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Gau Gundagiri
And The Closing Of The Hindu Mind:
India's Cow Hooliganism

RAMACHANDRA GUHA, The Hindustan Times

 

 

 




gau gundagiri (or gundagardi): Cow hooliganism. [Dictionary]


Through recent decades India, taken as a whole, was moving slowly in the direction of gender and caste equality, and of individual freedom and liberty as well.

All that may now be in the past. Hindu 'liberalism', once so vigorous and on the ascendant, is increasingly besieged, as the leadership of the community passes into the hands of bigots and reactionaries. Having (to quote Gandhi) once lived in a house whose windows were kept open to let the breeze from outside come in freely, having once (to invoke Tagore) gloried in the illumination of a lamp lit anywhere in the world, Hindu leaders are now turning inwards, looking backwards.

And large sections of the community are following their lead. Thus ever larger numbers of Hindus ‘seem to have locked their sensibilities with a huge padlock and have thrown the key away’. Besides, ‘it has become difficult to open that lock. If you choose to break it open you are considered an enemy of Hinduism and an anti-Hindu person’.

The most emphatic evidence of the victory of Hindu bigotry over Hindu liberalism is the enormous importance given by the ruling party to the worship of the cow.

The epidemic of gau gundagiri - ‘cow hooliganism’ - now sweeping the Hindu belt of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Jharkhand (among other states) is antithetical both to the rule of law and to the rights of individuals.

To be sure, for a particular person to show reverence for a particular animal is entirely reasonable. But for a community to use the power of the State to enforce this worship on society as a whole is deeply repugnant. And as field studies in different parts of India have shown, the State’s ban on cow slaughter and curbs on trade in cattle are having damaging consequences for the rural economy.

Gau gundagiri is directed outwards, at the minorities. Other forms of contemporary Hindu chauvinism are directed inwards. Hindu patriarchs believe that Hindu women cannot make their own individual choices; rather, they must be guided and protected by Hindu men.

Ambedkar encouraged Dalits to educate, agitate and organise for their rights, but now (as an Indian Express report on the UP Chief Minister’s visit to a Dalit village showed) they are given soap and shampoo to clean and purify themselves for presentation to Hindu leaders. The Constitution saw complete equality for women and Dalits as an absolute right; Hindutva ideologues see it as a discretionary favour, to be granted or withheld as they please.

Back in the 1960s, Dalwai wrote despairingly of the Indian Muslim leadership that ‘when they find faults, the faults are invariably those of other people. They do not have the capacity to understand their own mistakes …’

This description applies in toto to the Hindu leadership of today, which likewise only finds faults in other people -- whether Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, sickulars, libtards, or foreigners -- while proclaiming that their own community is flawless, guiltless, and divinely ordained to lead the world.

This would be funny, were its consequences not so tragic.


[Courtesy: The Hindustan Times. Edited for sikhchic.com]
June 8, 2017
 

Conversation about this article

1: Raj (Canada), June 08, 2017, 2:59 PM.

Not to offend any religion ... But, having lived in the West for almost 50 years, I have seen many Hindus eat beef here, even Brahmins. Yet, they preach in India. A famous Bollywood actress who's settled in US, made to my wife, who never lived in India, a spurious and vacuous claim on how purest of pure Brahmins they were. Yet, her son didn't want to eat vegetarian food of a vendor, but insisted on going to Danny's for a beefburger. They're all hypocrites.

2: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), June 08, 2017, 5:19 PM.

Disturbing to have so many morbidly superstitious and highly criminalised people on our beautiful planet Earth who use it as an open toilet and believe worshiping stone penises and make believe goddesses is more important than basic decency, education and civilized behaviour towards each other.

3: Hardev Singh (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), June 08, 2017, 6:36 PM.

Only yesterday, on Zee T.V. news, a Hindu preacher in Toronto was declaring the utmost importance of the cow for Hindus for its milk, 'Mootar' (urine) and 'gobbar' (feces). When this is preached in their temples, it is anybody's guess where they are headed.

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