By Anurag Chaudhary:
I remember last year, around the same time, I was travelling by a tamtam in Rithala when I witnessed a mob near the Metro Station. It was an amusing sight. Around a hundred people were surrounding a man with a cow. A couple of Police vans were trying to pacify and break the crowd.
When I asked the tamtam driver, he answered,”Wo shayad Musalman hai. Gaai ko marne le jaa rha tha.” (Probably he is a Muslim. He was taking the cow to kill for meat.)
Via local media I learned the next day that, someone had spread a rumor about the ‘man with the cow‘ and people blocked his way in order to stop him from killing the cattle. In reality, he was a Hindu farmer, taking his cow to Bawana, his village. Or something like that.
In the same week, I remember a small riot breaking in Kishangunj district of Bihar between Hindu and Muslim communities. Reason? ‘Someone’ had put carcasses of a dead cow in a Shiv temple. It was ‘assumed’ that the ‘someone’ had been a Muslim, and hence public properties were harmed and a little violence was witnessed in that area. The incident was covered sparsely by media in order to ‘not provoke any religious sentiments’, and rightly so (maybe).
Nearly 360 days later, in Dadri, near the national capital, a mob of ‘old friends’ attacked a Muslim family, killed the man of the house (Akhlaq) and critically injured his son. Reason? The family was ‘rumored’ to have beef in their house. The news is the talk of the town at the moment, with nearly everyone echoing their sorrow via some media. Meanwhile, the cops had sent the meat, found in the house for forensics, in order to verify whether it is indeed ‘beef’ or not. I can’t help you if that does not sound ridiculous to you. Akhlaq’s life can’t be brought back. But what is the point of forensics? What if it was beef? Millions of people around the world consume the meat of ungulates. What is the desperation to give the mob a clean chit? It is plain stupid, sad and shameful. Maybe my lack of diction is making me understate the incident.
This is not just about consuming cow’s meat. Someday, you might hear about a mob of straight people lynching a person because, say, he is ‘rumored’ to be a homosexual. We boast (proudly enough), about how unprejudiced and forbearing our nation is. We are the largest democracy in the world where everyone has equal right to live in a lawful way, in peace and harmony. We say we are a ‘secular unit’. With all due love and respect to my country and its people, the Dadri incident makes this claim sound like “Ravindra Jadeja is the greatest all-rounder in the world.”
An acquaintance of mine once said, “At least we don’t discriminate based on color.” Very true, indeed. We don’t. We are not that miserable. Although, we do burn our brides for dowry. We do murder our girls in the womb. And, we do kill our countrymen ‘rumored’ of eating beef.
One cannot question our credibility. No, sir! Because we are in-‘credible’. ‘Incredible’ India!