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Milk is thicker than blood – The cow controversy in India


The Indian cow controversy has gained momentum with the BJP Govt. coming into power. Recently state Governments under BJP rule have come up with open statements claiming anyone killing a cow would be hung. Social media has been in a frenzy ever since saying in India rapists can roam freely while someone who kills a cow is likely to be hung or even become a victim of vigilante justice.

There are two sides – One who wants the beef ban and one who doesn’t want it. While both have their own host of reasons, they both miss an important point that would be covered in this article. I was leaning towards the second category on accounts of personal choice and freedom and didn’t understand the logic behind banning it, but then I thought of discussing it with some educated villagers who spend time with these cows. Their viewpoint is going to be the most important and here are the findings that made me utter, ”Holy Cow”.

 

The first important thing is the relationship between a man and his animal. While BJP propagates Hindutva and cites cow worship over the centuries as the most important reason to ban its consumption, it’s important to realize the reasons for which a cow was or is worshipped in India. This can help clarify.

First of all, Hinduism is not a religion. 

There is no religion called Hinduism. There is no pappacy, no religious book saying how a Hindu should behave. Even Gita doesn’t mention the word Hindu anywhere. Hindus came to be known as such geographically.  The land between the Himalayas and Indian Ocean came to be known as Hindu. So even an earthworm in India is Hindu, just like you say ‘African elephants’.

Hinduism is devoid of rules and conventions. It grew and evolved without any councils and religious books for masses. Hinduism became a way of the society’s organization in the best possible way and spread by stories. These stories were conveyed through literature filled with moral values. Several traditional practices are continued even today. Some of the practices makes sense. Some don’t. However, Hindus have always worshipped something that makes their life useful. There are numerous examples in History that say how Hindus worshipped tools just because it made life easier and people were dependent on it. For any agricultural society, river source and cattle is essential. River provides water, cattle provides milk and other dairy products, if it’s a cow then can be used to plough the field sometimes and dung can be used either as manure to make the land more fertile or as fuel for combustion. With so many qualities in one animal it is no wonder that cow became a subject of worship by the Hindus. There were other animals providing one or more of these benefits, but the quality of benefits provided by a cow over its entire lifetime was huge. Although goat milk is easier to digest, the quantity produced is lesser than the cow milk and lactation period is also smaller. Cows made a special bondage with the owner and even today they are treated like pets. So if you protest killing of dogs in China for meat consumption now you would understand how Hindus have a concern over beef consumption.

 

Need for beef ban

For reasons mentioned above the cow owners from the Hindu section definitely have a point, but instead of giving it a religious turn and blowing things heavily into a political drama, let’s understand the actual need for beef ban.

Times have changed and India has lost its huge variety of cattle stock. Just 200 years ago, there used to be over 120 breeds of cattle and today we have only 37. The population of the native breed of cow has substantially reduced and there is a reason behind this. With many cross breeds available today, the native breed produces only one-third of the milk and lacks economic value as per most of the people.

Need for saving the native breed

The native breed of cow although produces a lower quantity of milk, it has the advantage of being native. The milk quality is good and doesn’t get stale at normal room temperatures in India, while milk from the cross breeds gets stale at temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius. The cross breeds succumb to Indian conditions and diseases more easily. So they are queued up for slaughtering so that leather industry can make use of it. Similarly, the native period is sent to the slaughterhouse much earlier to derive economic value out of it, failing to realize it could provide more economic value in the long-term. Indian breed of cow must be preserved and so should be other breeds, to maintain the quality of dairy and for the smooth ecosystem.

Cows also represent a higher evolutionary animal in the ecosystem than chickens or goats. It is a scientific fact that if you consume beef then some part of it remains undigested and present in your body for rest of the life. Indians have had a habit of failing to preserve something that lacks any economic or social value. So attaching a social value is paramount for people to value it, while passing on the understanding of economic value would take some time. Meanwhile India has become the largest exporter of beef and in many border areas like Cooch Behar cows are sent illegally to Bangladesh for consumption (Sending one cow across the border illegally fetches 5k-7k INR in hand). Before the next generation makes a Facebook page ‘Save cows’ and fails to save them, it is the prime responsibility of existing system to put a check on their depleting population. It should however be done in a legal way and attaching political drama and going to the extent of killing people won’t solve anything. It would only make people more reluctant to bow before the law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crave (book review)


‘’A supernatural romance. He’s a Rakshasa, she a hunter. They are natural born enemies, but does that mean they will give up on love”?

I romanticize unconventional love stories more than what is considered healthy. I started reading this book because it looked like an Indian version of the Twilight, sans unnecessary drama. I have known the author because of her previous book ‘Games Girls Play’ that I had seen at my girlfriend’s place.

The book starts with an introduction to the two lead characters, Samrat and Aditi. Samrat is an ‘Asura’ and ‘Aditi’ is a hunter. The first meeting of these two characters happens through an action scene that throws some more light on their backgrounds. The subsequent meetings between the characters have been poignantly described. The author’s choice of words creates a perfect imagery of the object and its atmosphere. Both of them try to avoid each other, but something keeps them drawing close and nature takes over on several occasions. The lusty love-making scene between these two characters is very sensual.

As the characters get to know little more about each other, they realize there is a lot more to be learnt about the other. The fascination only grows. As the story unfolds, it reveals a few more characters with supernatural powers. Some of them have devious plans and eventually Samrat and Aditi have to team up to fight them. They are joined by some of Aditi’s friends against the evil forces.

The rivalry between the hunters and Rakshasas had started thousands of years before. So despite all the current friendship and action one question always lingers in Samrat’s mind, whether Aditi would accept him on knowing that he is a Rakshasa. Samrat wants to tell her the truth, but is too consumed in his fight against the devious plans. Samrat is an Asura but his intentions are not evil. He lives by a moral code and later gets a chance to bare his soul to Aditi.

Aditi is in love with Samrat, but only with the few things she already knows. How would she react on knowing the truth? Can she abandon him directly and risk losing the fight against the evil? How does Samrat feel on knowing Aditi’s dark ancestry?

Crave is a refreshing story that makes you stick till the end. The story has not been overextended and the author deserves full marks for making you admire the characters. download

This book is a must-read for the intensity of love, craving and moral dilemmas it has. Moreover, the kindle edition on Amazon costs INR 68 only. Most of us spend more than this on our daily commute. Buying this book has been a very smart investment in the year 2016.

The book can be bought here.

Introducing UPto75.com- The best online site for deals


With e-commerce spreading its wings over a larger consumer base everyday, the average online consumer is lost when it comes to making a choice for his/her online purchase. Consider yourself buying a camera. You will have a hard time deciding and comparing deals on various online portals selling the product. How many times have we wondered if we could avail some discount on our next restaurant visit? It is during such times when websites like  UPto75.com come to our rescue.

Having a look at the website will assure you about the myriad deals that are available in your town or in your neighborhood. The website collates deals on various retail sales in the country (India) at one place and presents it to you on the basis of your location as well as category of the product/service you are looking for. What sets this website apart from other deals websites is the inclusion of offers from retail outlets which can’t be found and compared online.

One can easily navigate between categories and dates for the deals.

User friendly categories
User friendly categories

 

Some coupons are valid for dates  extending even into the next year. I tried finding out a deal on Dominos by typing it out in the search tab.

Deals from Dominos
Deals from Dominos

 

I wasn’t lucky with the amazing one  plus one offer but it has prompted me to keep looking out for such deals on the website so that I do not miss them in future.  There also several featured deals on the website which one gets to see on visiting the link already mentioned. So go ahead and check out this amazing compilation of offers from online platforms as well as retail outlets.

Love in the burning room


Dreaming about her,

caught unaware by her illusions,

displayed his emotions,

trapped like a fly on web.

Like water set on fire,

his emotions burnt the house,

With the flames of,

his need for her.

Could not quench his thirst,

only ashes would remain of the burning house,

and inside him a fire would still burn.

 

Wanted to peel off her layers,

push her lips inside his,

unfurl the tongue,

enjoy the nectar.

 

And so they melted away in sins of each others’ souls,

slowly kissing away the layers of hurt,

of naked bodies without any pain.

Nothing could pull them apart,

for once none concealed,

innocence lost with intense passion in the room,

and the house burnt again!

Why Arvind Kejriwal deserved to exit and India’s continuing corruption problems


The foundation:

Arvind Kejriwal had already left his job with the IRS in 2006. AK got popularity during his struggle with the Anna Hazare led movement for Jan-Lokpal Bill. Media had its eyes on this man who led a life of simplicity. He formed AAP on the moral grounds of simplicity, anti-corruption and a voice for the aam janta.

Populist measures?

The party had several items on its manifesto to attract the masses. It always sounded confident about coming into power. It loathed corruption and declared its averseness to join hands with the existing corrupt Government. AAP came into power on 28th Dec, 2013. A new Government was formed, but AAP had joined its hands with Congress to enter into power.  Joining hands with the very same party which it was opposed to, AAP raised doubt among several of its followers, but most of them decided to remain silent and observe AAP’s efforts to deliver what it had promised.  AAP opened its magic box in the next few days.  It announced that its ministers won’t be staying in large bungalows and there would be no red beacons on cars.

Then came the turn for subsidies. It first announced distribution of ‘’free water’’ for a consumption not exceeding 20,000 L per month. This was severely criticized by policy experts, but it sounded like a telescopic measure. It was a case of cross subsidy . There was a simple assumption to this, the poor would use water judiciously to not exceed the free limit ,  the rich can afford to pay for its consumption exceeding the limit. Those rich families that did not consume more than the free limit would not have to pay anything, though they could have easily afforded it. This can be best explained in terms of a reward for these families for using the water judiciously.  After 66 years of independence, at least citizens of the capital deserve free access to water.

The very next day AK unveiled his New year gift for us, announcement of 50% power subsidy. The Electricity Act, 2003 expressly requires all stakeholders to eschew needless politicisation of power rates and related statism. This was directly disregarding the independent tariff setting.

Double standards:

AAP has exhibited double standards on several occasions. It said that it would not be wasting money on private cars and 2 days later every minister gets an Innova, of course, without a red beacon. It seemed as if AAP was more concerned of AK’s public image and that public would ignore the perks enjoyed by its ministers. AAP had said it did not require big bungalows for its ministers, but small VIP bungalows sounded alright for them.  AAP was opposed to the Congress Government, but did not mind forming a Government with the help of Congress.

If AK had to resign because the Jan-Lokpal Bill was rejected, why was his conscience sleeping while forming a Government with Congress. He should not have come into power at the first place in that case.

 

The weak foundation:

AAP’s foundation sounded alright when it was struggling to come in power. Simplicity per se, is intrinsic in nature. AAP was formed on the moral grounds of simplicity, anti-corruption and a voice for the aam janta. One would put a tick mark on each of these, though a shorter one on the simplicity part because of the double standards mentioned previously. Talking about simplicity, simplicity per se is an intrinsic part of someone’s personality. AK however got full support of media in advertising his simplicity which eventually transformed into an election plank. The solidness of foundation is best ascertained during the rains. After coming into power, the same moral grounds sounded shallow. The very same moral grounds that were opposed to corruption, joined hands with Congress for forming a Government.

Cannibalization?

Forgive me for my political mindset, but I could not give away on the possibility of a cannibalization strategy adopted by Congress. If you think from the perspective of Congress, it could have silently formed a party that was exactly opposite to what the citizens had been witnessing from Congress. So you form a party that vehemently opposes corruption. It will definitely find its followers who can be swayed away by BJP in the next series of elections. And this is what exactly happened, AAP kept opposing the Congress Government but finally took its support, while BJP fell just short of gaining a majority and forming the Government. AAP destroyed BJP’s chances of coming into power and eventually joined hands with the very Government that it had been opposed to since its inception.

 

The serious problem:

 AK finally resigned from his CM post on 14th Feb. If you look carefully, AAP did a few special things. It engaged itself in a Guerilla warfare. AK left on a short notice, AAP is still there. Congress’ puppet or not, the problems with AAP or AK were too many in terms of strategies. Attack is the first weapon of the fool, which AK gracefully embraced while dealing with business houses and other parties.

Talking about the serious problem, the problem is not with the Congress, BJP or AAP. The problem lies within us and it is serious because we are too ignorant to notice it.  Indians, especially the aam janta, have traditionally been emotional in nature. This time, It confused morals with high administrative abilities. The party had several populist items in its manifesto, but people were so stuck to the idea of ‘anti-corruption’ that they never considered it seriously. AAP’s unique value proposition offered a voice of the aam janta opposed to the corruption which found several serious takers.

We support a party that claims itself to be against corruption, but we forget how corrupt our society is. Bribing for passports, licenses, etc. are common and we don’t even consider a part of corruption. The feeling of indulging in corruption has nothing to do with someone’s economic status.

Consider a typical college where only students whose parents’ annual income is less than 5 Lakhs INR are eligible for a scholarship. I have seen students vehemently supporting AAP on the grounds of anti-corruption. These same students, who make their everyday college visit in a different personal vehicle, avail scholarship benefits by deflating the net profit figures from their parent’s business, which can be any amount. Corruption is any dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power. Compare this to a student whose parents are employed in public sector and earn just over 5 Lakhs annually.

You will find many instances where you have seen other people or yourself indulging in acts of corruption. We desire quality of life offered in European countries, but while trying to imitate the West, we forget to copy the good things prevalent in their society. We forget how disciplined they are in abiding rules, we forget to copy their punctuality, we forget to respect women, and so on. We take pride in claiming that rules are meant to be broken, ham toh aise he hain (we are like this) , arrey sab chalta hai, and corruption continues to thrive.

The question then remains, ‘’Does a corrupt society deserve to have a corruption free Government?’’