hindus will not do. Like hyenas.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Well, see, for a hindu like you to hide behind a Muslim
    name says a lot. Recommend

  • Patwari

    But,…but,…see,..you,..er..said you are from Banaras.
    A Brahmini hindu mulla from Banaras. You just changed
    your caste to brahmini, recently, [whatever that caste is]..
    So now you moved to south Hindustan? That can help
    if you are trying to escape caste discrimination. Nobody
    in south Bharat knows your true caste. So it’s OK. No worries.
    Just wear your janeo thread correctly.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Nope Brahmini. Nope. Ain’t going to work. Just about
    everyone loves hot, thick, juicy, beef steaks, just off the grill.
    Some black pepper, steak sauce, maybe corn, some baked
    potato,…there…nirvana!Recommend

  • Hassan Mirza

    Things for free nation going around and around and waste time in words and do nothing Practically keep it up lolRecommend

  • Sane

    What about death of an innocent Muslim? Is this sickness or jubilation?Recommend

  • wb

    And you know by experience a Muslim is no match to a Brahmin.Recommend

  • wb

    We pray to Allah, that’s why we beat Pakistan four times!!! Don’t you know, Allah hates Pakistanis?!!!!Recommend

  • wb

    Replace RSS and Hindu with Islamists and Islam and you’ll get all answers, my love!!!Recommend

  • wb

    Doesn’t matter Hindu name or a Muslim name, a Brahmin will always be infinitely superior to a Muslim like you!!!!Recommend

  • wb

    I’m a Dalit posing as a Brahmin. Only yesterday I stopped eating beef, because Brahmins beat me up.

    But, I still am infinitely superior to any Muslim. And a Muslim is untouchable to me. Recommend

  • Rajiv

    How come you don’t even have a Disqus ID?Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    You see, it is only the inconsiderate Muslims who do not care about the religious sentiments of other religion while asking all privileges for themselves. Even Chinese/Koreans/Vietnamese living in US/European countries do not eat Dogs knownig very well how would it hurt the sentiments of those people. Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    How about Sacrificing your Child like Abraham tried and see if God exists? May be all this bloodshed is for nothing.Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    That was the idea behind two nation theory but Muslims lot was a selfish, greedy and Dishonest. It backed down on it’s words.Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    LOL. Thats why 90000 surrendered in front of 3000. :D.Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    So Saudis killing Yemenese, West Punjabis killing Bengalis, Shias killing Sunnis, Sunnis blowing up Shias,Turkish killing Kurdish, Sunnis killing Hazaras, this is all because of NON Muslims. You guy are pathetic actually.Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    The Muslims who were ruling died long time back. Last one died in a cell in Rangoon. Moreover you wanted to attain some sort of social upliftment as you were considered “untouchables” but nothing changed much. Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    You can not be farther from the truth. It is not cows who are causing the global warming. It is the food required to raise these cows which is responsible for clearing up forest area. In US, raising a cow is more dearer as one needs to produce a large quantity of grass for them. Reducing consumption of beef would actually reduce global warming There are many more way to get protein but it is the intolerance of Muslims. They are adamant on killing an animal that majority revers as pious.

    Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav

    If Muslims of India can not celebrate Eid without killing cows and hurting the religious sentiments of Majority of Hindus, they are free to move out of India. Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Well, good idea.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Where is the proof?Recommend

  • Yogi Berra

    Beef eating has not reduced hunger and poverty in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh. Get your facts right.Recommend

  • Yogi Berra

    That is why I am saying animal slaughter should not be allowed in public places. Only in government approved slaughter houses. If there is no capacity to slaughter so many million animals due to exploding population of Muslims then people should refrain from such harmful illegal practices.Recommend

  • m Khan

    well, even every hindu is migrated into india 50,000 years ago from Africa thru Arabia and it has proven through genetics and DNA testing in last 10 yrs despite whatever your fake subramanium harvard kicked out pseudo-patriot tells you. Hide all you want. Deny all you want.Recommend

  • m Khan

    Madras Beef Curry is a FACT. Kerala Beef is a FACT. Deny all you want. Beef is eaten everywhere in south India. and East India. Deny all you want. Hindutva belt is only North and West Indian upper cast vegetarian India. Thats about it.Recommend

  • Niraj Bishnoi

    from where do you get such currupt information. Hindus never convert, never-ever. Recommend

  • Niraj Bishnoi

    No hindu eat beef, if he does his Hinduship ends right thereRecommend

  • Niraj Bishnoi

    Really Muslims are very Selfish, they want Bangladesh in Pakistan, they seek Kashmir for Pakistan and live in India. Recommend

  • vinsin

    Are they available in restaurant. Suppose Jinnah comes and order his favorite meat and wine, will he be served?Recommend

  • vinsin

    You can always order, India export beef in large quantity.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Hindus do not get pork in Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • gp65

    Wrong. Arabs never call it Bakr Eid. So the term is not derived from that. It is called Bakri Eid in the Indian subcontinent because it was a norm to sacrifice a goat. Anyway there were no cows in Arab world during the prophet’s time and no tradition of slaughtering a cow during Eid.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani