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Me No Eat Meat
So, You No Eat Meat:
A Silly, Silly World






Contrary to appearances, I don’t think the world is necessarily getting sillier by the day. It’s probably no different from the days of our earliest ancestors who, being pioneers, invented human silliness.

All we are doing today is perfecting it.

Also, the world has gotten smaller, particularly made thus by the internet. Therefore, no matter who does what in whichever corner of the earth, there are busybodies who feel it is their duty to inform us instantly of each silliness.

So, now we are “better informed’, more than ever before, what with a constant barrage of inane stories from even the remotest hell-holes of the globe. Why? So that we can have something to interminably twitter and chirp and chat about on our endless and clueless blogs.    

Only the other day, for example, there was the city clerk in Kentucky who calls herself Christian and, despite her obligation to do so by dint of her job requirements and the law of the land, refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Why? Because her personal religious beliefs oppose same-sex unions.

When briefly jailed for her failure to do her duty, she pumped up her supporters thus:

"I just want to give God the glory ... We serve a living God who knows exactly where each and every one of us is at. Just keep on pressing. Don't let down, because He is here. He's worthy."

[To borrow a phrase from Tina Turner, “What’s God Got To Do With It?”]

So, let me get this right: she won’t do what her job expressly requires her to do. As a direct result of which gay couples cannot get married in her jurisdiction because it hurts her personal convictions to carry out her duties. But she won’t resign from her job either, so that others can do the job!

Holding personal beliefs is laudable. But to impose them on others to the point of depriving them of their rights, is tyranny!

Now here’s the icing: her bosses won’t fire her for dereliction of duty. The solution is as simple as that; there can’t possibly be ANY legal ramifications for such a dismissal.

Here. Go ahead and try doing this at your own workplace. That is, refuse to do your job and refuse to budge from your seat, and firmly refuse to let anyone else do that job.

See where it gets you.

Then, there’s the Muslim flight attendant on Express Jet airline who refuses to serve alcohol to the passengers because her religion prohibits her from consuming alcohol.

Again, this requires some clarification: she wasn’t asked to consume alcohol. Only to serve alcohol to the passengers. A job requirement she knew of when she took the job and then actually performed for some time.

Nothing wrong with her saying, hey, I’m resigning from my job because my newly adopted faith requires me to do something which prevents me from carrying out my duties.

But she won’t. 

She wants to keep the job, but doesn’t want to do it.

Then, there’s the recent news about the good souls in India, specifically in the city of Mumbai, who have banned ALL meat eating in the city for four days this month. Why? Because the Jain community is in the midst of a religious holiday and its observant members do not eat meat.

So, it’s not enough that Jains observe their own religious stricture, now they want everyone else no matter of which religion to go along with them.

It's akin to, say, a law requiring all of New York to observe kosher during Yom Kippur. Or every resident of Chicago to fast during Ramadan.

The Hindutva folks that are ruling India are merrily going along with this. In fact, if you ask me, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were behind this and actually proposed it, egging on the Jains.

Why do I think that the RSS/BJP are behind this?

Because the ban is only against beef and pork. That’s right: fish and chicken have mysteriously been deemed okay. Even though Jains are required not to eat ANY flesh. Hindus, on the other hand -- despite similar strictures -- are willing to hide behind restaurant curtains and enjoy chicken and fish.

One more thing. Jains are also prohibited from eating onions and garlic (no kidding!). But no ban on these, for some reason.

Here’s another reason: Jain money is what props up Narendra Modi’s government today.

What a wonderful world we have carved out for ourselves, don’t you think? Now that we are required to respect each other’s religious observances by letting them practice them, we‘ve found a way of ruining it all: let‘s now force everyone  to observe everyone‘s religious practice.

Which means, anyone who wields power -- and power comes in all colours and flavours, textures and sizes! -- is to be allowed to impose his/her own personal beliefs on those around him.

Reminds me of a joke I played on my 150 class-mates when I was President of the student-body in law school many eons ago. It was in the final weeks of classes and a day had been set aside for year-book photos. So, I put up a sign a couple of days before photo-day on the general notice board, reminding them of the day so that the students could come appropriately dressed up for the occasion.

I was the only turbaned one in my class and the school. So I added the following line at the end of the notice:

“And, for the purpose of maintaining conformity, ALL students are to turn up for the photo session wearing turbans!” 

That was a joke and, as expected, everyone laughed it off.

But how do we laugh off the current real-life scenarios reported to us every hour … there are enough to keep the courts busy for ever.

What’s the solution? Hire multiple people for the same task so that we can skirt around everyone’s religious requirements?

You know, we even have a handful of such good souls in our own community who have caught the brahmin virus and claim that they can only eat food served by amritdharis. Yeah, let’s hire a amritdhari at every job location. Let’s cater to every whim that human imagination can come up with!

That may solve the unemployment problem, but it may also sink the economy.

Hey, who needs a nuclear holocaust?

Because we‘ve found a new and better way to create a hell on earth.

September 10, 2015

Conversation about this article

1: Uday Mishra (Texas, USA), September 10, 2015, 11:21 AM.

The image you have on this page is of Jain women who, sadly, are victims in their own right. Do you know that the scarves on Jain nuns hide bald heads. And the baldness was arrived at not by shaving but by the plucking of their normal hair, strand by strand, by a Jain officiant -- and the female Jain novice is then admitted into nunhood only if she survives the hours-long torture only without flinching even once! And these good souls now want us to share in their own religious observances, not merely respect their right to their beliefs and practices.

2: Kaala Singh (Punjab), September 10, 2015, 1:03 PM.

India is one of the world's biggest exporters of meat of all kinds, especially beef, and most of the meat factories are owned by Hindus. There is a story doing the rounds that due to the dwindling livestock population, these bans have been imposed in the domestic market to boost exports which fetch a better price. Anyways, India's economy is in the doldrums and anything that can bring some foreign exchange is more than welcome. Another interesting fact: the Indian stock market has crashed and the reason being given by the economists is that this has happened due to the Chinese stock market crash! Does this mean that the Indian economy has no internal strength? Yes, changes in global economy can affect your exports, but total crash? The Gujaratis and Jains who control the stock market would know better. Meanwhile, they are earning some precious foreign exchange by augmenting meat exports. India is not exactly known for innovation like Israel or USA so they can export only meat and not drones and weapons of mass destruction!

3: Arjan Singh (USA), September 11, 2015, 2:41 PM.

Thought-provoking article and logical too. I agree with most of the reasoning and facts presented in this article. However, the Sikh community is yet again at the losing end. In many lands outside Punjab, especially so in USA, the Sikhs have to unwillingly oblige with the desires of the majority community to cut their hair and shave. To use the insane logic of the Jain community, not only is the majority content with getting their haircut and shaving but expect that the Sikh men must also follow suit. In my humble view most Sikh men would like to tie their turbans; the economic and social pressures exerted by the majority community discourages them from doing so. Alas, to use the words of famous playwright William Congreve, this is the Way of the World. Key takeaway is this: If I were a vegetarian and take the job of a chef, I would serve all meats. If I were a teetotaler and take the job of a hotel manager I would serve alcohol. If I were a surgeon and pro-life, I would perform an emergency abortion to save a mother’s life. If I were a county clerk, I would give away marriage certificates to all couples.

4: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), September 11, 2015, 9:13 PM.

Great article. Guru Nanak gave the world a practical and all-inclusive way to live on earth.

5: Harsaran Singh (Denpasar, Indonesia), September 12, 2015, 4:12 AM.

India is a huge 'Believe It Or Not' gallery: While hearing a petition against the meat ban in the Bombay High Court, the court sought to know the rationale behind allowing the sale of sea food and eggs while banning mutton. To this the Government's Attorney General replied: "Fish dies the moment it is taken out of water, hence there is no death due to slaughter". Such is the wisdom of the Hindutva Indian Government ... better not to say anything more.

6: Kaala Singh (Punjab), September 12, 2015, 3:40 PM.

@5: Recently the RSS 'think-tanks' (true, that's what they call them!) described Hinduism as not just a religion but a "way of life" -- Yes, a way of life which does the expedient at a particular moment. For example, Sikhs were "heroes" in the 1965 war which they were about to lose and the same people became "terrorists" in the 1980s! Bottom line, you become gun-fodder for me -- you are good, but when you ask for your fair share of the pie -- you are a terrorist.

7: Roop Dhillon (London, United Kingdom), September 15, 2015, 11:43 AM.

Imposing one's ideals, isms and will upon others is exactly why the world is on fire. It is one thing to force monsters to obey the law or not harm other humans, but this ... God has already chosen the house you are born into. No need to convert or preach to others at all.

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So, You No Eat Meat:
A Silly, Silly World"

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