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Peacock & bull story: Rajasthan judge paves the way for cow-goons to run amok

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 31 May 2017, 18:23 IST
(Arya Sharma)

The pace at which a strange kind of madness is overtaking this country is unbelievable. As if outlaws thrashing and killing people in the name of the cow was not enough, protectors of law have now decide to join them from their end of the spectrum. The Rajasthan High Court's recommendation to the Centre to make the cow the national animal shows that we have now arrived at a ridiculous stage where an institution no less than the judiciary is throwing mindless stuff at us.

Interestingly, Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma gave this recommendation just hours before retiring from service. He was hearing a petition against the Hingonia Gaushala, a government-run cowshed in Jaipur, where more than a hundred cows had been found dead last year. Apparently pained at the disaster, the judge also suggested that cow slaughter should be made punishable by life imprisonment.

The judge did not mention what would he want done to the current occupant of that proud position, the Bengal tiger. Does Justice Sharma want the tiger to be replaced or simply adjust with the cow? Maybe he wants both of them to serve in the position by rotation, but that is not even the beginning of the arguments that make this “recommendation” problematic.

The judge gave an even more bizarre clarification comparing cows to peacocks and saying that peahens need to just swallow the tears of the peacock in order to get pregnant.

The statement has come at a time when a sinister brand of cow-politics is on the rampage across the country like never before. Thugs are attacking people all over the country on the pretext of cow-protection and nowhere are they being brought to book. From police to politicians, administration too is conveniently siding with these so-called cow-vigilantes.

And then there is the attempt by the BJP-led Union government to dictate the food habits of people across the country, through its recent order banning sale of cattle for slaughter in markets. The order, its votaries say, is only meant to discourage cattle smuggling, but deeply embedded in it is the Sangh Parivar's agenda of homegenising Indian society. It wants all Indians to share its belief that the cow is an object of worship, completely overruling the fact that many Indians do not feel that way.

For a very large number of Indians, the cow is just another animal. Even those who domesticate cows get rid of them when they stop giving milk and these include upper-caste Hindus, not Dalits, Muslims and Christians against whom the Sangh Parivar harbours pathological hatred. Justice Sharma's recommendation, just like the Centre's cattle-trade ban, totally ramrods any other view of the cow, other than as an object of worship.

With his statement, the judge has not merely played into the hands of this radical lobby, he has become an agent of their agenda. Hindu right-wing fundamentalists will now present his words as some kind of a Constitutional defence of their violence, which is such a fallacy. Only the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution talk about prohibiting the slaughter of cows and even there the supporting argument is organising “agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines”.

The cow-goons will have none of it now. Show them the law and they will show you Justice Sharma's observations.

First published: 31 May 2017, 18:23 IST
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.