Buddhism, the propagator of non-violence as supreme religion, spread in China, Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka etc., where meat of all sorts of animals is natural food, because its non-violence was linked to man rather than the animals.
The issue of cow has covered our vision. We need to look into our souls and build strength to resist the dark storm coming in its garb.
On the earth, we separated from animals a few hundred thousand years ago. We felt affinity to animals and made them our food too. Just as the animals, barring the pet ones, die of starvation or as victims of violence, so did the man die.
The elements of selfishness and dominance also arose; man enslaved man and subjected him to humiliation and deprivation worse than death. The urge for freedom also grew.
Philosophy and religion evolved to contain barbarism. They emphasized control your vanity and exploitative tendencies, don’t treat yourself as the master, and love each other. Kindness towards animals also came here and there but the focus of all religious practices remained on behavior and love towards humans.
Buddhism, the propagator of “Ahimsa parmodharmah” (non-violence as supreme religion), spread in China, Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka etc., where meat of all sorts of animals is natural food, because its non-violence was linked to man rather than the animals.
Gautam Buddha himself died of tasting piece of meat from Chund Lohar. In Khandavdah, Arjuna, on the insistence of Fire God, stopped the clouds from raining, to help him satisfy his appetite by burning the animals in the forest.
We are vegetarian or non-vegetarian due to our family tradition. However, there is no difference in these two people in terms of compassion towards other humans and truthfulness.
Pathans proved to be the truest nonviolent satyagrahis. Just as vegetarians eat grains produced by others, non-vegetarians also eat meat produced by laborers and are not cruel to animals. The laborers do that job as profession hence they also do not lack kindness.
We may remember that the vegetarian elite in India exploited the working classes such that the servants of animals never got milk or enough food grains and were to survive on fish and pig. We should not feel apathy to them.
In North India, both Hindus and Muslims pet cows and refrain from beef.
The issue of bulls is serious. Before the use of tractors and trucks, bulls served in plough and cart hence farmers sustained them. Now the bulls are jobless. Cattle fields and forests have diminished; hence over 10 million bulls are dying of starvation every year. Some are going to slaughter houses, owned mostly by caste elite.
The farmer has no strength to feed the useless bull for 20 years while his own children are hungry and many farmers are committing suicide.
In such a scenario, the changes made in animal laws in last three years have struck at the root of civilization and provided impetus to fanatics to spread hatred and terror. The permission of collector, needed to take animals from one state to another, is difficult to get.
On its pretext animals are being seized, innocent farmers and workers are being lynched and cases are being filed against the victims. Vendors are targeted on fake suspicion of contents of biryani.
The control of narrow minded organizations on religious institutions has destroyed the human aspect of religion. Academic institutions are suffocating. Farmers are ruined by markets.
Superficial nationalism is being propagated. The Kashmir policy is widening the gulf between the masses of Kashmir and rest of India. In Assam, Bangla-speaking countrymen are being harassed on suspicion of being Bangladeshis.
We must rise to change the situation.