Friday, 7 April 2017

Cow Slaughter Ban

There has been hullabaloo in the name of caw slaughter, especially on banning it or not. People with so-called secular mindset make a lot of tantrum, when it comes to banning cow slaughter. The Hardliners Hindus however are the ardent advocates of proscribing it for the sake of Hinduism.

Here I would like to highlight Gandhiji `s view on this topic …..
“I have been long pledged to serve the cow but how can my religion also be the religion of the rest of the Indians? It will mean coercion against those Indians who are not Hindus. We have been shouting from the house-tops that there will be no coercion in the matter of religion. ...if anyone were to force me (religiously) I would not like it. How can I force anyone not to slaughter cows unless he is himself so disposed?”
I do support his views. Why we should follow some other country’s path of hard line in the matter of religion, when ours is a   more than 100 yrs old heritage of being the world guru ,the leader in the path of humanism ,tradition, values ,tolerance so on and so forth. Let’s be apart from other nations and follow our forefathers’ path of humanism. And just for the sake of humanity we should ban cow slaughter. And we need to promote it so that others who prefer beef or meat should too join this campaign, not by killing or threatening them, etc.
Let’s peep into the history of the long saga of banning cow slaughter to have a better insight to this story;
I am going to present the whole issue in small and precise pieces of deeply researched material. So, the whole article will come in serial order. Read it, enjoy it and share it for more awareness around. In the first part I’ll present the historical insight of the concerned issue which is as follows:

Ancient India     
The cow has been a symbol of wealth in India since ancient times. However, they were neither inviolable nor revered in the way they are today. Rather, in the Vedic period buffaloes and bulls were frequently slaughtered, both for consumption as well as religious (offerings) purposes. Cattle slaughter and beef eating began to be a disdain by lawgivers from the middle of the first millennium. 
The cow was possibly revered because Hindus relied heavily on it for dairy products and for tilling the fields, and on cow dung as a source of fuel and fertilizer. Thus, the cow’s status as a "caretaker" led to identifying it as an almost maternal figure (hence the term gau mata (mother cow)). Buddha pointed out that ritualistic practices like animal sacrifices are not good. This became one of the core preachings of Buddhism, which was later adopted by Hinduism .Jainism also played a role in cow protection idea in Hinduism.

Hinduism is based on the concept of omnipresence of the divine, and the presence of a soul in all creations including bovine. God Krishna, one of the incarnations (Avatar) of Vishnu, is widely portrayed as  one of the greatest protectors of cows. The cow and bull represent the symbol of Dharma.
According to legend, Chola King Manu Needhi Cholan killed his own son to provide justice to a cow. The king hung a giant bell in front of his courtroom for anyone needing justice to ring. One day, he came out on hearing the ringing of the bell by a cow. Upon inquiry, he found that the calf of that cow was killed under the wheels of his son's chariot. In order to provide justice to the cow, he killed his own son Veedhividangan in the manner the calf had been killed.

Medieval India
Cow slaughter again became prominent in India in the medieval age after 1000 AD, when parts of India was invaded by various Islamic rulers of Arab and Central Asian Turkic origin. According to Islamic traditions in Arab countries, goats and sheep were killed as a token of  sacrifice. On special occasions they would sacrifice camels. Islamic rulers, from Central and West Asia were not habituated to eating beef, as there were no cows in Arab countries. After Islamic rulers arrived in India, they began sacrificing cows, particularly on the occasion of Bakri-Id.

The Mughal emperor Humayun stopped eating beef after the killing of cows in a Hindu territory by his soldiers led to clashes, according to the Tezkerah al-Vakiat.[45] Later Mughal emperors Akbar (reign: 1556 – 1605), Jahangir (1605 – 1627), and Ahmad Shah (1748 – 1754), it is said, imposed selective restricted bans on cow slaughter.

The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar banned cow slaughter in 1857 in the territories he nominally controlled, a couple of months before being deposed and deported to Burma by the British. Zafar banned the butchery of cows, forbade the eating of beef and authorised for anyone found killing a cow the terrible punishment of being blown from a canon.
Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire and Maharaja from 1801 to 1839, banned cow slaughter throughout his domains.[39] Ralph Fitch, a gentleman merchant of London and one of the earliest English travellers to India wrote a letter home in 1580 stating, "They have a very strange order among them - they worship a cow and esteem much of the cow's dung to paint the walls of their houses ... They eat no flesh, but live by roots and rice and milk.”

Hyder Ali, sultan and de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1761 to 1782, made cow slaughter an offence punishable with the cutting of the hands of the offenders.
The Maratha Empire took extensive steps to inhibit cow slaughter. In 1683, Sambhaji, the eldest son of Shivaji, is said to have executed a "Mahomedan of rank" for having killed a cow. Two Muslim butchers were publicly executed in Pune in 1775, for killing a cow and selling its meat.
 I’ll be back with the 2nd series of the article next day.Till then keep reading and liking my articles.
                                                         ----Aparna Jha


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