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.

  • PorkSmasher

    Is it Bakri Eid or Cow Eid?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

  • 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

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Rajiv

    Well, good idea.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    Where is the proof?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