Thursday, October 15, 2015

Troublemaking cows

Why the humble cow is India's most polarising animal - BBC News

Gee.  I hadn't realised the trouble cow reverence causes in modern India:
More seriously, most states forbid cow slaughter, and the ban on beef has been criticised by many because the meat is cheaper than chicken and fish and is a staple for the poorer Muslim,
tribal and dalit (formerly untouchable) communities.
Last month, a 50-year-old man in northern Uttar Pradesh was killed in a mob lynching over rumours that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home. Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence over the killing nearly two weeks later, members of his party thrashed an independent lawmaker in Kashmir for hosting a beef party.
Earlier this month, Hindus and Muslims clashed over rumours, again, of cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh. A row over banning beef is threatening to stoke religious tensions in restive Kashmir..
There are worrying reports that supporters of the BJP and right-wing Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the state have launched a virulent campaign against
cow slaughter and beef.
Although the government's own animal census shows that the cow and buffalo population has grown - a 6.75% increase between 2007 and 2012 - and cow slaughter is banned in most states, there is hysteria being whipped up that the bovine is under threat.

Vigilante cow protection groups have mushroomed. They claim to have a strong network of informers and say they "feel empowered" because of the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP
government in Delhi. One of these groups actually managed to get a court order against a beef and pork festival at a Delhi university in 2012.
That's not all. The BJP-ruled state of Rajasthan has a cow minister. There are campaigns going on demanding that the cow should replace the tiger as the national animal - a minister in Haryana, also ruled by the BJP, promptly began an online poll.
All of this makes me wonder about what they serve in Indian McDonalds.  The BBC handily has a story from 2014 on that very topic.

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