In an extremely sad move, inching closer to complete Hinduization of this country, Karnataka government headed by the Hindu right wing political party BJP, has passed a bill to ban cow slaughter, making sale, consumption and possession of beef a punishable offense up to seven years.
India was never a secular country. It has been including many elements of bowing down to blind and irrational religious sentiments and made them laws to impose it onto everyone. India is becoming more and more of a Hindu country much to the celebration of Hindutva supporters. With these moves India is moving away from ideal of becoming a safe place for practice of one’s faith without intervention of state as protected in Article 25 of Indian Constitution.
This is clear case of a Hindu majority, dominated by upper caste version of Hinduism where cow is a sacred animal, imposing its will on other religions and lower caste Hindus. Beef is a food to many people just like chicken or mutton. State has no right to impose what people of this country can eat or not eat, unless the animal species under consideration is deemed a protected species. Making an animal sacred is not the domain of a secular country.
It’s a sad day for India as Karnataka joins the growing number of states which has banned cow slaughter and consumption of beef. Many Muslims and lower caste Hindus eat beef. There are many people working in this trade. For many poor people beef is a cheap meat and good source of protein. There are many restaurants where beef is on the menu. Some Indians, irrespective of their religion, enjoy a good steak or a beef burger. Many foreigners living in Bangalore buy juicy steak in the selected shops to eat their food once in a while feeling at home in India. Now, all that is stopped because a certain version of Hinduism believes cow is a sacred animal. Adherents of that version of Hinduism have now imposed their will onto everyone else to decide what a whole state can eat and what it cannot.
This is a major setback to India’s promise towards making this a secular country where a person is free to practice his/her version of faith, and it is a step back from making India a mature democracy.