COW VIGILANTES : Do we really need them ??
Earliar this month, four men, identifying themselves as gau rakshaks, beat up a container driver and cleaner in Surat on suspicion of ferrying cows for slaughter. In the month of july'2016 a group of self proclaimed gau rakshaks (cow protectors) publicly thrashed 4 person for allegedly skimming a dead cow.
Now let us figure out why were they beaten up? Most probably because there was a cow and in india cow is not just a cow but it is a holy cow and some Devine creature. Such a practice is based upon the sacred text of india: The Vedas which was approximately written in 1500-1000BC i.e, around 7000 years ago (approximate figure only). The cow was elevated to divinity in Rig veda and the Atharva Veda considers cow as a form of vishnu.
With such historical context every body wants to protect cows, but i feel why only cows? Ganesha's head was of an elephant, so why don't we protect elephants? Why dont the protectors thrash elephant poachers and hunters? Hanuman, the hindu monkey god has been described in Rig Vedas as an incarceration of lord shiva, so why do people kill/shoot monkeys and why has the government approved the culling of monkeys in himachal?
The question now is why do we over emphasise on 'cow protection'. The answer dates back to 20th century when india was struggling for its independence from the the Britishers. During 1920-30s, there was a sudden rise of religiously and ethnically affiliated political groups like Hindu mahasabha, RSS, Muslim league, etc. The demand for Muslim nation led to another demand of Hindu rashtrya. At the backdrop of this situation, cow was chosen as means to divide the population of the country on the basis of religion. Cow issue was raised by the hindu group because beef was popularly eatable by the Muslims. Historically, gau rakshaks were part of an extremist group of Arya samaj, later on such groups gained momentum and support from Hindu mahasabha and RSS as a tool to politically and ethnically divide and create the only 'Hindu' Rashtrya. Such groups were largely successful in creating a divide between the Hindus and the Muslims. The resultant enmity between the hindus-Muslims has created evident genocide since independence, the most famous being : The great Calcutta killings 1946, The partition of india 1947, Ayodhya kand 1992, Godhra kand 2002, and the list continues.
Because of certain political motives, the gau rakshaks have continued to traumatize the civilian on the name of religion. India is a developing country, and for development a country needs to consider and focus on every section be it Muslim, dalits or any other group, ignoring the atrocities done by any one section amounts to inequality.
We need to stop glorifying certain aspects of vedas, because we no longer live in 1500BC, situations and conditions are very much different now and favouring gau rakshaks or varna system will lead to further division of india into bits and pieces.