Saturday, 28 March 2015

Response to Mr Kancha Ilaiha on his views on Cow Slaughter

This is my response to an interview of Mr Kancha Ilaiha which appeared in Quartz. says-most-hindus-never-had- any-beef-with-beef

1) It is definitely a cultural imposition— particularly on indigenous groups, such as tribals and Dalits. The question of cultural imposition on Muslims and Christians comes later.
Reply > Cultural value of saving life becomes cultural imperialism? How warped his thinking can be? True fact which we know is that by killing cows the invaders have deliberately undermined one of the cores values of our civilization. The question of calling vanvasis as tribal and calling dalit indigenous is all rehash of the Aryan invasion/immigration mindset. His understanding of history is wrong. The cultural imposition if at all is killing of cows which we have suffered.

2)  Ilaiah-ji speaks about history of Brahmins killing cows, food scarcity. He introduces stories about his own personal experiences
Reply> Concocted history about beef eating by Brahmins is complete nonsense. He is engaging in propaganda of some obscure, doubtful, fringe historical references when the overwhelming facts point otherwise. The vedic view as explained by Srila Prabhupada in an interview was that there are 7 mothers. Adi-mata(original mother), Guru-Patni, Brahman-Patni, Raja's patni, Dhratri(Nurse/Foster mother/wet nurse), Dhenu, Prtihvi. Cow is mother because we drink cows milk. Killing mother is sin. Is that difficult to understand in terms of cultural values? 
The history of massive famines and food scarcity I know of was during the British period when they increased the tax on land from the usual 15% to 75%+. That caused land to go out of production. Why he is insists on saying that 'Dalits' don't consider cow as mother too? All his assumptions rest on his theory that Brahmins are invading Aryans which is as flawed as Nazis conception of Aryans.

3) Muslims/Christians being consumers of beef. 
Reply> Today yes. Historically no. Dharampal had written a book on this. The figures he gave is that before the British perhaps 20000 cattle were killed in an year mostly during Eid. British were primarily responsible for killing cows in large number figure is 30000 per day. The book talks about "India-wide anti-kine-killing movement against the British, between 1880-1894"..  "many prominent Muslims as well as the Parsis and Sikhs actively participated in the movement. The fact that the movement was directed against the British and not against the Muslims, as commonly believed, was very clear to Queen Victoria and her high-ranking officers".

He speaks of choice as if there was no other food left to eat even for meat eater. More and more people realize that beef is bad for health and bad for the environment. It is also bad for our cultural value of not harming nature that provides us sustenance.

4) Shankaracharya developing idea of banning cow slaughter. Buddhists were beef eaters. Shankaracharya turned Brahmins to beef eaters first in south then in north.
Reply> What a concoction. His lying through his teeth. Japan a Buddhist country did not kill cows till 150 years ago when Americans imposed this culture of beef eating to them. The first recorded cow killing was done by American Counsel General Townsend Harris and his Dutch interpreter Hendrick Heusken at the Gyokusen-ji temple in 1856. Hendrick Heusken was later killed by a Samurai. Did Shankaracharya visit Japan? Earlier in the interview he said Buddha banned beef eating then he says Shankaracharya banned it and Buddhist used to eat. Contradictions in the same interview.

6) RSS turning beef into Hindu Muslim issue. South Indian Brahmins remaining culturally embedded in their families so practice untouchability.
Reply> Politics of protecting cows is politics of allowing civilizations values to be respected. Does it unite Hindus, perhaps it does just as Baba Grakhnath did and created the Gorakha community. But why are you after the poor cow? Attack Brahmins and a good argument made because "Brahmins are evil" as the mazhabi preachers like Francis Xavier and the conquering invaders propagated. 

7) Racism in killing buffalo and saving cows. Because buffalo is black animal.
Reply> Save us from his rants. There are no black cows? Are cows not brown? I cant argue on this. His statement is absurd. Killing animals up to buffalo was tolerated for meat eaters that is true but how many Hindus eat buffalo? Cow has a special place in our culture and represents mother earth also he does not get it. 

8) Cows came to India with Aryans.
Reply> His entire life is stuck on the Aryan invasion history. Harappan bull seals and figurines seem to have lost to him even with his AIT this statement does not match.

9) Converting Dalits to Hinduism.
Reply> His work engages in dividing Indian communities against each other. If his kind of people are going to set the discourse then there will be no harmony between communities in India. Perpetual victim hood that the term 'Dalit' creates already makes the task of creating harmony and removing discrimination difficult. He is converting 'Dalits' out of Dharma not the other way round.

10) Cows in rural economy. Sick/old cows if not killed rural economy will suffer.
Reply> When poor cannot take care and let the cow stray, even then the community feeds the cow. In villages and small towns this is the norm. Hindus don't always send cattle to slaughter houses they are stolen by cattle thieves who sell them to slaughter houses. As per national crimes records bureau 8000~ cattle stolen in 2013 &  81000~ stolen in 12 years before that combined. These are just the reported & recorded cases.

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