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Will 'Akhand Bharat' breakup over beef?
Finally states are protesting the attempts of the BJP to foist Hindutva outside the "Cow Belt". Where will it lead our country?

The attempts of the Hindutva brigade to impose their will on the country, banning beef, imposing Hindi and "Manu Smriti" is at last meeting with some resistance. A Bheem Sena is emerging to lead a Dalit fightback. The latest regulation on selling cattle which does not ban beef has met with widespread resistance in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Meghalaya and West Bengal. It seems that the latest regulation has acted like the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Students are organising beef parties in defiance. A Congress MLA in Kerala took beef after 19 years in defiance of Congress party diktat to protest against what they see as an attempt to impose "Cow Belt Culture". A BJP leader in Meghalaya has resigned in protest. The question is, will the agenda of the Hindutva brigade lead to the breakup of "Akhand Bharat"?

The Hindutva agenda

The agenda of the Hindutva brigade is not restricted to banning beef alone. It also seeks to stop love marriages, particularly inter-religion or inter-caste; restoring ancient traditions in dressing; barring opposite sexes from socialising and being obedient towards elders. This agenda conflicts with the youth of today. Sixty per cent of India's population is below 40. I do not think that the young generation gives a damn whether Ram Mandir is built or whether Article 370 is removed. They want freedom to choose their lifestyle and jobs. They have little in common with the past forty generations.

On beef ban

There is some form of restriction on cow slaughter in most Indian states for almost 70 years.. However, there are none in the states of Kerala, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. Since, to ban or not ban cow slaughter or consumption of beef is a state subject, the Hindutva brigade has been unable to impose their will and get cow slaughter banned in these states. The new rules on sale and trade in cattle are an attempt by the Hindutva brigade to impose the ban by indirect approach. The move has been fiercely resisted in some states and simply ignored in others. The economic and political effects of these restrictions which severely affect the livelihood and economic well being of hundreds of millions of non-beef-eating cattle farmers, beef-eaters and meat export industry will be visible in 2019 elections. For 68 years, beef was a non-issue. But, BJP's election victories since 2014 have converted it to be the most divisive one.

On love marriages

Traditionalists, either Hindus, Muslims or of any other religion are against love marriages. Fathers want their children to marry according to their wishes to further their economic and political interests. Mothers want their children to marry according to their wishes so that they can retain their hold on their sons. Unfortunately, for the traditionalists, the problem is age old. Romeo and Juliet; Othello and Desdemona; Heer and Ranja; Bazbahadur and Roopmati; Sunil Dutt and Nargis, and many others have queered the pitch for the traditionalists. Love is a strong emotion and lovers care little for the consequences. Lovers are stoned to death in Islamic countries and killed to protect family honour in ours. The Hindu brigade has murdered couples and their kin for inter-religion, inter-race or inter-caste marriages. But, could they stop love marriages? The simple answer is, no, never. Their futile attempts can only alienate the youth.

On dressing traditionally and allowing both genders to mingle

The Hindu brigade and their Muslim fundamentalist friends may want women to dress conservatively and frown upon seeing opposite sexes socialising. But that is unlikely to happen in today's society.

Effect of Hindutva agenda on the unity & integrity of India

Whenever there have been attempts by the majority to impose its language and culture on the minority, there has been resistance. Let us look at some examples from our history. In 1947, Mizoram was part of Assam. In 1960, Assam government made Assamese the official language and relegated the Mizo language. This along with neglect in development led to the Mizo insurgency in 1966 which lasted till 1986 until an agreement was signed and Mizoram became a separate state. Tiny Mizoram defied the mighty Union of India for 20 long years. Similar agitations in Bodoland and Gorkhaland by even smaller minorities could only be resolved by grant of autonomy and self-governance.

Attempts to impose Hindi on Tamils started before independence in 1937, but had to be withdrawn in 1939. After DMK won state Assembly elections in 1967, Indira Gandhi withdrew the notification and allowed English and Tamil to be used indefinitely. Bengalis, Maharashtrians, Gujaratis, Keralites, Andhraites are all fiercely proud of their mother tongue and insist on their languages being used as the second official language.

Conclusion

The front page headline of the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar of June 2, 2017 says that a message which translates to "The cow should be declared our mother, goat should be declared our sister, the chicken should be declared our daughter and we humans should be declared national idiots" has gone viral. I congratulate the originator of the tweet. He has aptly summed up the desire of our Hindu fanatics and animal lovers. A tiger or a leopard eating a cow or human being is OK. Street dogs biting and killing children is OK. Humans losing employment and lively hood due to ban on trading in cattle and starving is OK.

Has not the BJP President, Mr Amit Shah said that it is not possible to give jobs to 123 crore Indians? In any case, those who eat beef or deal in the meat and leather industries are criminals who deserve to die. So what, if exports worth Rs 50,000 crores per year are stopped, thousands of people are rendered jobless and India's trade deficit increases by a few billion dollars?

The BJP leader of Meghalaya Bernard Marak has quit the party saying that BJP has no respect for Garo traditions and culture. The reality is that RSS and its Sangh Parivar and hence BJP leaders have no respect for any culture or tradition they do not approve of.

West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry have said that they will not implement the Central Regulation on sale of cattle. Many student bodies have organised beef festival in defiance of the Hindutva brigade. Arunachal, Nagaland, Andhra, Telengana, Tripura, Sikkim, Goa and the over 12 crore Muslims of India are strangely silent. Are they going to suffer in silence if the regulation is not withdrawn? Or are they preparing for a fightback for their traditional cultural rights? How will the Hidutva brigade overcome the resistance? Which parties will make political gains? Only time will tell.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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