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  • হরিদাস পাল  আলোচনা  ইতিহাস

  • একটি চতুষ্পদ প্রাণী গরুর মাতা হয়ে ওঠার ইতিবৃত্ত

    Ranjan Roy লেখকের গ্রাহক হোন
    আলোচনা | ইতিহাস | ২০ জুন ২০২৪ | ৬৬১ বার পঠিত | রেটিং ৪ (১ জন)
  • সপ্তাহখানেক আগে ছত্তিশগড়ের রাজধানী রায়পুর থেকে ৫০ কিলোমিটার দূরের মহাসমুন্দ জেলায় একটি পুলের উপর মাঝরাতে গরুবিক্রেতা তিনজনের একটি গাড়ি আক্রান্ত হয়। মার খেতে খেতে একজন মোবাইল থেকে ফোন করে তার রায়পুরের কাজিনকে বলে আমাদের আটকেছে এবং মারছে। পুলিশকে খবর দাও। তারপরই মোবাইলে শোনা যায় ধমকি এবং মারের শব্দ আর এদের অনুনয় -- আর মেরো না! একটু জল দাও।

    এরপর সব চুপ।

    পুলিশে খবর দিলে ওরা মাঝরাতে গিয়ে ওরা দেখে -- একটি পুলের উপর পশু সমেত গাড়িটা দাঁড়িয়ে আছে। কোন লোকজন নেই। তারপর পুলের নীচে তিনটে বডি পড়ে আছে -- দুজন মৃত, একজন অচেতন।

    পুলিশ এটাকে গোরক্ষকদের হামলা মানতে নারাজ।

    পুলিশের মতে ওরা হয়ত পুল থেকে নীচে পড়ে পাথরে চোট খেয়ে মরেছে। তৃতীয়জনের জ্ঞান ফিরলে বয়ান নেয়া হবে। সেও পরশু মারা গেছে। ফলে কোন প্রত্যক্ষদর্শী নেই। পুলিশ বলছে সে ভেন্টিলেটারে ছিল, তাই বয়ান নেয়া যায় নি। কেউ গ্রেফতার হয়নি। মৃতের কাজিনএর বক্তব্য আমাকে মোবাইলে বলল -- গাড়ি আটকেছে, মারছে। আমি নিজে মোবাইলে শুনলাম যে!

    আমার চারটে প্রশ্নঃ

    ১) যদি দুর্ঘটনাই হবে তো তিনজন পুল টপকে পড়ে গেল আর গাড়িটি পশুসমেত পুলের উপর অক্ষত দাঁড়িয়ে রইল?
    ২) ছত্তিশগড়ের আইনে গো-হত্যা অপরাধ, কিন্তু গরু কেনাবেচা তো লেজিটিমেট বিজনেস, তাহলে? নিহতেরা কি গরুচোর? কে বলছে?
    ৩) যদি ধরে নেই ওরা গরুচোর বা বধের জন্য পশু নিয়ে যাচ্ছিল, তাহলে ওদের ধরে পুলিশের হাতে না দিয়ে মেরে ফেলা হবে কেন? আইনের শাসন কী বলে?
    ৪) মধ্যপ্রদেশের ঘটনায় বীফ রাখার সন্দেহে তাদের বাড়ি ভেঙে দেয়া হয়েছে। কেন? সরকারি জমিতে অনধিকৃত নির্মাণ। সেই একই জমিতে আরও বেশ কিছু বাড়ি রয়েছে, তাদেরটা কেন ভাঙা হবে না? না শুধু গোহত্যাকারীদেরটা ভাঙা হয়েছে।

    গোহত্যা মহাপাপ।

    কোন শাস্ত্রে বলেছে?

    মনু তো একে মহাপাতক বলেননি, উপপাতক বা গৌণ পাপ বলেছেন। এবং গোহত্যার জন্য মৃত্যুদণ্ডের বিধান দেননি। তাহলে?

    দেখা যাক, আমাদের ঐতিহ্যে গোবধ সর্বদা নিন্দিত ছিল কিনা, অথবা ঋগবেদ, অথর্ববেদ, শতপথ এবং গোপথ ব্রাহ্মণ ইত্যাদি গ্রন্থে বীফ খাওয়া নিয়ে কি বলা হয়েছে। এবং কোন সময় থেকে কী কারণে গোমাংস ভক্ষণ নিষিদ্ধ হল।

    এনিয়ে অধ্যাপক ডি এন ঝা এবং বাবাসাহেব আম্বেদকরের গবেষণাজাত বই রয়েছে।

    আজও বিজেপি শাসিত গোয়া, মেঘালয়, নাগাল্যাণ্ডে বীফ নিষিদ্ধ নয়।

    সাভারকর নিজে গরুকে মাতা বলেননি, বরং যারা বলে তাদের ব্যঙ্গ করে পাতার পর পাতা লিখেছেন।

    এখানে আমি তুলে দিচ্ছি সেজ পাবলিশজার্স প্রকাশিত একটি প্রবন্ধ। পর্যাপ্ত রেফারেন্স রয়েছে, পাঠক নিজে ক্রস চেক করতে পারেন।


    The Holy Cow: Unravelling Millennial Asia
    8(2) 217–233
    the Mystery of its Holiness
    © 2017 Association of Asia Scholars
    SAGE Publications sagepub.in/home.nav
    DOI: 10.1177/0976399617715827
    http://mla.sagepub.com
    Vandita Khanna1

    Abstract

    This article aims at debunking the sanctity of the cow that has gained ground as a political vehicle in contemporary times, and exposing the selective reading of texts employed otherwise to further particular religious leanings. Through the course of this article, a wide array of evidence from religious scriptures, legal texts, archaeological materials, epics, commentaries, edicts, foreign travellers’ accounts, debates, statutes and judicial decisions have been resorted to, in order to enable a comprehensive understanding of the trajectory of the cow from sacrificial slaughter to prohibitory injunctions on beef consumption. 

    This article, to begin with, traces the treatment of the cow to the earliest Vedic texts through an academic survey to demystify popular misconceptions regarding religious injunctions against cow slaughter and the inherent sacredness of the cow. It then explores an amalgamation of theories put forth to explicate the transition from cow killing to the present inviolability of the cow. Finally, this article examines the legal and juridical discourse on sanctifying the cow, by tracing Constituent Assembly debates and a series of judgements on cow slaughter under the colonial administration and post-Independence, to conclude that judicial intervention has failed to engage with the religious debate satisfactorily and has made a mockery of constitutional secularism in promoting and normalizing a single dominantcaste Hindu narrative.

    Keywords
    Hinduism, slaughter, saffronization, sacred object, secularism

    Corresponding author:
    Vandita Khanna (Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonepat, Haryana, India. E-mail: [email protected] ) aims at scrutinizing texts to establish that the divinity of the cow appealed to in contemporary times is inconsistent with religious scriptures, legal texts and material evidence, and the inconsistency within texts has been exploited to weave a narrative favourable to the ideological alignments of the author.

    I. Introduction: Exposing the Un-holiness of the Cow

    The term ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’ indicates the connection of a space or object with God, and posits a need to preserve it by virtue of this divine connection. This section 1 Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonepat, Haryana, India.

    Brahmanical sources beginning from the Rigveda indicate that the Indo-Aryans migrated to India around the middle of the second millennium bce (Jha, 2009) and brought with them pastoralism, nomadism and animal sacrifice. The killing of cattle for ritualistic purposes served the palate of Vedic divinities, including Indra’s indulgence in bulls (Rigveda, X.28.3c), buffaloes (Rigveda, X.27.2c; VI.17.11b; V.29.7ab; VIII.12.8ab) and ox (Rigveda, X.86.14ab); Agni’s dietary preference of the barren cow (Rigveda, VIII.43.11), oxen (Falk, 1982) and bulls amongst others; a similar diet followed by Soma, all further evidenced by the explicit mention of 21 yajnas in the Gopatha Brahmana (Thite, 1975).

    The Rigveda avers a public horse sacrifice * (অশ্বমেধ) (the finalé of which was marked by the sacrifice of 21 sterile cows (Renou, 1971, p. 109). Furthermore, cow sacrifice in ritualistic arrangements played a crucial role in rajasuya, vajapeya and agnistoma according to the Satapatha Brahmana (Mitra, 1969, p. 361; 600–500 bce). Subsequent post-Vedic/pre-Mauryan Brahmanical texts such as the Grhyasutras and Dharmasutras contain sufficient evidence of eating of flesh including beef by way of domestic rites and rituals (Paraskara Grhyasutra, I.8.10) (such as shulagava, or the ‘sacrifice of the ox on the spit’, simantonnayana, a ceremony performed in the midst of pregnancy and upanayana, the investiture ceremony preceding the commencement of studenthood) (Apte, 1939; Ashvalayana Grhyasutra, I.14.3; Paraskara Grhyasutra, II.5.17-20); ceremonial welcoming of guests (thereby qualifying the term ‘go-ghna’—one for whom a cow is killed—for guests, according to Panini) (Donigher, 2013a, p. 522) and funerary rites. 

    The latter emphasizes on the intimate relation between cow slaughter and the cult of the dead, which entailed the use of cow skin and fat to cover the dead body (Rigveda, X.16.7ab), and shraddhas such as astaka that expressly required cow killing (Baudhayana Grhyasutra, II.11.51; Hiranyakesi Grhyasutra, II.15.1; Vaikhanasa Grhyasutra, IV. 3). 

    The Vedic sage, Yajnavalkya is believed to have explicitly asserted, ‘I, for one eat beef, provided it is tender’ (Satapatha Brahmana 3.1, 2.21). While Keith attempts to derive authority for the cow’s sanctity from Vedic texts, Norman Brown refutes his claims, some of which are relevant to exposing the prevailing misconceptions of the notion of sanctity; Keith’s reference to evil consequences ensuing consumption of a Brahmin’s cow (Atharvaveda, 12.4) must be construed as penance for consuming a Brahmin’s possession not reflective of an inherent inviolability of the cow as such (Bloomfield, 1897).

    Another prescription cautioning meat eaters with retribution in the next world (Kausitaki Brahmana, 11.3, cited in Brown, 1964) must be read in alignment with its contextual warning for omitting the use of the Bihati and Usnth meters in morning sacrificial litany, and not as an injunction against cattle slaughter (Keith, 1920). Furthermore, archaeological evidence of cow/ox bones bearing definite cut marks with signs of charring (Lal, 1954–1955)found in association with stone tools, corroborates the fact of non-ritual killing and cooking of cattle from the Harappan civilization (Sankalia, 1967), Chalcolithic age (Sankalia, 1974) and throughout Painted Grey Ware sites dated first millennium bce at Meerut (Tripathi, 1976, p. 24) (eleventh to third century bce), Kurukshetra (Joshi, 1993), Mathura (Sharma, 1997) (400–200 bce) and Ropar (Nath, 1968) (600–200 bce) amongst others.

    D. N. Jha’s narrative explicates the role of ritual substitution against the backdrop of substitution of Vedic Aryan pastoralism with settled agriculture and the increasing agricultural utility rendered by cattle (Jha, 2009). The injection of religious sanction to effectuate economic productivity coincides with the advent of Upanishadic thought that brought with it a wave of questions in direct opposition to established practice, and built the foundational blocks of the doctrine of ahimsa (Sharma, 1983).While the Bhagavad Gita does not develop the principles of ahimsa (Brown, 1964), Buddhism and Jainism, on the other hand, spearheaded the attack on Brahmanism manifested in their aversion to beef and other animal flesh.

    Early Buddhism, despite its antagonism to animal sacrifice, rationalized the idea of non-injury to animals in the path to nirvana on grounds of moral inferiority of animals attributable to their promiscuity (Schmithausen, 1997). Interestingly, interactions between Brahmins and Buddha have been recorded in the Samyutta Nikaya (3.9.23) and Sutta Nipata that display the latter’s prescriptions regarding prohibitions on cattle butchery, which is said to have transformed the attitude of Brahmins as well. However, mention of skilled cow-butchers (Majjhima Nikaya, 19.1.4), slaughter-houses for oxen (Vinaya Pitaka [Mahavagga], V.1.13), positing of unseen, unheard, unsuspected meat as the three pure kinds of flesh in Buddhist tradition, and permissible consumption of bear, fish, swine and alligator during illness (Vinaya Pitaka), are in direct conflict with the staunch prohibition.

    Jataka stories further analyse the prevalence of beef eating by Bodhisat (Gahapati Jataka) deer flesh by warriors and venison by a king (Bhallatiya Jataka). The inconsistencies can be reconciled by the pragmatic approach of Buddhism (Sutta Nipata) encapsulated in the doctrine of Middle Path, wherein vegetarianism was not commanded as mandatory (Gombrich, 1988, p. 94). 

    Ashoka’s edict (Sircar, 1965) enumerating animals exempt from animal sacrifice and silence on the cow is reflective of the absence of a sanctimonious position acquired by the cow in third century bce (Jha, 2009).

    While Kautilya’s Arthashastra (second century bce to third century ce), on one hand, makes killing of the calf, bull or milch cow a minor offence (Shamasastry, trans., 1961), on the other, it recommends the use of cow bones and dung as manure and speaks of some cattle, sunamahisah, fit only for the supply of flesh (Arthasastra, II.29.5).

    Foreign travellers’ accounts too suggest contradictory Buddhist cuisines; Chinese Buddhist Fa-hsien’s travelogue on his visit to India (399–412 ce) indicated abstention from meat consumption by Buddha (Waley, 1932, pp. 347–348), the Chinese text, Fan-wang Ching included flesh eating as a light defilement, while Hsüan Tsang admitted to Mahayanist consumption of geese, deer and calves (Waters, 1973).

    The culinary immorality of the Buddhists received the wrath of Jainas, with reference to a Buddhist addiction to wine and flesh (Handiqui, 1949, pp. 371– 372), absence of distinction between lawful and unlawful food, and a subsequent advocacy of the five great vows administered under Jainism (Acarangasutra, II.1.1.1-6), the first of which necessitated restraint on consuming anything containing the germs of life. While canonical literature prima facie provides ample evidence of an extreme, intensive and rigorous ahimsa (Dundas, 1985), the Acarangasutra enjoins a monk to not refuse inadvertently accepted meat or fish with bones as alms (Acarangasutra, II.1.10.5). Adjustments to local non-vegetarian diets (Deo, 1956, p. 417), flesh eating in times of extreme distress (Prakash, 1961), and utility of meat in medical treatment (Sen, 1975) all suggest that early Jaina monks were not staunch vegetarians. The incident of Mahavira’s refusal to eat pigeons prepared for his sake, and acceptance of a cock killed by an animal (Vasistha Dharmasutra, XIV 27; Yajnavalkyasmrti, 192) indicates that consumption of animals killed by someone else for some other purpose was permissible (Alsdorf, 2010, p. 12). Simultaneously, there is sufficient literature entailing the strong taboo against meat consumption as well, evidenced by Amitagati’s (eleventh century ce) preference of poison over meat (Subhasitasandoha, 21.16) and Jinadatta’s (seventh century ce) defiance of medical treatment involving meat (Avasyakacurni, II, p. 202; Sutrakrtangasutra, II.6.37.42).

    Consumption of animal flesh outside the monastic circle is less contested as part of the mlechha diet according to the Nishitha Sutram (Jain, 1980, p. 28) with specific recognition of payment made to hunters for bringing meat of cows, dogs and buffaloes (Sen, 1975). Statements disapproving meat consumption, by Somadeva, for instance (‘the milk of a cow can be taken but not its flesh, just as the leaves of a poisonous plant may be taken while its roots may cause death’) (Yasastilaka, VII.24) serve as an acknowledgment of the regular consumption of meat in the first place thereby necessitating such injunctions.

    Legal texts such as the Manusmriti (200 bce–200 ce) are testimony to the contradictions that emerge in literature authored by multiple individuals over centuries, thereby reflective of the changes in perceptions, religious principles and gradual rigidity thereof. Manu contemplates eating meat, on sacrificial occasions (Manu, V.31) and in welcoming guests (Manu, V.32), irrespective of the manner of procurement. Its express conviction in treating killing of animals on ritual occasions as non-killing (Manu, V.39) and ‘injury as enjoined by the Veda’ as non-injury (Manu, V.44), coupled with the reassurance of attaining the highest state of existence in doing so (Manu, V.42) liberates the somewhat constrained dietary habits. 

    In particular, one verse suggests that ‘The eater who daily even devours those destined to be his food, commits no sin; for the Creator himself created both the eaters and those who are to be eaten’ (Manu, V.28–30), which is, however, contradicted by Manu in eulogizing the virtue of ahimsa (Tahtinen, 1976). Another law book, Yajnavalkya (100–300 ce) mentions the eating of beef by Brahmins while simultaneously prescribing prohibition of cow slaughter, similar to the Manu experience (Yajnavalkyasmrti, I.177-8).While the Yajnavalkya endorses the practice of cattle slaughter for sacrificial purposes (Yajnavalkyasmrti, I.179) and cautions against consumption of unconsecrated meat (Yajnavalkyasmrti, I.167, 171), Brihaspati (300–500 ce) too stands by abstention from flesh not lawfully ordained (Aiyangar, 1950, p. 326), while simultaneously conceding to local customs that provided scope for Madhyadesha artisans to consume cows. Further Puranic texts attest to beef consumption by Brahmins at funerals (Banerjea, 1918), and general absence of bovine veneration with explicit cognizance of killing of buffaloes at Navaratra (Einoo, 1999).

    Resort to mythology is pertinent to display how local cultural expressions manifested in the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana, reflective of the daily practice witnessed by its authors respectively. The Mahabharata, especially the Vanaparvan mentions, a daily slaughter of two thousand cows in king Rantideva’s kitchen (Vanaparvan, III.208.8-9), a wide array of flesh offered at Yudhisthira’s ashvamedha (Prakash, 1961), the origin of modern-day river Chambal (Carmavati) from the blood of slaughtered cows (Sorensen, 1963, pp. 593–594), all bearing testimony to the consumption of bovine flesh. Specifically marked out incidents in the Ramayana explicate the same; Sita’s promise to offer a thousand cows to river Yamuna on Rama’s accomplishment of his vow (Ramayana, Kumbakonam, ed., 2.55.19cd-20ab) and Bharadvaja’s hospitality in greeting Rama by slaughtering a ‘fatted calf’, uphold the non-vegetarian dietary tradition. Medical treatises such as the Charaka Samhita (Tripathi, 1996) (first–second century ce), Sushruta Samhita (Zimmermann, 1987, pp. 103–11 and 98) (third–fourth century ce) and Vagbhata (seventh century ce) can also be relied upon to delink the ancient religious sanction from the sanctity accorded to the cow in present times. While asserting ox meat to be the unhealthiest kind at one place (Charaka Samhita, II.31), Charaka recommends beef gravy as a part of the remedy for intermittent fevers elsewhere, yet again reiterating the lack of inherent sanctity of the cow.

    The transition became evident by the middle of the first millennium wherein growth of feudal societies, agrarian expansion, trade shrinkage and the accompanied socio-cultural transformation (Jha, 2009) called for an age termed as the kaliyuga (Sharma, 2000), which almost immediately contained several passages forbidding cow slaughter and attaching negative connotations of sin to anyone who indulged therein. Vyasasmrti established a correlation between beef eating and untouchability (Vyasasmrti, I.12), and various law books outlined specific penances for cow killers (Parasarasmrti, XI.1), now referred to as lepers (Satatapa, II.13), for eating beef, ‘the worst form of cursed food’ (Vidyananda, 1299). However, interestingly, prescriptive texts enumerated cow killing as a mere minor offence (upapataka) (Kane, 1973), perhaps indicative of the fact that the recompenses were prescribed only to discourage eating of beef, which was otherwise commonplace. Construction of cow shelters in temples (South Indian Inscriptions, IV, no. 27B, 203.) and gifts of cows to goshalas by rulers as witnessed in epigraphic records, account for a gradual transition in the social position of the cow. Foreign travellers such as Alberuni (1017–30 ce) expressly include cow as inedible for Brahmins and enlist animals such as sheep, goats, buffaloes as not noxious (Sachau, 1996). More recent documentation of sacrificial killing of cows was available at Todgarh in Merwara until 1874 (Touche, 1879), and amongst tribal communities such as the Dires of Hyderabad (Furer-Haimendorf, 1943, p. 239).

    The notions of pollution and purity were developed (Jha, 2009) subsequently wherein the mixture of five products retrieved from the cow, panchgavya, had assumed a purificatory role, as expressed in the Dharmasutra of Baudhayana (Baudhayana Dharmasutra, n.d.), Vasistha Dharmasutra, Yajnavalkya, medical treatises of Charaka (Charaka Samhita, n.d.), and Vishnu’s additional derivative, gorocana, a yellow pigment prepared from cow bile and urine (Visnu, n.d.). 

    Simultaneously, the conflicting beliefs can be evidenced by the elucidation in Manu, which required food smelled by a cow to be purified (Manu, V. 125), further elaborated by Yajnavalkya’s mention of a cow’s mouth in the same sentence as human excrement as impure (Yajnavalkyasmrti, I. 194). This perception has been substantially elaborated by commentators and lawgivers who assert the purity of all limbs of the cow except her mouth (Sankhasmrti, XVI. 14), thereby counterbalancing the presently supposed non-negotiable belief of the purificatory role attributed thereto in post-Vedic times.

    A biological argument that explores agro-based research on cattle breeding and nutritional significance of the cow attests to a great emphasis on consumption of animal protein in the Indian subcontinent (Devi, 2014). Recent statistical surveys to study lactose tolerance in India suggest that one out of four Indians have no tolerance for milk (Sharda, 2015). The inadvertent notion that all Indians drink milk, against the backdrop of breeding a diverse cattle population, was debunked by Irene Gallago Romero, who claimed that only 18 per cent Indians are genetically able to produce lactase (Romero et al., 2011). 

    However, within this framework too, there exists a geographical east/west disparity wherein unlike western regions of India, the northeast particularly suffers from dire lactose intolerance and instead compensates for the lack of protein in its diet with the consumption of meat, eggs and fish (Lewis, 2016). Such grave lactose mal-absorption may indicate that the primary purpose of cattle breeding was meat eating and not consumption of milk and its by-products.

    While the above section aimed at debunking the elusive holiness of the cow by a historical academic survey of inconsistent ancient texts, appeals to whose authority would otherwise pacify the questioning rationale amongst the curious minded; the next section attempts to compile various reasons theorized to account for the transition in society from unreflective cow slaughter to an engrained ideology of the holiness of the cow. Then the article finally endeavours to examine the scope of constitutional secularism in India in light of the Constituent Assembly debates pertaining to the inclusion of Article 48 and the subsequent juridical discourse on cow slaughter, and argues that not only does the trend of justification elide the significant religious aspect of the controversy, but also serves as a tool to re-write a monolithic Hindu narrative.

    II. Why Did the Cow Become Sacred?

    After debunking several misconceptions underlying the theological basis for the pedestal of sanctity accorded to the bovine today, it becomes imperative to not only acknowledge the contemporary prevalence of cow protection, but also trace the drastic change in dietary habits, religious prescriptions and economic necessities.

    By 300 bce, 50–100 million people inhabited Indian terrain and rendered the Ganges valley to collapse into a semi-desert. Commonplace natural disasters, such as droughts, floods and soil erosion, were an outcome of population pressure, and Marvin Harris theorizes that the elimination of meat eating was a response to preserve cows as bearers of oxen, the ‘mainstay of the Indian agricultural system’, in order to enable recuperation of the agrarian economy (Harris, 2015). 

    Religious injunctions prohibiting the slaughter of cow, according to Harris, served as a reinforcement of disaster insurance, especially when the zebu could viably survive long periods with little nourishment. Subsequent codification was a method to acknowledge the economic utility of the cow and remove temptations by concretizing the notion of sanctity thereof. 

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has reported that the ability of the Zebu cattle in tropical India to ‘thrive under vigorous conditions’ incentivized colonizers to indulge in escalated cattle breeding, which too indicates a strong economy-centric justification against cow slaughter (FAO, n.d.; Joshi & Phillips, 1953, pp. 1–11). The same has been affirmed by Norman Brown in his attempt to reconcile referring to the bull six times and cow 42 times as ‘aghnya’ (‘not to be slain’) in the Rigveda and Atharvaveda, wherein he rationalizes the non-killing of the cow for its economic value as a producer of a calf, and of the bull or ox for their capacity as drought animals (Brown, 1964). Harris’ obsession with ecological factors influencing the exalted status of the cow has been termed as ‘calculus of calories’ by Ariel Glucklich (1997, p. 189), and Elizabeth Thomas critiques such an economically grounded argument as an under-determination, for it reduces the issue of sanctity to utility (Thomas, 2013). 

    Moreover, Shraddha Chigateri too considers an ecological understanding of the ‘use value of cows’ as masking the ‘prioritizing of dominant-caste Hindu identity’ in cow protection injunctions (Chigateri, 2011).

    A spiritually located explanation is that of the Advaita philosophy advocating the pervasiveness of one supreme entity on account of which all life was sacred, human and animal. However, B. R. Ambedkar dismisses the same by highlighting the proclamation in the Vedanta Sutra (Vedanta Sutra, II.1.28), which while founding the doctrine of oneness does not prohibit animal killing for sacrificial purposes. Another explanation, which traces the transformation in the Brahmin dietary habits as rooted in the rise of the doctrine of the Transmigration of the Soul, was also countered by Ambedkar in questioning its selective influence on the Brahmins and not non-Brahmins, and explicit provision for preparation of meat dishes in anticipation of birth of a son (Ambedkar, 1948).

    Ambedkar, on the other hand, believed the transition to be strategic in order to facilitate Brahmanism to ‘establish its supremacy over Buddhism’ in its struggle with the latter, against the backdrop of diminishing power and prestige on account of Buddhism’s direct attack on animal sacrifice inculcated in Brahmanical traditions. Ambedkar, in fact, categorically accounts for, the vegetarianism of the Brahmins as a mechanism to seize the supremacy acquired by Buddhist Bikshus; conformity to Gabriel Tarde’s laws of imitation by non-Brahmins to emulate the superior; and continued consumption of beef by the Broken Men, who were ‘treated as unfit for association, i.e., as Untouchables’ (Ambedkar, 1948), for whom imitation was not feasible and carrying the dead cow away from the Settled Tribes had transformed from a privilege to an obligation. Along a similar theme of redefining oneself when Brahmanism found itself in confrontation with another religion lies Frank Korom’s speculation that the ‘rupture created by colonial rule’ (Korom, 2000) channelled a need to invent the cow as an object of veneration and sacredness (Hobsbawm & Ranger, 1983). The partial ban on cow slaughter in the Mughal trajectory during the reign of Babur, Akbar, Jahangir and after rampant slaying under Aurangzeb, restoration of the prohibition by Bahadur Shah Zafar, was also probably a strategic move, as evidenced by Babur’s wassiyat namd-imajchfi to Humayun, that read ‘… refrain from the sacrifice of the cow, for that way lies the conquest of the hearts of the people of Hindustan; and the subjects of the realm will, through royal favor, be devoted to you’ (Jaffar, 1936, pp. 23–24).

    Romila Thapar (2004, p. 115) claims that refrainment from beef consumption was rooted in social status, and Wendy Donigher extends the ‘social-hierarchy reasons for not eating the meat of the cow’, termed as ‘Sanskritization’ by M. N. Srinivas (1956) as an outlet for lower castes to climb up the social ladder. Elizabeth Thomas resorts to Frits Staal’s conception of rituals as ‘self-contained and selfabsorbed’ (Staal, 1979), devoid of symbolic significance, thereby focusing on the rules governing correct performance. Relying on Talal Asad’s genealogical account (Asad, 1993) of the transformation that rituals have undergone from medieval Christian disciplinary programs that connected the inner and outer behaviour to the current understanding of rituals as representative activity, Thomas contemplates cow protection practice meant for ‘correct ethical disposition’ moulding into a representation of non-negotiable beliefs instilling an ‘ethic of care and responsibility’ from the paternalist State to its subjects.

    Norman Brown highlights the treatment of figurative expressions as the literal truth as a force underlying the perception of sanctity of the cow (Brown, 1942). In doing so, he relies on Rigvedic usage of similes and epithets of the cow to symbolize fecundity, maternity and nourishment (Rigveda, 10.95.6). Particular references include the characterization of the cosmic waters as cows to explain the existence of the universe (Brown, 1942) as the ‘Waters, now released, come forth like lowing cows’ (Rigveda, 1.32.2) and give birth to the Sun, called their calf; analogizing Agni as ‘the bull, who has grown great in the lap of the Waters’ (Rigveda, 10.8.1); personification of Aditi as a ‘milch cow who issues full streams of blessings for pious folk who make the oblation’(Rigveda, 1.153.3); and the employment of the term earth as a feminine entity or cow (Rigveda, 4.41.5). The problematic swallowing of attributes by the cow, of entities to which the cow was metaphorically referred, enabled the cow to acquire their holiness without effectuation of a distinction between object utilized for representation and the object represented. The enhanced significance attached to the inviolability to the Brahmin’s cow in the Rigveda (8.101.15-16) and Atharvaveda (Atharvaveda, 5.18; 5.19; 12.4; 12.5.), coupled with the gradual literal takeaways from otherwise figurative expressions contained in ancient texts, stimulated an environment of apotheosis of the cow.

    In tracing the genealogy of the doctrine of ahimsa, Frank Korom reflects on the mention of ‘harmlessness’ (Hume, 1977, p. 217) in the Chandogya Upanishad (Chandogya Upanishad, 3.17.4) as amongst many traits that qualify as gifts to give to priests. Notwithstanding the ambivalence of Manu, Yajnavalkya, Buddhist and Jaina texts, ahimsa grew in prominence by fifth century bce (Basham, 1959).

    In contemporary times, however, it was Mahatma Gandhi’s utilization of the cow as a ‘poem of piety’ (Gandhi, 1954, p. 3) and reference to cow worship as ‘worship of innocence’ during the independence movement that spearheaded the implantation of the cow as a sacred symbol. The transition from each yuga and subsequent degeneration of dharma enables the cow, whose spatial posture is conceptualized as implanted at the four corners of the universe, to lift one leg at a time till she finally collapses, which marks the end of one cycle (Zimmer, 1962, p. 13). Korom also explores the relations of time, space and law with the cow to concretize an entity which otherwise would be rendered an ‘abstract cognitive category’ (Korom, 2000).

    After surveying the above-mentioned theories, it seems apt to attribute a clearer understanding of the interplay of variables moulding the apotheosis of the cow to an interdisciplinary approach, which recognizes escalating economic utility, social acculturation, strategic reinventions against the backdrop of religious confrontations, symbolism, subsequent linguistic misconceptions and theological prescriptions on ahimsa as equally plausible and complementary forces in shaping popular opinion.

    III. Contemporary Examination of the Holy Cow

    This section attempts to operate within an analytical framework that questions the necessity for policy making in the intimate field of dietary habits. While the first section of this article debunks the myth of religious sanction, this section effectively establishes the redundancy of such evidence (or lack thereof), against the backdrop of dominant power groups with the will, ability and resources to monopolize historiography and law making. It is not the substance of the contemporary economic arguments cited by politically influential organizations prodigiously preoccupied with a saffronization agenda (Adeney & Saez, 2007) that needs to be questioned, but the underlying motive behind them; in the event that dominant players monopolize interpreting functions and silence democratic discourse, they effectively perpetrate violence of the law through distortion of evidence at the cost of access to food, livelihood and trade markets (Banerjee, 2015; Katakam, 2015). When evidence logically inconsistent with scientific data and religious scriptures is rendered inadequate for grounding civilizational consensus on cow protection in the absence of religious sanction, the interplay of politics and law allows for evidentiary expropriation to further ideological ends through the tool of policy backed by legal sanction (Tharoor, 2015). The following exploration of legal, judicial and constitutional jurisprudence dangerously tilts towards an uncritical engagement with dominant definitions and interpretations of constitutional secularism, and this section, in highlighting such daunting juridical trends, establishes that the process of evidentiary appropriation and subsequent silencing has already begun.

    Before exploring the elusive arguments made during the framing of the Constitution, it becomes imperative to briefly take note of the communal relationships during colonial rule, especially in the context of judicial decisions delivered in Queen-Empress v. Imam Ali (1888) and Romesh Chander Sannyal v. Hiru Mondal (1890). Both proceedings were instituted to principally determine whether the cow was a ‘sacred object’ within the scope of Section 275 (current s.295) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The controversy becomes pertinent when one acknowledges the sacrificial killing of animals by Muslims during the canonical Islamic festival of ‘Idu’l-Azha in commemoration of Abraham’s exemplary offering of Ishmael’s life to God; the sacrifice of bigger beasts such as cows and buffaloes was more valued, and given the abundance of affordable cows, the bovine became the obvious preference to such an extent that ‘Idu’l-Azha soon came to be referred to as Bakr ‘Id, bakr meaning ‘cow’ in Arabic (Sharif, 1972, pp. 214–217). The former mutual tolerance and respect shared by religious communities was replaced in the 1880s (Thursby, 1975) in part due to proselytizing tendencies of Protestantism, which compelled both Islam and Hinduism to homogenize internally and rigidify their doctrines in contradistinction to other prevailing religious systems (Singh & Thandi, 1999). 

    Queen-Empress v. Imam Ali (1888) was grounded in a cause of action wherein two Muslim residents were found slaughtering a cow in a field adjacent to a public road by Hindu passers-by and subsequently arraigned and convicted by the local Magistrate. The NWP chief Court answered in the negative as to whether a cow constituted a sacred object, thereby legally providing scope for Muslims to slaughter cows. 

    But what is significant is the reason underlying the decision, which hinged on strict literal interpretation of the black letter law that interpreted an animate cow as not within the definitional ambit of an inanimate ‘object’. An interesting opinion was delivered by Justice Mahmud who read the requirement of Islamic animal sacrifice and the affordability of the cow, with a tinge of personal-vested interest in the outcome of the case. Save Justice Mahmud’s bold communal assertions, this decision marks the beginning of a series of judgements that shy away from discussing religion, as if religious sentiments and not cow slaughter were the impugned taboo. While Romesh Chunder Sannyal v. Hiru Mondal (1890) was initiated with the goal of reviewing the earlier decision, the Calcutta High Court unequivocally endorsed the Allahabad High Court’s previous judgement by opining that neither was bull killing an act of destruction, nor was a bull an ‘object’. The established quasi-political Gaurakshini Sabha (cow protection movement) launched by Dayanand Saraswati in 1882 responded by adopting a militant approach in revolting against constituted authorities, leading to the gruesome Bombay communal riots of 1893 (Yang, 1980).

    The Constituent Assembly debates, against the backdrop of tumultuous communal tension, evaded appeals to religion, and advocates of Article 48, which was finally included as a Directive Principle of State Policy and not a justiciable Fundamental Right, took resort to the rational use value claims of the cow (National Informatics Centre, 1950); Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava’s emphasis on the centrality of the cow in agricultural production and food sufficiency bears testimony to the same. Seth Govind Das’ argument, however, directly attacked the non-obligatory practice of cow slaughter contained in Islamic precepts. Nevertheless, the Muslim dissenting voices of the Assembly were not convinced with economic rationale and wanted the article to be couched not to further the scientific organization of animal husbandry, rather unambiguously formulated as rooted in religious sentiments. Syed Sa’adulla’s apprehension of an ‘ingrained Hindu feeling against cow slaughter… [as] being satisfied by the backdoor’ (Vol. VII, 1948) finds reiteration in Frank Anthony’s resentment of the fanatics and extremists who aimed at inserting the article by ‘resorting to methods which may give rise to the accusation of subterfuge’ (Vol. XI, 1949) and Upendra Baxi’s refusal to ‘think of cow preservation or probation as values in any context’ (Baxi, 1967). It was the insistence of B. R. Ambedkar and threat of resignation by Jawaharlal Nehru (Madan, 1993) that embedded Article 48 in a purportedly ‘secular’ mold, preserved till date, though its garb of secularism has been periodically ripped apart by the underlying yet unacknowledged reflection of Hindu sentiment (Singh, 2005).

    Various state legislations were subsequently enacted to ban cow slaughter, three of which were challenged in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi & Ors. v. State of Bihar (AIR 1958 SC 731). Significant argumentation on the right to freedom of religion resulted in the development of the doctrine of ‘essential practices’ by the Supreme Court, which examined the necessity of practices on the anvil of theological texts to conclusively determine whether they were grounded in religious prescriptions; the Court while relying on Hamilton’s translation of the Hedaya Book XLIII dismissed the possibility of any obligatory duty enjoined upon Muslims to necessarily sacrifice a cow during Bakr ‘Id. Sen critiques the ‘essential practices’ doctrine as a mechanism for legitimating a rationalized form of religion and de-legitimating popular usages of religion, thereby enabling further superficial homogenization and rejection of internal diversity (Sen, 2010). C. J. Das (for the Court) upheld the constitutionality of the ban by explaining the agricultural usefulness of the cow, bull and buffaloes, and in extension permitted the killing of buffaloes and bulls that were incapable of yielding milk or breeding. Chigateri observes that the incapability of the cow, as opposed to the buffalo, of becoming a burden on resources beyond its milk-yielding age and subsequent ban on killing cows of any age, in contrast to buffaloes that can be killed after a particular age, indubitably attests to the unacknowledged Hindu sentiment (Chigateri, 2011). Moreover, Upendra Baxi notes the differential method of ascertaining Hindu cow veneration and Islamic literature that permitted bovine killing (Baxi, 1967), whereas a close examination of ancient Brahmanical texts would debunk misconceptions of the enjoinment to protect the cow, as seen in Part I of the paper.

    A subsequent decision in 2005, State of Gujarat v. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat & Ors (2005 8 SCC 534) not only upheld the constitutionality of a blanket ban on the slaughter of cows and her progeny in Gujarat, but also overruled Hanif Quareshi to the extent that it rejected differentiation amongst cattle of varying age groups. An economic rationale was propounded by the Supreme Court to realize the progress India has undergone in achieving food security since 1958 and to counter apprehensions about useless cattle becoming a liability for the State by exploring their utility through additional benefits of dung and urine in contributing towards alternative sources of energy long after the cow ceased to yield milk. The Court displayed a ‘complete lack of empathy with the diversity of sentiment on the question of cow slaughter’ by appealing to human sentiment to protect the weak and meek, an evidently more compassionate attitude towards the life of the cow than the Muslim butchers’ right to livelihood, which was sidelined as suffering a mere ‘inconvenience’ in greater public interest. The controversial justification for banning beef by reducing the importance of 1.3 per cent of the population that consumed it and blatant referrals to the Indian ethic to show compassion to protect the national economy reliant on agriculture, is indicative of a growing tendency to adorn raw beliefs of dominant-caste Hindu with blatant generalizations that homogenize diversity within Hinduism under the garb of constitutional secularism (Singh, 2015).

    Cossman and Kapur have traced constitutional secularism in India to the Gandhian model of ‘equal respect for all religions’, founded on freedom of religion, equality and non-discrimination, in comparison to the Western liberal democratic model that espouses a non-interventionist relationship between religion and state (Cossman & Kapur, 1999). The aforementioned judgements attest to how juridical discourse has glossed over diversity under the mask of constitutional secularism, when in reality, the Supreme Court has failed to acknowledge and pay ‘equal respect to all religions’ and diversity celebrated therein. At one level, judicial scrutiny has shied away from talking religion; perhaps either due to the daunting fears of the reprise of communal violence or insecurities amongst religions manifested in hollow religious fundamentalism, thereby portraying a selective and superficial image of injunctions against cow slaughter. At another, the inability of the Supreme Court to unveil diversity in sentiment and the rather injudicious oversimplification of religion; be it the ‘essential practices’ doctrine, fleeting reading of ancient Vedic texts, or legitimization of one Hindu narrative monopolized by Hindutva forces; has further rigidified Hinduism, once celebrated as a Zen diagram (an all-encompassing polythetic Venn diagram with no prerequisite central attribute) (Donigher, 2013b). The resultant inflexibility has served in successfully ‘othering’ not just followers of religions with conflicting belief systems, but also those whose previously acknowledged Hinduism is just not Hindu enough.

    IV. Conclusion

    This article has attempted to expose the inconsistencies in religious literature, otherwise cited as authoritative to legitimate the sanctity of the cow, similar selective reading of which has been engrained into present-day formal adjudication mechanisms, effectively rigidifying religious doctrines. While it can be argued that Brahmanical texts authored by a small segment of society cannot be representative of the opinions of the citizenry; in a context of a plethora of corroborative evidence, religious texts condemning or adapting to local practices are reflective of popular opinion, which suffices the aim of the article to delink relations between ancient prescriptions and contemporary religious sanctity accorded to the cow. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the cow was not inherently and inviolably sacred, yet, has acquired notions of sanctity on account of an amalgamation of forces ranging from economic utility, social acculturation and linguistic misconception of symbolism to strategic Brahmanical positioning when faced with popular ideological confrontations from Buddhism and the subsequent emergence of the ‘ahimsa’ doctrine. It is pertinent to consider a non-uniform approach to the transition in attitudes towards the cow disseminated across time and space, to reiterate the workings of history as a combination of various factors, not operating at the same time in the same place. Moreover, while numerous decisions have been delivered on the sacred cow controversy, only a few have been selectively critiqued in this article to unveil the judicial discourse in landmark judgements at the Apex Court in its contribution to constitutional secularism in India.

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank Mr Mohsin Raza Khan, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director, Centre for New South Asia, Jindal School of International Affairs, O. P. Jindal Global University, who greatly assisted the research, and provided constructive feedback on an earlier version of the manuscript. I would also like to show gratitude to two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript. The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in the article. Niether the editors nor the publisher is responsible for her views.

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    Srinivas, M. N. (1956). A note on Sanskritization and Westernization. Far Eastern Quarterly, 15(4), 481–496.

    Staal, F. (1979). The meaninglessness of ritual. Numen, 26(1), 2–22.

    Sutta Nipata, Brahmanadhammika Sutta, 12, 58.

    Tahtinen, U. (1976). Ahimsa: Non-violence in Indian tradition (Manu, X. 63). London: Rider and Company.

    Thapar, R. (2004). Early India: From the origins to 1300. Berkeley: University of California Press. London: Penguin, 2002.

    Tharoor, S. (2015) India’s sacred cows and unholy politics - project syndicate. Retrieved July 10, 2016, from https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/india-hindu- chauvinism-violence-by-shashi-tharoor-2015-11

    Thite, G. (1975). Sacrifice in the Brāhmana Texts (chapter VI.), Poona: University of Poona.

    Thomas, E. (2013). Communities in conflict: Fighting for the sacred cow. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2(1), 143.

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    Zimmermann, F. (1987). The jungle and the aroma of meats. Berkeley: University of California Press.


    পুনঃপ্রকাশ সম্পর্কিত নীতিঃ এই লেখাটি ছাপা, ডিজিটাল, দৃশ্য, শ্রাব্য, বা অন্য যেকোনো মাধ্যমে আংশিক বা সম্পূর্ণ ভাবে প্রতিলিপিকরণ বা অন্যত্র প্রকাশের জন্য গুরুচণ্ডা৯র অনুমতি বাধ্যতামূলক। লেখক চাইলে অন্যত্র প্রকাশ করতে পারেন, সেক্ষেত্রে গুরুচণ্ডা৯র উল্লেখ প্রত্যাশিত।
  • আলোচনা | ২০ জুন ২০২৪ | ৬৬১ বার পঠিত
  • মতামত দিন
  • বিষয়বস্তু*:
  • হেহে | 2001:67c:6ec:203:192:42:116:180 | ২০ জুন ২০২৪ ২২:৫৪533541
  • দিপচাড্ডি দৌড়ে আসবে ভরে ভরে নাদতে।
  • অরিন | ২১ জুন ২০২৪ ০১:২৪533546
  • আপনার লেখাটা পড়ে মনে হচ্ছে এদের সমস্যা অন্য কোথাও। গোহত্যা মহাপাপ,  আর গোরক্ষার নাম করে মানুষ হত্যাই বা কোন পুণ্যকর্ম? এখানে তো আবার দেখা যাচ্ছে কোন গরুকে হত্যাও করা হয়নি। এর ওপর রাষ্ট্র যদি অছিলায় ক্রিমিনালদের মদত দেয়, তাহলে আর কথাই নেই।
  • মোহাম্মদ কাজী মামুন | ২১ জুন ২০২৪ ১২:৪৫533558
  • "সাভারকর নিজে গরুকে মাতা বলেননি, বরং যারা বলে তাদের ব্যঙ্গ করে পাতার পর পাতা লিখেছেন।"
    কিন্তু তিনি তো বিজেপি তথা নরেন্দ্র মোদীর আদর্শ বলেই জানতাম। তাহলে এমন হল কেন? 
    ব্রিটিশরা যে বিভাজন তৈরী করে রেখেছে তারই রিয়াকশান এখন অবধি চলছে। 
    খুব সময়োপযোগী লেখা। 
  • Mira Bijuli | ২১ জুন ২০২৪ ১৭:৩৯533561
  • শুধু গোহত্যা পাপ কে বললো? যাবতীয় প্রাণী হত্যাই নিন্দনীয়। গোমাতা হতে পারে, ছাগলমাতা হতে পারে না! গোমেধ যজ্ঞ, অশ্বমেধ যজ্ঞ তে জীর্ণ প্রাণীদের মেরে তাদের যৌবন ফিরিয়ে দেওয়ার নিদর্শন পাওয়া যায়, আজ সবটাই হয়েছে ভোগ সর্বস্ব। নিজের খওয়ার জন্য নিরীহ প্রাণীদের বধ, এত যে প্রোটিন আছে বলেন, আজ বাদে কাল যদি আবিষ্কার হয় মানুষের ব্রেইন এর কোষ গুলো খেলে বুদ্ধি বাড়ে  বা কোনো উপকার হয় তাহলে কি নিজের সন্তান কে মেরে খাবেন? তখনো তো খোঁজা হবে কোনো নিরীহ মানুষ, এই তো আমাদের স্বার্থপরতা, সামাজিক দায়। আমরা নিজেদের সুবিধার জন্য নানা সময় নানা যুক্তি খাঁড়া করি, এই যেমন বলি মানুষ এই প্রাণীদের না ভক্ষণ করলে খাদ্য চক্রবিঘ্নিত হবে, ওই প্রাণীগুলোকে খাওয়ার জন্য হিংস্র প্রাণী আছে তো।
  • syandi | 45.250.246.238 | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ০৩:৪০533577
  • Mira Bijuli ,বাঃ,বাটাম মেরে ভেজিটিরিয়ান বানানোর স্বপক্ষে কি সুন্দর যুক্তি! জেনে রাখুন যে herbivore প্রাণীদের intestinal tract লম্বায় অনেক অনেক বড় হয় Carnivorous animal-দের তুলনায়। আমাদের intestinal length কমে গেল যখন আমরা পুর্বজ primate-দের থেকে  আধুনিক মানুষ(homo sapiens)-রূপে বিবর্তিত হলাম। এখন জোর করে মানুষকে  ভেজিটিরিয়ান বানানোটা কি বিবর্তনের উল্টোদিকে হাঁটা হবে না? যাঁরা নিজের ইচ্ছায় ভেজিটিরিয়ান হয়েছেন তাঁদের ব্যাপারটা আলাদা কারণ স্বেচ্ছায় কেউ ভেজিটিরিয়ান হতে চাইলে আপত্তির কোন কারণ দেখি না।  
  • রঞ্জন | 171.76.44.33 | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ০৭:০৫533579
  • @মীরা বিজুলি
    প্রাণীহত্যা?
    গাছের প্রাণ নেই? দুধ খেতে বাছুরকে বঞ্চিত করি না?
    শতপথ ব্রাহ্মণে ঋষি যাজ্ঞবল্ক্যের উক্তি দেখুন।
    উনি সুপক্ক হলে খেতে চান, স্বাদের জন্য ।
    মহাভারতের বনপর্বে মুনি কৌশিক ও ধর্মব্যাধের কাহিনী দেখুন।
    রাজার পাকশালায় রোজ হাজার পশু বধ করে রান্না হচ্ছে। তাতে ধর্ম হানি হচ্ছে না।
     
    কিন্ত মূল প্রশ্নে আসুন-- নরহত্যা এবং আইনের শাসন। মানুষ মারার অধিকার কে দিয়েছে?
  • রঞ্জন | 2402:e280:3d02:20a:2384:cf64:e3eb:c75d | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ১২:১৭533585
  • @মোহাম্মদ কাজী মামুন
    সাভারকর জটিল চরিত্র।একদিকে সময়ের থেকে এগিয়ে।
    খাদ্যাখাদ্য বিচার নেই, জাতপাত মানেন না। গরুকে একটি উপকারী পশুর বেশি সম্মান দিতে আপত্তি।
    শ্রাদ্ধশান্তি মানেন না। নিজে মহারাষ্ট্রের চিৎপাবন ব্রাহ্মণ, কিন্ত স্ত্রী এবং নিজের মৃত্যুর পরে ব্রাহ্মণ ভোজন নিষেধ।
    মানবেন্দ্রনাথ রায়ের (প্রাক্তন কম্যুনিস্ট ও তখন রাডিক্যাল হিউম্যানিস্ট) সঙ্গে ঘন্টার পর ঘন্টা আড্ডা। কিন্ত সাধুসন্ত নিয়ে কোন মাথাব্যথা নেই।
    এখানে বিজেপি আরএসএসের সঙ্গে মেলে না।
    অন্যদিকে কট্টর মুসলমান বিদ্বেষী, অস্বাভাবিক ঘৃণা। মনে করেন ইতিহাসের কথিত ভুল শোধরাতে বদলা নিতে হবে। নারী শিশু বাছবিচার চলবে না।
    ওনার সিক্স গোল্ডেন ইপোক বই দেখুন।
    ওনার হিন্দুত্ব তত্ত্ব ধার্মিক কম, রাজনৈতিক ও সাংস্কৃতিক বেশি।
    জিন্নার মত দ্বিজাতি তত্ত্বে বিশ্বাসী, মনে করেন হিন্দু ও মুসলমান পাশাপাশি থাকতে পারে না।
    জিন্না চেয়েছিলেন মুসলমানদের জন্য আলাদা রাষ্ট্র। সাভারকরের চাই একটাই রাষ্ট্র, অখণ্ড হিন্দু রাষ্ট্র, যেখানে মুসলমান ক্রিশ্চানদের দ্বিতীয় শ্রেণীর নাগরিক হয়ে।
    এইখানেই সংঘ পরিবারের এজেন্ডা সঙ্গে মিল। ওদের থেকে বলার মত কোন স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রামী নেই। তাই মরিয়া হয়ে আঁকড়ে ধরেছে সাভারকরকে।
  • Mira Bijuli | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ১৬:১৮533599
  • কাউকে কোনো কাজে প্ররোচিত করে যে কিছু করানো যায় না, তার বহু উদাহরণ রয়েছে। 
    • জোর করে vegiterian করার কোনো প্রশ্নই নেই, ভেগান বলে একটা শব্দ শুনেছেন আশা করি। 
    • গাছের প্রাণ আছে, গাছ কেটে তো আর গাছের মাংস ভক্ষণ হচ্ছে না। স্থাবর আর জঙ্গমের পার্থক্য জগদীশবাবুও অস্বীকার করেননি।
    • প্রাণী হত্যা আর নরহত্যায় পার্থক্য আছে! যে প্রাণী মারতে পারে, তার পৈশাচিক গুণে মানুষ মারতে শুধু সময়ের অপেক্ষা।
    • মানুষ বুদ্ধিজীবী তাই নিজেদের প্রয়োজনেই যাবতীয় আইনের অনুশাসন, even স্বার্থে অন্য মানুষকে নিচু করতেও পিছপা হয়না।
    • মনুসংহিতায় কীরকম প্রাণী খাওয়ার বিকল্প আছে, তাতে নিশ্চয় দেখেছেন  সজারু, কচ্ছপের কথা, এদিকে কচ্ছপ হত্যা নিষিদ্ধ, কেন!? 
    • Appendicitis রয়েছে নিষ্ক্রিয় হয়ে, বুঝলাম। তাতে কি তার ডাইজেস্ট সিস্টেম এর খুব পরিবর্তন হয়েছে? 
    • বিবর্তনের উল্টো পথে হাঁটতে কে বলেছে? নিজের যেভাবে ইচ্ছে বাঁচুন না কে মানা করেছে, অহেতুক দোহাই দেওয়া কেন? এটা তো সেই শিশুকে বোঝানোর মত অবান্তর যুক্তি।
  • Ranjan Roy | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ২২:০৮533620
  • "গাছের প্রাণ আছে, গাছ কেটে তো আর গাছের মাংস ভক্ষণ হচ্ছে না"।
     
    -- তাই নাকি? তাহলে আলু মূলো ওল কীভাবে খাওয়া হয়? লাউশাক কীভাবে খান? কচুশাক? কলাগাছ থেকে কাঁদি কীভাবে কাটেন? দা' দিয়ে নয়? আর মোচা এবং থোড়? 
    -- আচ্ছা, আমাদের মূল খাদ্য ভাত এবং রুটির উপাদান ধান এবং গম কী করে সংগ্রহ হয়?
    ধান ও গমের গাছ অক্ষুণ্ণ রেখে? খেতে কাস্তে নিয়ে কেন যায় কিসান? 
    চিনি গুড় কীভাবে সংগ্রহ  করেন? 
    আখের গাছটির কোন ক্ষতি না করে?
     
    আর একবার ভাবুন। 
  • Ranjan Roy | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ২২:১৬533622
  • "যে প্রাণী মারতে পারে, তার পৈশাচিক গুণে মানুষ মারতে শুধু সময়ের অপেক্ষা"।
     
    আচ্ছা!!!!
     
    --তাহলে শাকাহারী গুজরাতের ব্রাহ্মণ কী করে হত্যা  এবং ধর্ষণে উল্লসিত হয়? বিলকিস বানো কেস? 
     
    আর রবীন্দ্রনাথ এবং বিবেকানন্দ মাসাহারী ছিলেন।
    জানেন বোধহয় ,রামকৃষ্ণ মিশনে সন্ন্যাসীরাও মাছ মাংস খান, নিয়মিত।
      
    আপনি বিবেকানন্দ এবং রবীন্দ্রনাথ  অথবা কয়েকশ' মিশনের সন্ন্যাসীর মধ্যে পৈশাচিক গুণ এবং নরহত্যার সম্ভাবনা দেখতে পাচ্ছেন?
     কী বলছেন, একটু ভেবে বলুন। 
  • syandi | 45.250.246.238 | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ২২:২৫533624
  • রন্জনদা, উনি নিজের সুবিধামত নিয়ম তৈরী করে নিচ্ছেন যাতে করে উনি খেয়েদেয়ে বেঁচে থাকতে পারেন, আবার নিজের high moral ground দেখিয়ে অন্যদের উপরে হম্বিতম্বিও করতে পারেন। 
  • syandi | 45.250.246.238 | ২২ জুন ২০২৪ ২২:৫২533629
  • আপনি জগদীশ বসুর রেফারেন্স টেনেছেন দেখলাম। আচ্ছা উনি কি কোথাও বলেছেন যে প্রাণীহত্যা নিষ্ঠুর কাজ বা খাওয়ার প্রয়োজনে উদ্ভিদ মারলে ক্ষতি নেই এরকম কিছু। যতদূর জানি উনি নিজেও মাছ-মাংস খেতেন। আপনার কল্পনাশক্তিকে বাহবা দিতে হয়। আপনি এক্সট্রাপোলেট করে সিদ্ধান্তে উপনীত হয়েছেন যে মাংসাহারী ব্যক্তি মানুষ মারতে পারে! যেন কোন ভেজিটেরিয়ান খুনী হয় না আর যত খুনী সবাই মাংসাহারী। এটাকে খন্ডন করে রন্জনদা যে প্রশ্নটা রেখেছেন সেটার উত্তর আছে আপনার কাছে?  
     
    আবার লিখেছেন "বিবর্তনের উল্টো পথে হাঁটতে কে বলেছে? নিজের যেভাবে ইচ্ছে বাঁচুন না কে মানা করেছে, অহেতুক দোহাই দেওয়া কেন? এটা তো সেই শিশুকে বোঝানোর মত অবান্তর যুক্তি।" অন্যের খাদ্যাভাসকে সম্মান করার অভ্যাসটা থাকলে মাংসাহারীদেরকে সম্ভাব্য নরহত্য়াকারী বলে চিহ্নিত করতেন না। একবার বলছেন নিজের ইচ্ছেমত বাঁচুন। আবার সম্ভাব্য নরহত্য়াকারী বলে দাগিয়ে দিচ্ছেন। আপনি পরস্পরবিরোধী কথা বলছেন সেটা কি বুঝতে পারছেন না? আপনি ভেজেটিরিয়ান বা ভীগান যাই হোন সেটা নিয়ে আমাদের কোন মাথাব্যথা নেই। শুধু একটাই অনুরোধ নিজের খাদ্যাভ্যাস নিয়ে holier than thou অ্যাটিটিউড দেখাবেন না। 
     
    আপনি gut length নিয়ে আমার তোলা প্রসঙ্গটা বোঝেন নি। কোথা থেকে appendicitis এর কথা তুললেন। আপনার অবগতির জন্য জানাই যে appendicitis একটি রোগের নাম, এটা কোন অর্গ্যান নয়। সম্ভবতঃ আপনি appendix বোঝাতে চেয়েছিলেন। 
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গুরুচণ্ডা৯-র সম্পাদিত বিভাগের যে কোনো লেখা অথবা লেখার অংশবিশেষ অন্যত্র প্রকাশ করার আগে গুরুচণ্ডা৯-র লিখিত অনুমতি নেওয়া আবশ্যক। অসম্পাদিত বিভাগের লেখা প্রকাশের সময় গুরুতে প্রকাশের উল্লেখ আমরা পারস্পরিক সৌজন্যের প্রকাশ হিসেবে অনুরোধ করি। যোগাযোগ করুন, লেখা পাঠান এই ঠিকানায় : [email protected]


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