Hindutva and the hypocrisy of beef politics

Police in the Indian state of Haryana is very busy nowadays. It is not because of a sudden spurt in robberies or rapes. Those crimes are always there but no one is much bothered about it. They are currently busy sniffing out presence of beef in Biriyani, a rice  and meat preparation.

 The National Crime Record Bureau’s latest data shows that Haryana has the second highest number of complaints being lodged at police stations after Uttar Pradesh in the country.
Police officials in the state’s Mewat district, however, have been given a different priority collecting biryani samples from street vendors to check for beef.
Mewat is Haryana’s only Muslim-dominated district and the diktat from the state government’s Gau Sewa Ayog (Cow protection commission) has come just ahead of Bakri Eid, the Muslim religious festival, on September 12.
Bharti Arora, DIG in charge of the special task force to check cow smuggling and slaughter, and Mewat SSP Kuldeep Singh along with Ayog chairman Bhani Ram Mangla met locals in Mewat on Tuesday to discuss the issue. Mangla said the directions to the police were issued in the wake of a number of specific complaints that the biryani vendors were serving beef. After Mewat, sampling will be done in other districts as well.

Haryana has one of the most stringent cow slaughter acts in the country with a maximum jail term of 10 years.

Now the lab reports has come confirming there was beef in several samples. The report has come out very fast by Indian standards. It took the express way probably because the BJP government and to arrest few poor Muslim street vendors before the day of their religious festival so as to terrorise the community.

India’s Hindutva political party , the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , is basically a Brahmin (upper caste ) party. For Brahmins beef eating is currently blasphemy , though not in ancient India. Actually Vedic literature  prescribed Beef Biriyani like dishes for Brahmin couples to beget a scholar son.


Due to some reason, after around 500 CE, Brahmins stopped consuming beef and later other upper caste Hindus in the Gangetic plains also followed suit.

Hindutva movement are therefore champions of cow protection in these areas so that they can instil hate on those who eat it (mainly Muslims and Dalits) and there by consolidate Hindu votes to their advantage.


But in South India, North East India and in the Portuguese ruled state of Goa, a majority of people, including Hindus eat beef. In those places BJP is either neutral to beef or even pro beef so as to not hurt its electoral chances.

BJP’s hypocrisy in beef politics is clearly exposed.

It is the Indian democracy and its electoral politics  that is forcing the dilution of fascist ideology of Hindutva, at least in some parts of the country. It has to be cherished and protected.



  1. fledanow says

    Do you think this law accords with India’s constitution? It seems clear that it is religiously based, and discriminates against those whose tradition or religion would otherwise allow them to eat beef. I don’t know what economic effects or hardships might result from this for this who have traded in cows, but I can imagine that the fines and jail time will be applied unequally and will disproportionately affect marginalized people. If there is a case to be made that the law is unconstitutional, who would be likely to take it to court? Thank you.

  2. fledanow says

    That is an excellent article. If I understood it correctly, there is a no constitutional “right to life” for cattle, but there is a constitutional recognition of the value of cattle to India’s economy. Regulation of cattle is left to the state governments & many have passed bans on cattle slaughter, trade, and consumption. It looks as if most of Haryana’s recently passed law, if challenged, is likely to pass muster, The Supreme Court of India has already ruled that bans on cow slaughter do not interfere with Muslims’ religious rights.

    I’m astonished that the crime in Haryana is unbailable and the penalties are so harsh. They seem disproportionate, unfair, and unreasonable, I wonder if the penalty provisions could withstand a challenge.

    You live in a fascinating country.

    • Arun says

      Yes u have understood it correctly. Penalty provisions can be challenged and thus be modified.In my state of Kerala there is no ban.

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