The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has provoked this beef.
A few days ago, the MCD ordered that all meat-vendors and all restaurants in the Capital must forthwith declare whether the meats they serve come from animals that have been slaughtered by halal or jhatka.
Why is the MCD so concerned about our diet?
Well, the MCD says that this rule is important because for religious reasons, Hindus and Sikhs are not supposed to eat halal meat but eat only jhatka meat; whereas for religious reasons Muslims are not supposed to eat jhatka meat but eat only halal meat.
The execrable sketch below—created from elements I’ve stolen from the usual (quoted) sources and embellished to suit the context—expresses my views on this subject of paramount municipal importance and notional nutritional significance.
As diet—especially anything that is said or written about things like beef or pork or halal or jhatka or non-veg or veg—is also an area of paramount national sensitivity, and I don’t wish anyone to take offence at this cartoon and chase me through the streets with long sharp weapons with intent to deprive me of my sacred, albeit ageing, secular organs (whether by jhatka or halal or both), I hereby hastily and solemnly swear and declare as follows:
That I have eaten, eat and shall eat anything at all that is served with affection and love.
That I have enthusiastically and of my own free will been non-vegetarian since the age of four, when my dear lifelong friend and sister Ranjana (then five) fed me on regular basis with an assortment of beetles, bugs, ants, and miscellaneous fauna painstakingly gathered from our garden in Shillong (they were quite tasty, I recall…though I’m not sure whether they were halal’ed or jhatka’ed).
That I have cooked, do cook, and will cook food— vegetarian mainly but also non-vegetarian—for my own survival and for friends (who have so far survived my cooking)
That I make utmost efforts to be gentle, humane and cause minimal pain when I cut, chop, break, crack open, peel, or otherwise assassinate the raw materials – be they cabbages or coconuts, eggs or eggplants.
That I count, among the greatest honours I’ve received in life, the privilege to hold the halal knife on the occasion of Bakr Id, when a lamb was sacrificed at the home of my dear lifelong friend and brother Nisar (the ceremony was profound; the lamb was delicious).
That I still do believe and hold true the principle that my vegetarian parents taught me as a child—that what a person chooses to eat or not eat is entirely his or her personal business, just as what religion a person believes in or does not believe in is entirely his or her personal business.
In conclusion, may I offer the following haiku to the Officialdom of the MCD:
This one is especially for my dear, tolerant and genuinely Communist friends – who I believe are as different from today’s ‘Left Liberals’ as Indrajit Gupta was from Lavrentiy Beria
I’ve been filled with a sense of foreboding since yesterday, December 10th. Filled with memories of January – February 2020.
On 31st January, 2020, after two months’ mixed feelings and foreboding about the nature and direction of the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh and elsewhere, after two months’ of being buffeted and thoroughly addled by conflicting high-decibel media messages all purporting to present truth, I took a train down to Shaheen Bagh to see and judge for myself what was going on there. I spent half a day wandering around in Shaheen Bagh and its neighbourhood. I was appalled and disgusted at what I saw and learned from that visit; I wrote that the so-called anti-CAA protest in Shaheen Bagh was in fact a brilliantly conceived Pilot Project for Mass Murder, a plot to spark off countrywide Hindu-Muslim riots. I also pointed out who I believed were the primary organizers of this diabolic Project: assorted self-proclaimed Left-oriented riffraff, including university students’ unions, rabble-rousing university faculty, and their obedient faculty-challenged followers.
I was also convinced, and wrote so, that besides the Left, every other political formation in India—including the ruling BJP —supported the Pilot Project for Mass Murder in Shaheen Bagh, overtly or covertly.
Because, with the Ayodhya–Babri Masjid case resolved once and for all thanks to the Supreme Court of India, all politicians and their hangers-on, Left and Right and Communal and Casteist, were desperate to find a lasting inflammable issue that could keep the fires of communal division burning between Hindu and Muslim, to be conveniently fanned at will in future election campaigns.
And what better long-lived inflammable issue than a good old-fashioned communal riot?
It didn’t take long after my visit for the Pilot Project to be implemented.
Communal riots began on 23rd February in Delhi and raged for the next five days. Officially, 53 people were killed.
The organizational skills of the street-smart Left had proved their mettle yet again.
Of course, there’s no evidence that the Left were behind it all. There never is.
For the simple, time-tested reason, that when the forest fire finally dies after raging for days, no one really cares about or looks for the little matchstick that started it in the first place.
No one really cares or looks…especially when all political parties and their captive media houses have benefited from the fire.
And so, 53 murders and nine months later, there are still hundreds of families in grief and pain in Delhi…and so one is responsible.
I declare without shame that even in my horror at the carnage, I was relieved the toll in the riots was ‘only’ 53 and not 530, or 53,000.
Because, gentle reader, I do believe that that was what the politicians would have liked: to see thousands dead, tens of thousands maimed, lakhs displaced.
Especially, the politicians of the Left and the Congress.
Because, for these two formations, BJP leader Narendra Modi’s greatest crime is that under his watch as Prime Minister since 2014, there has not been a single major riot comparable to the great riots of yore: Gujarat 2002, Bombay 1992-93 (oh…no one talks about that anymore, because the murderous Muslim-hating Shiv Sena is today Secular), Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Meerut 1989, Bhagalpur 1989, Delhi 1984 …and so on ad nauseum back to Partition 1947.
For Modi’s rule to be without riots goes against the Left—Congress Narrative, you see.
According to the Left–Congress Narrative, the advent of Modi Sarkar should have heralded the murder of Muslims and other minorities on a scale that would make Comrade Stalin appear to be Mother Teresa.
By the Grace of Allah and Krishna and Marx large-scale communal rioting hasn’t happened yet…despite the best efforts of gau rakshaks, Shri Ram Sene and other fanatical Hindu groups.
But the fear-mongers of the Left and Congress haven’t stopped trying. They just love their Narrative about Modi.
So much so, they will alter Reality to suit their Narrative; they will use Fear, and its dread sibling-twins Hatred and Rage, to push innocent people to the brink of unreason.
And that’s why again I am troubled and filled with foreboding.
I fear that where they failed in pitting Hindus against Muslims, the Left Liberals now seek opportunity in pitting Farmers against Government.
It’s the 11th of December. It’s three days since the Bharat Bandh that was called by Congress, CPI(M), and affiliated political riffraff on December 8th to express their ‘solidarity’ with the farmers of Punjab and Haryana who are camping peacefully on the borders of Delhi and seeking repeal of the recently passed laws that they believe will threaten their (farmers’) interests and livelihoods.
I’ve been filled with admiration for the farmers and their collectives, for stoutly refusing to allow any political parties or political voices to hijack their own peaceful movement.
I was filled with joy on 10th December: because the Bharat Bandh had arrived and departed like an autumn cloud, with much noise but no rain; with much Opposition chest-thumping but without any major violence or loss of life.
But today, December 11th, I see the unholy Left groups gathered alongside farmers belonging to the Left-backed Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) at Tikri, on Delhi’s borders.
I see the same people and hear the same voices that whipped up paranoia and anger over CAA among the bewildered Muslims of Shaheen Bagh during prime-time hours. They wave posters of their heroes—among them well-known Gandhians such as Sharjeel Islam, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira—and demand their release from jail where they currently await trial for planning or instigating large-scale social discord including riots.
Asked what their heroes or indeed they themselves have to do with the farmers’ movement, the Left supporters declare that they are simply observing ‘Human Rights Day’.
I wonder: do the Comrades actually mean ‘Human Riots Day’?
To them I say – foolishly and wistfully hoping they might listen to counsel from a 64-year-old fossil who hath seen much death, much pain:
Anarchy’s Romance rebounds as Terror, tears reason asunder
Hymns of Peace will not then calm thee to slumber
Beware,Truth’s Bell will not rouse thee, from pretended sleep
Deceit’s Seed thou soweth; a Violent Harvest shalt thou reap
This is about the ongoing anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi.
I visited Shaheen Bagh on Friday the 31st January 2020 between 10:00 and 14:30. I wanted to find out, for myself, whether the anti-CAA protest going on here is indeed ‘spontaneous’ as claimed by Left-leaning media and their cohorts; or whether it is ‘manufactured’ as claimed by the Right-leaning media and their cohorts.
What I learned and experienced confirms my worst fears about what’s going on in Shaheen Bagh and where it will lead us—fears that I summarized in this photo (apologies: I might have already posted this to some of you on 31st January via WhatsApp and Instagram).
I firmly believe the Shaheen Bagh protest is as spontaneous as a forest fire started by ‘tourists’ who first doused the helpless trees with petrol, then set the trees ablaze starting with the young ones … and now visit the fire every evening during Prime Time TV hours with fresh supplies of petrol and other inflammatory materials to make sure the fires don’t die out.
I expected to find a sea of protesters, singing and chanting slogans of Peace, Harmony, Patriotism, Insaaniyat. I found barely 70 to 80 people in all. About a dozen women were in their tent, near the makeshift stage; the men stood around outside in little clusters, tense, conversing in low murmurs. Barring a couple of Mentors and one Minder who stood out by their suspicious glances towards me, their confident, persuasive tones and carefully careless attire, all were locals. My few conversations with the local men were short, their nods were brief, smiles strained. They were courteous, I wandered around and took a few photos unhindered. But there was fear in their eyes, in the air. The fear fear that took me back to Bombay, 1992, when men turned into monsters and the stench of blood and burning human hair and death hung over Dharavi and Mahim and Jogeshwari…
I joined one group; they were anxiously discussing the young Muslim man who had been shot at by another, a Hindu, outside the Jamia Millia the previous day. “It might happen here!” was their refrain. A Mentor reassured them that it wouldn’t; urged them to remain courageous and continue their ‘andolan‘.
Aside of the Mentors and Minder, there was only one other non-local like me: a middle-aged bearded man wandering around with a camera. Where are the crowds, the speeches and shows? he asked a little plaintively. The Minder, who was built like a mini-truck, was gruff: “Sham ko ao…tabhi log aate hain.”
Come in the evening: that’s when the crowds are here.
Shaheen Bagh is designed for Prime Time.
I reiterate what I voiced in an earlier post: that each and every political group in India—Left or Right, AAP or non-existent Centre—is yearning for large-scale communal violence to divide the masses along Hindu vs. Muslim lines. Because the Ayodhya issue that has sustained all of them for over 30 years has finally been resolved honourably by the Supreme Court, much to their chagrin; henceforth, Babri Masjid and Ram Janmabhoomi can no longer be flogged by them for votes.
And so, all political parties are doing their best—and their worst—to create a new long-term issue for Hindu vs. Muslim polarization. They all hope to gain by sparking off communal violence in Shaheen Bagh. And they are being aided and abetted in their efforts by their respective captive media and ‘intellectuals’.
I firmly believe the locals of Shaheen Bagh and of nearby Abu Fazal Enclave – the majority of them hapless working class Muslims —have been terrorized by Evil Teachers into believing that because of CAA it is only a matter of time before they, and all other Muslims in India, will be identified as ‘illegals’, carted off to detention camps by the police, and then ‘deported’ – if not murdered by RSS-led Hindu mobs.
I now know for sure who these Evil Visiting Teachers of Shaheen Bagh are, too. I think you too won’t find it hard to identify them even without visiting Shaheen Bagh – some of the posters are a dead giveaway (see below).
No words can convey my rage and sadness at what is being done at Shaheen Bagh…at the venality of those who have made its impoverished people scapegoats in a Pilot Project for scaling up to nation-wide violence.
The Shaheen Bagh Project is already showing signs of success. Anti-CAA has already morphed into anti-NRC, anti-NPR, anti-Census. Young women and men undertaking routine social indicator surveys in rural areas – Bengal and U.P come to mind – have been severely assaulted because of the Project’s most effective and toxic CAA Awareness Programs.
The Right to Citizenship has already morphed into the Right as a Citizen to Remain Anonymous and Invisible – without of course surrendering any Rights to receive state largess due to caste, religion, and so forth.
The first guns have emerged. The protests against the Shaheen Bagh protests are getting more edgy…even as Delhi’s Assembly elections are days away.
The secondary fires from Shaheen Bagh now spread across India – even as Assam, the only state where the presence of about 2 million Bangladeshis is not disputed by any but the chronically insane, remains tense but calm.
Thereby hangs a tale.
The outer barriers – easily crossed, just one police gypsy with a few bored constables who didn’t bother me