By Sushil Kutty
There is a special kind of Hell for the cow vigilante. It is not a lake of boiling pitch. That is for corrupt politicians. In Dante’s Hell, the cow vigilante is hung from meat-hooks. Roasted on slow fire. Cow Vigilante Fry! Malayali Happymon Jacob tweets that the best beef-fry is Kerala’s Beef-PepperFry. He lists Meghalaya. Mizoram. West Bengal and Sikkim among places where beef dishes are “Yummy”.
Abhijeet Iyer-Mitra exploded in anger. “This guy is jealous,” he wrote. “The Tamizh Beef-Pepper fry is way superior!” A Pakistan reacted with “Lol.” Cryptic. Long-distance beef. Bone of contention. “Nope,” retorted the Goanese. “You forgot Goa.” The Hyderabadi feigned a stomach upset: “What the hell?”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is right now on his African safari. Monday, he gifted 200 cows to a village in eastern Rwanda. Did the Indian envoy to Rwanda confirm whether mother cow is ‘holy’ to Rwandans? The cows were “locally” sourced. Modi lost an opportunity to “save” 200 Indian cows – the “best in the world” – from cow smugglers and Happymon beef-eater. What a pity?
The Rwandan diet is largely pastoral: Sweet potatoes. Beans. Corn. Peas. Millet. Plantain. Casava. Fruit. The Germans introduced potato to the African country, which is considered the gateway to East Africa. It’s now very popular. Rural Rwandans rarely eat meat. The Urban Rwandan does. Other than chicken, the most preferred meat is beef!
Rwanda has a social (not cow) protection programme called ‘Girinka’ – one cow for one poor family. If one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 200 gifted cows gives birth to a female calf, that ‘child-cow’ will be gifted to the family’s neighbour. Girinka (Rwandan for ‘May you have a cow!’) is an old cultural practice of Rwanda.
The Rwandan Genocide was not about cows. It was about who was the superior race, the Hutu or the Tutsi, who shall rule? Both speak the same language. Eat the same food. Wear the same clothes. Play the same sport. But the Belgians who colonized Rwanda considered the Tutsi superior. Tutsi are taller, slender. Like the Ethiopian!
The Tutsi liked the Belgian conclusion. They believed it. The Hutu outnumbered the Tutsi but the Tutsi ruled Rwanda. Except for a short period – the 100-day Rwanda Genocide when thousands of Tutsi were slaughtered and their bodies flung into the river to Ethiopia. “Go home,” the Hutu said. The Tutsi returned home – Rwanda!
The Tutsi are like the Brahmin. A minority. A notch above. The Brahmin lives with artefacts. In the past. Vedic Age! His religion dictates what Indians eat. The ban on cow slaughter panders to his taste buds! He doesn’t care if the cows are left to wander the street. Eat plastic. He has built temples for the cow. Isn’t that enough?
At one time the live cow was the Brahmin’s and Kshatriya’s wealth. The dead cow was given to the lower castes. The untouchable. Go eat, be happy, beholden! Then, the Muslim invaded. The Muslim eats beef. So, the cow became holy. The message changed. Nobody should eat cow. Gai Hamari Mata Hai!
Dead cows do not give milk. The Brahmin got energy from milk. The Dalit got his from beef! Then, post British Raj, Hindutva struck. First strike: Beef! Protect the cow. Ban cow slaughter. Kill the cow-smuggler. He’s taking cow to the slaughter.
Who is the cow smuggler? Muslim. Preferably one who owns an open-to-the-sky commercial truck! Find one on the road with cow in it, a Muslim behind the wheel. Don’t wait. Haul him out. Kill! But it is not yet genocide. Not as long as the Constitution holds.
There must be cow-smugglers in Rwanda. But there are no cow vigilante in Rwanda. There are no cow vigilante in China. Japan. Russia. UK. EU. USA. Canada. Argentina. Brazil. Mexico. Iceland. Australia. Greenland. Borneo. Brunei. Virgin Islands. South Africa.
There are cow vigilante in Dante’s Hell where they are hung from meat-hooks. Maybe, the government should add meat-hooks to the new vigilante law. The last resort. Indians are getting killed while Rwandans get cows to prosper. Charity begins at home. Why not gift one cow to every poor family in every Indian village, Hindu or Muslim, with a ‘May you have a cow’ message hanging round the bovine neck? Why is it that Modi’s generosity/statesmanship shines abroad only?
Rwanda’s leading daily The New Times says Rwandans are getting a taste for Indian food. So far beef curry and beef fry do not find mention. But add them to the menu card and Modi’s ‘New India’ could make millions of dollars selling beef to the Rwandans. Isn’t that what India does, sell beef to the world while depriving poor Indians of cheap protein, food on the table? Kill them if caught with beef on the hoof or in the fridge! (IPA Service)