Is one sufficiently patriotic only if one is a Hindu cow-vigilante?

 

Vinod Kumar

vinod kumar jnuHindutva cultural nationalism is at its peak today. So the day is not far when India becomes a country like Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy. We have all witnessed how the cow-vigilantes are promoted by the VHP, RSS and its political outfit, the BJP. People from oppressed communities across the country are being butchered, lynched, tortured and harassed, apparently for consuming or selling beef. A few months ago, four Dalits were beaten up by cow-vigilantes in Una town of Gujarat. Out of political compulsion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shed crocodile tears, saying things like "Shoot me but don't target Dalits" and "Cow-vigilantes are doing business in the name of cow protection". Later, he was criticized for these statements by people like Pravin Togadia. Togadia claimed that cow-vigilantes sacrificed their life for cow protection while Modi never cared about it. After this, Modi did not give out a single statement regarding the Una issue. Of course, by their very nature, Indian society and culture have been suppressive and have oppressed certain communities for centuries, but in today's so-called independent and democratic India, they operate in very sophisticated ways.

Cow-vigilantes are working very strategically in Muslim and Dalit localities. For instance, in Delhi, some institutions associated with Sangh Parivar can be found near the Qutb Minar, and the walls are replete with slogans like, "Gaay Hamari Mata Hai, Isko Rashtriya Pashu Banana Hai". Near Jama Mosque, a BMS (Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh) office can be seen, surrounded by many temples. In this way, some or the other kind of surveillance by the Sangh Parivar can be found in almost all Muslim and Dalit localities. Sanghis are playing multiple roles; working everywhere as militia and as agents of the intelligentsia in different forms against the oppressed of the country.

With conscious analysis, we find two authorities functioning together in the so-called democratic India; one being the Manusmriti and the other being the Indian Constitution. Manusmriti has not become obsolete; rather it is continuing to function, even more vigorously than the Indian constitution in practice. There are many examples of various judgments issued by the Indian judiciary, that were given by quoting from the Manusmriti. It is no wonder then that a statue of Manu has been erected in the centre of the Rajasthan High Court garden.

In academic institutions, these intelligentsia and militias are very much active in the form of student wings like ABVP and others. Students in the campuses who think, write or talk against the communal and casteist Indian society, against Brahmanical culture and the fascist government, have been facing a lot of harassment from the administration, with the support of ABVP. Recently in the Central University of Haryana, a teacher from the department of English was tortured by the administration and local people with the help of ABVP, because he directed a play in which a military person was shown raping women. There is no need to discuss the 9th February incident in JNU because everyone knows what it was, but the extent of fascist attack in the campus became evident when students were faced with a proctorial enquiry for writing 'Jai Bhim' on the walls of the Administration Block.

A few months ago, some Dalit students in ABVP, harassed and discriminated by the upper-caste lobby, decided to leave the organization. After this, Pradip Narval and some other ex-members of ABVP burnt the Manusmriti publicly. For having done this, they are still being harassed by the administration. In JNU, burning the effigies of cow-vigilantes or the Modi Government have now become 'anti-national'. Manikanta Bahujan from BAPSA, Abdul Matin from YFDA and T. Pravin from BAPSA are facing administrative enquiry for the 'crime' of burning effigies of cow-vigilantes and the Modi government. In this democratic state, people do not even have the right to criticise the government or the thuggish cow-vigilantes.

Coming to the main argument of my write up; how can a natural death of a cow-vigilante be treated with the same honour as an Indian soldier, with the Tricolour? Is the Tricolour meant for cow-vigilantes? Is it not disrespectful to the National Flag? Why was his (Ravin Sisodia's) family given a huge amount of money by different sources and the government? Is it not encouraging and promoting cow-vigilantism, Brahmanism and fascism? What is it? Nationalist or anti-national? If disrespecting the National Flag is a punishable offence, then Mahesh Sharma, Sangit Som and other leaders involved in the incident, are culprits.

Ravin Sisodia was one of the 18 accused who lynched Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri last year, for allegedly consuming beef. The entire country witnessed a huge movement demanding justice for Akhlaq. Akhlaq's son, who works in the Indian Air Force, did not get provoked on communal lines even though his father was killed by a particular religious community. Instead of worrying about his father's death, he was worrying about the country. He gave many interviews to media channels regarding his father's murder by cow-vigilantes, and did not utter a single word of hatred during any of them. He appealed for peace and harmony in the country. The irony is that the system is still victimizing Akhlaq's entire family, while the murderers are still searching for what was actually in the freezer in Akhlaq's home – was it Beef or Mutton?

The family of Akhlaq is facing daily torture from religious communities for being Muslim, and by the government for keeping beef. Instead of giving justice to Akhlaq, the culprits have been rewarded. According to NP Singh, the District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, Sisodia's family will be given a compensation of Rs. 25 Lakh. The state government will give Rs.10 lakh. Another 10 lakh rupees will be given by social institutions, while MP Mahesh Sharma and MLA Sangeet Som will be giving Rs. 5 lakh each. The state government had agreed to recommend a CBI inquiry into the case as soon as a written request was received from the family. (Indian Express, 8 Oct. 2016). Yet, the communal and casteist forces are not satisfied. They are continuously victimising Akhlaq's brother, Jaan Mohammed. A 11-member committee has now been constituted by the local MLA to monitor the police enquiry. In this way, the cow-vigilantes are getting every kind of support from all quarters.

Is one sufficiently patriotic only if one is a Hindu cow-vigilante? Is a Muslim person's service to the country in a soldier's uniform not enough to prove his patriotism? The happenings of Bisara village prove that the cow is being portrayed as the nation and Ravin Sisodia as a soldier who died fighting against cow slaughterers. In every way, the kind of nationalism being portrayed here is even more dangerous than the one of Hitler's Germany. Hitler and his fascist state killed millions of people for preserving the purity of the Aryan race. Sanghis are killing people for cows. The nation they are trying to build is only for cows and cow-vigilantes (Sangh Parivar and caste Hindus) and the non-Hindus, particularly the minority Muslims and Dalits, are seen as a threat.

The idea of Hindu Rashtra is based on Brahmanical cultural hegemony. The Cow is being used as a weapon against the marginal communities that uphold different religious and cultural values. The oppressed of the country genuinely carry the values of democracy, equality, liberty and fraternity. They want a country guided by the modern Constitution and not the Manusmriti. There is an urgent need for all the oppressed communities to get united in order to fight against the majoritarian and fascist idea of Hindu Rashtra, and lead the country toward building a nation with real democratic values. In such a nation, people would be called nationalists because of their love for fellow humans, rather than for animals like the cow. People would get rewarded because of their humanitarian acts and not for being saviours of oppressive Brahmanical cultures, a casteist society and cow-vigilantism.

~~~

 

Vinod Kumar is a PhD candidate in Centre for West Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Other Related Articles

Solidarity Statement by Dalit Penkoottam
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
  Dalit Penkoottam We strongly protest the verbal attacks directed at Pembilai Orumai* by the Minister of Electricity of the Pinarayi Vijayan government of Kerala and member of the Communist... Read More...
The landless will now receive no land
Saturday, 22 April 2017
  Santosh Kumar Thomas Isaac, the Finance minister of Kerala had declared in the budget that flats/apartments shall be constructed within a year and given to one lakh people in Kerala who do not... Read More...
A Discussion on Poetry Book 'Akash Nila Hai'
Thursday, 13 April 2017
  Kalyani The program was a book discussion of Bal Gangadhar ‘Bagi’s book “Akash Nila Hai”. The book is a collection of poetry which JNU Ph.D scholar Bal Gangadhar ‘Bagi’ has written... Read More...
Training School For Entrance To Politics - Admission Notification
Saturday, 08 April 2017
  Admission NotificationPOLITICAL SCHOOL BATCH 2017-18 One Year Residential Training for the Youths Interested in Politics TRAINING SCHOOLFOR ENTRANCE TO POLITICSJalandhar, Punjab (India) 60... Read More...
Vayalar Rebellion: A Rethought
Thursday, 23 March 2017
  Anilkumar PV There is no other grand claim about history as that of Hegel's inimitable remark: "God is God only in so far as he knows himself." It was Marx who liberated thought from the... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: His Economic Philosophy and State Socialism
Friday, 11 November 2016
  Adv. Mahendra Jadhav Abstract Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is undisputedly one of the greatest economists of all time. But unfortunately, his economic thoughts have not been read, followed or... Read More...
Dalit Upsurge and the Politics of Land – Chalo Thiruvananthapuram!
Monday, 07 November 2016
  S. Mrudaladevi The invader-friend can write or say anything about despotism, authoritarianism or anarchy experienced by the oppressed. It is part of his cunning effort to mask the exploitation... Read More...
Hatred in the belly: Interrogating Internalised Prejudices and Supremacy
Sunday, 04 December 2016
  Kavita Bhanot [Excerpts from the talks given at SOAS and Manchester launch of Hatred in the belly: The politics behind the appropriation of Dr Ambedkar's writings] For some years now, I've... Read More...
Brahminical Conversations on Dalit Politics
Sunday, 29 January 2017
  Koonal Duggal and Kavita Bhanot A poster was recently shared widely on social media advertising a panel discussion at the 2017 Delhi Book Fair, titled 'Contemporary Dalit Politics'. The event... Read More...
I am someone who thinks in an Ayyankali thought: Vinayakan, best actor
Sunday, 19 March 2017
  Dwija Aami and Sreerag Poickadan Malayalam actor Vinayakan has received the Kerala State government's Best Actor Award 2016 for the Malayalee film Kammatpadam, recently. His interview by... Read More...

Recent Articles in Hindi

पेरियार से हम क्या सीखें?

पेरियार से हम क्या सीखें?

  संजय जोठे  इस देश में भेदभाव और शोषण से भरी परम्पराओं का विरोध करने वाले अनेक विचारक और क्रांतिकारी हुए हैं जिनके बारे में हमें बार-बार पढ़ना और समझना चाहिए. दुर्भाग्य से इस देश के शोषक वर्गों के षड्यंत्र के कारण इन क्रांतिकारियों का जीवन परिचय और समग्र कर्तृत्व छुपाकर रखा जाता है. हमारी अनेकों पीढियां इसी षड्यंत्र में जीती आयीं हैं. किसी देश के उद्भट विचारकों और क्रान्तिकारियों को इस...

Read more

कृष्ण: भारतीय मर्द का एक आम चेहरा...!

कृष्ण: भारतीय मर्द का एक आम चेहरा...!

(कृष्ण की लोक लुभावन छवि का पुनर्पाठ!)मानुषी आखिर ये मिथकीय कहानियां किस तरह की परवरिश और शिक्षा देती हैं, जहां पुरुषों को सारे अधिकार हैं, चाहे वह स्त्री को अपमानित करे या दंडित, उसे स्त्री पलट कर कुछ नहीं कहती। फिर आज हम रोना रोते हैं कि हमारे बच्चे इतने हिंसक और कुंठित क्यों हो रहे हैं। सारा दोष हम इंटरनेट और टेलीविजन को देकर मुक्त होना चाहते हैं। जबकि स्त्री...

Read more

राष्ट्रवाद और देशभक्ति

राष्ट्रवाद और देशभक्ति

संजय जोठे धर्म जो काम शास्त्र लिखकर करता है वही काम राष्ट्र अब फ़िल्में और विडिओ गेम्स बनाकर बनाकर करते हैं. इसी के साथ सुविधाभोगी पीढ़ी को मौत से बचाने के लिए टेक्नालाजी पर भयानक खर्च भी करना पड़ता है ताकि दूर बैठकर ही देशों का सफाया किया जा सके, और यही असल में उस तथाकथित “स्पेस रिसर्च” और “अक्षय ऊर्जा की खोज” की मूल प्रेरणा है, यूं तो सबको...

Read more