Pehlu Khan never knew that death was already waiting for him on the National Highway 8 in the Behror area of Alwar. The idea of a milch cow over buffalo cost him a life. He was dragged and beaten till death.
This onslaught by Gau Rakshaks was horrific and outrageous. It is not only an attack on the minority rights but a big slap on the Indian constitution which brags of secularism. The wave of Hindu nationalism seems to be snowballing and it is pushing minorities into deep paranoia.
In the contemporary war torn and chaotic world of the northern hemisphere stability can only be achieved by complete separation between religious and state affairs. Indonesia – the largest Muslim population state, Turkey, Malaysia are noteworthy examples of developed nations where state and religion is completely segregated.
Enacted in the 42nd Amendment of Constitution of India in the year 1976, the preamble to the Constitution asserts that India is a secular nation and shall ensure equal treatment of all religions in the state, the basic tenet of secularism were therefore, already present in the constitution.
But the current ruling party of India has smudged the flag of pluralism and has created a niche for religious extremism since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With more than 60 per cent population living under the rule of BJP the thread of secularism is at its weakest today. The cow vigilantes are there out in the open, and seem to have launched a purge. Supported and protected by state establishment, they make haste in slaughtering a human being for his fallacious role in carrying cow meat.
The second most populated country of the world with 1.252 billion souls, India is an amalgamation of various religious beliefs. According to 2011 census: the Hindus constitute 80%, Muslims- 13.4%, Christians- 2.3%, Sikhs- 1.9%, Buddhists- 0.8%, Jains- 0.4% of the population.
Being an archetype of syncretism, the prosperity of India lies in the concept of secularism. The administration has to draft the rules that allow Hindus to follow their religion and at the same time protect Muslims from being lynched. The practice of worshiping a cow by one religion and its slaughter by another religion will not go hand in hand. The representatives sitting there on the cozy chairs have the duty to respect all religions.
This continuous brutal onslaught on minorities will have terrible repercussions. The time has come to re-implement the vision of B R Ambedkar and Jawahar Lal Nehru who kept religion to themselves and propagated pluralism and egalitarian rights on the streets.