October 31, 2015

Cow Politics: Slaughtering Humanity, India (Satish Chapparike)

Huffington Post India

Cow Politics: Slaughtering Humanity, India -- And Modi's Statesmanship
Satish Chapparike
Journalist, Author and a Musafir

I am a Jain by birth. I was born in a very traditional, agrarian Digambar Jain family in a remote village called Chapparike in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka, India. The members of my family who are still living in my village follow the toughest rules and traditions of Jainism and they are the purest vegetarians. For the four-and-a-half decades since my birth, I have also consciously practiced strict vegetarianism. My transgressions were few: I once tasted a ham pizza by mistake and another time I ate an egg omelette when travelling in the Rajdhani Express from Bangalore to Delhi (the latter caused a life-long aversion!).

All along the course of my life, during which I travelled across India, the UK, Sri Lanka and Nepal and encountered different beliefs, religions and food habits, I remained a vegetarian by choice. However, it doesn't mean I ate only in restaurants that served exclusively vegetarian fare or that I spent time only with friends who are vegans like myself. I have dined at a number of dedicatedly non-vegetarian restaurants across the countries I visited, sat with many friends who just love meat and ate my meal without any fuss. I have a friend who loves beef and "The Only Place" at the Museum Road in Bangalore is his favourite destination. Many a times, I sat with him eating vegetable pasta while he tucked into beef parmigiana with all the happiness of the world. Our religion, caste, beliefs never came in between our friendship and food habits. I never felt troubled sitting with a beef eater.

"The forces that are gaining mileage out of whipping up religious sentiments are neither true Hindus nor human beings."

The lynching of 50-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri, an attack motivated by rumours that he stored and ate beef in his home, really disturbed me, a staunch believer in Ahimsa Paramo Dharma (non-violence is the highest virtue). I strongly believe that though caste and religion were forced upon an individual at birth, they should remain individual choices. Every human being should get that independence and society should allow a person to live his or her own life. No one should force religion or food habits on anybody.

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FULL TEXT AT: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/satish-chapparike-/in-the-name-of-cow-let-us_b_8335430.html?ncid=fcbklnkinhpmg00000001