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Indian man v/s cow

Indian man v/s cow

India is a country where it is common for humans to be treated worse than how a lot of people treat their animals; and while some animals do end up at the receiving end of unexplained human fury, it is on the pretext of one particular animal that even the judiciary is put in a difficult spot owing to legislations pertaining to it – the cow. That India has seen an unprecedented rise in cow vigilantism in recent times only points to the fact that there is some exclusive sectarian belief that is encouraged and enforced. In the name of cow protection, mob attacks aim to apparently target illegal cow smugglers but even licensed traders have fallen victim to this selective mob fury. Cattle slaughter is banned in most states in keeping with the Constitutional decree; cow vigilant groups have mushroomed with claims of protecting cattle and have infamously led to a number of deaths through brutal violence. These cow-protection groups see themselves as preventing theft, protecting the cow or upholding the law in an Indian state which bans cow slaughter. Pehlu Khan is one such victim whose death made headlines when a suspected cow vigilante group was blamed for attacking the (Muslim) dairy farmer in Alwar, Rajasthan in 2017. In the most recent development in this case, the court has acquitted six men accused of murdering him. Of course, the family is outraged and unrelenting and public debate rages asserting the covert institutional support given to such anti-social malpractices. The pertinent question that thus must be raised is that if 'cow protection" really deserves an exalted place in the country's legislation, where animal cruelty happens with impunity and the only animal not allowed to be tortured is the cow. And keeping the cow safe from slaughter does not mean allowing the animal a reasonable life. If courts pronounce judgement based on a law that is debatable, there is a need to fix the law first.

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