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Archives for : April2017

Poem by Javed Akhtar – Naya Hukmnama ( The New Ordinance)

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Kisi ka hukm hai
Saari hawayein
Hamesha chalne se pehle batayein
Ke unki samt ( direction) kya hai
Hawaon ko batana yeh bhi hoga
Chalengi jab tto kya raftaar hogi
Ke aandhi ki ijazat ab nahi hai
Hamari ret ki yeh sab faseelein (ramparts)
Ye kagaz ke mahal
Jo ban rahe hain
Hifazat inki karna hai zaruri
Aur aandhi hai purani inki dushman
Ye sab hi jaante hain

Kisika hukm hai
Dariya ki lehren
Zara ye sarkashi ( strong headedness) kam kar lein
Apni hadd mein thehrein
Ubharna phir bikharna
Bikhar kar phir ubharna
Galat hai unka ye hungama karna
Yeh sab hai sirf vehshat ki alamat (signs of insanity)
Baghavat ki alamat
Baghavat tto nahi bardasht hogi
Ye vehshat tto nahi bardasht hogi
Agar lehron ko hai dariya mein rehna
Tto unko hoga bas chupchap behna

Kisika hukm hai
Is gulsitaN mein
Bas ab ik rang ke hi phool honge
Kuch afsar honge
Jo ye tai karenge
GulistaN kis tarha banna hai kal ka
Yaqeenan phool ikrangi tto hongey
Magar ye rang hoga kitna gehra kitna halka
Ye afsar tai karenge
Kisiko ye koi kaise bataye
GulistaN mein
Kahin bhi phool ikrangi nahi hotey
Kabhi ho hi nahi sakte
Ki har ik rang mein chupkar
Bahut se rang rehte hain
Jinhone baagh ikrangi banana chahe thay
Unko zara dekho
Ke jab ik rang mein sau rang zahir ho gayein hain tto
Woh ab kitne pareshaN hain
Woh kitne tung ( harassed )rehte hain

Kisiko ye koi kaise bataye
HawayeiN aur lehreN
Kab kisika hukm sunti hain
Hakkimon ki mutthiyon mein, hathkadi mein qaidkhano mein
Nahi ruktin
Yeh lehren roki jaati hain
Tto dariya kitna bhi ho pursukoon ( calm)
Betaab hota hai
Aur is betaabi ka agla qadam
Sailab (flood )hota hai.
Kisiko ko ye koi kaise bataye

Javed Akhtar

Someone has decreed
That all the winds
Must first
Announce their direction
Before blowing

The winds must first also inform
That when they blow what would be their speed
For, storms are no longer permitted
And all these ramparts that we have built of sand
These paper palaces that have been made
It is important to protect them
The storm is their old foe
As everyone knows

Someone has decreed
That the waves in the river
Must curb their rebellion
They must stay within their limits
Their dashing and rising and dashing yet again
Only to rise
It is wrong of them to be so wilful
It is nothing but a portent of madness
An augury of rebellion

A rebellion will not be tolerated
This madness will not be accepted
If the waves want to stay in the river
They must now flow quietly

Someone has decreed
That all the flowers will henceforth be of one colour
There will be some officers who will decide
How the gardens of tomorrow will take shape

Certainly the flowers will all be of one colour
But how deep the colour or how light
Will be decided by the officers

How is one to tell them
That in no garden anywhere are all the flowers of one colour
They cannot be
For, many colours live together hiding in one colour
Look at the fate of those who have
Tried to make their garden all of one colour
See how a hundred colours have seeped into a single colour
How troubled they are
How worried they look

How is one to tell them
When have the winds and the waves ever heeded anyone’s decree
The winds do not stay
In the clenched fists of the rulers
In prisons
And in handcuffs

When these waves are stopped
The river, no matter how placid
Becomes restless
And this restlessness is a step away
From a flood

How is one to tell them…

Translated from the Urdu by Rakhshanda Jalil

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Stunning drops in solar and wind costs turn global power market upside down

The world built more renewables for far less money last year, report UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Last year, solar in Chile set a record low global price for unsubsidized electricity by any technology. CREDIT: ACERA.

Stunning drops in the cost of wind and solar energy have turned the global power market upside down.

For years, opponents of renewable power, like President Donald Trump, have argued they simply aren’t affordable. The reality is quite different.

Unsubsidized renewables have become the cheapest source of new power — by far — in more and more countries, according to a new report from the United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

In just one year, the cost of solar generation worldwide dropped on average 17 percent, the report found. The average costs for onshore wind dropped 18 percent last year, while those for offshore wind fell a whopping 28 percent.

The result is “more bang for the buck,” as the U.N. and BNEF put it. Last year saw 138.5 gigawatts of new renewable capacity. That not only beat the 2015 record of 127.5 GW, but it was built with a total investment that was 23 percent lower than in 2015.


“After the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years,” explained BNEF chair Michael Liebreich, “unsubsidised wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world — sometimes by a factor of two.”

“It’s a whole new world,” Liebreich said. “Instead of having to subsidise renewables, now authorities may have to subsidise natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.”

How cheap are renewables now? The report lists “a hectic series of milestones for declining costs” taken from actual auctions around the world in 2016:

  • $60 per MWh for solar in Rajasthan, India, in January
  • $30 per MWh for wind in Morocco, in January
  • $37.70 per MWh for wind in Peru, in February
  • $40.50 for solar in Mexico, in March
  • $29.90 for solar in Dubai, in May
  • $60 for solar in Zambia, in June
  • $80 for offshore wind in the Netherlands, in July
  • $29.10 for solar in Chile, in August
  • $55 for offshore wind in Denmark, in November

Note that $29.10 per MWh is 2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour. For context, the average U.S. residential price for electricity is 12 cents per kWh.

Solar power delivers cheapest unsubsidised electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology,” Liebreich tweeted back in August regarding the price of solar in Chile, as we reported. In that same auction, the price of a new coal power plant was nearly twice as high.

President Trump may push as hard as he wants on new coal — opening more public lands to mining, gutting President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. But the hard reality of rapidly declining costs for renewables (and storage) makes clear he will be pushing on a string, and a very dirty one at that.

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Telengana- 112 Aadhaar operators booked for malpractices

Representative image Representative image
HYDERABAD: Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has blacklisted 112 operators in Telangana and 149 in Andhra Pradesh for indulging in malpractices in the issuance of Aadhaar cards in the last one month. The UIDAI has booked 495 cases against the enrolment agencies in both the states.

“The operators, functioning under 20 agencies, were unofficially collecting money for the registration of Aadhaar applications despite it being free. They will be blacklisted for one year,” UIDAI deputy chairman MVS Ramireddy told TOI.

Of the total 495 cases, the maximum number of cases were booked in Hyderabad (55). For each case, the agencies have to pay Rs10,000 as penalty and they will be blacklisted for one year. However, their licences will be resumed after that.

According to officials, Aadhaar registration is free but nominal fee is collected for processing applications.Agencies can charge only Rs25 for updating the biometric information of citizens, Rs10 can be collected for searching Aadhaar card, Rs10 for taking out blackwhite Aadhaar card printout and Rs20 for colour printout.

There is no fee for children below 5 years for even updating Aadhaar details.

There are about 400 enrolment agencies across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and 15 of them are based out of Hyderabad.

The suspended operators were found to be collecting Rs50 to Rs100 from people for the enrolments. In some cases, some authorised agencies from Maharashtra and Karnataka, who were not registered in AP and Telangana, were found to be doing enrolments here.

Last year, UIDAI received 4,000 cases of malpractices across the country based on which the regional offices carried out investigations.Officials said that they are making further investigations to weed out agencies who have been doing this regularly.

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Assam – 3 Arrested for Beef in Jorhat: But Under What Law?

Friday, April 07,2017

GUWAHATI: Three persons including a minor returning home with half-a-kg of beef have been arrested on the outskirts of Jorhat town of Assam. The police said the two men were arrested on Tuesday (5th April) for hurting religious sentiments, as that is the allegation on them in the FIR lodged by someone Mridu Pawan Bora who is well known in that locality as an active BJP supporter.

The arrests that were made will raise many legal questions for the police. Though three persons were arrested and charged under the Cattle Preservation Act of Assam, 1950, Assam police would have done better to have read the Act once again. None of the sections in the Act criminalizes possession or consumption of beef. The Act merely lays down the conditions under which a cattle can/can’t be slaughtered, and conditions under which the Act will not be applicable. In fact the whole Act not even mentions the word “police” for once.

The men were arrested while allegedly cooking half kilogram of beef in their temporary hut at a construction building. How does cooking at one’s own home hurts religious sentiments of others is a big question.

The “Hindutva” agenda which is already on the rise in the entire country is being imposed in the North east also. Seizing power in Assam with the help of the regional party AGP and manipulating the anti Bangladeshi sentiments in Assam has given fillip to that. But after coming to power the new BJP state government of Assam is trying to give citizenship to selectively Hindu refugees from Bangladesh through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. But that has created a big hue and cry in Assam. Because if an estimated three million Bengali Hindus who entered Assam after the 1971 civil war from erstwhile East Pakistan are granted citizenship, it will jeopardise the very existence of Axomiya as a linguistic community and will permanently alter Assam’s land holding, employment and demography.

Later on when a mob gathered on the occasion of a public Meeting at the call of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samannay Samiti (NBBUSS) attacked All Assam Students Union office at Silapathar in Dhemaji District the issue of granting citizenship on religious basis got another momentum. The connection between Subodh Biswas, President of NBBUSS and BJP leaders also got exposed in the mean time. The anger among the people of Assam was so much that Government finally arrested Subodh Biswas just before the by election in Bhemaji. It seems after that the RSS parivar came out with their real agenda of Hindutva by bringing cow politics to Assam.

In the recent Jorhat incident the police said they will check whether the slaughterhouse has a license or not. Then why arrest the three men before even the basic check. Only in very few heinous crimes arrests can be made before verifying. And carrying beef from an allegedly un-licensed shop does not qualify as such in Assam. Under the Assam Cattle Prohibition Act no one can be arrested for possession of beef.

The Assam Cattle Prohibition Act (full text below) states that it is only legal to slaughter cattle in the place specified by the authority and if the cattle is over 14 years of age. Moreover the Act doesn’t talk about slaughter houses, it talks about places of slaughter under the jurisdiction of the veterinary circle. That means if a person has a certificate s/he can slaughter it at the residence also..

The charges placed on the three arrested person are section 5, 6 nad 8. Section 5 is about “Prohibition of slaughter of cattle without certificate” ; Section 6 is “Prohibition of slaughter of cattle in places not prescribed for the purpose” Section 8 is about what penalties can be charged if Section 5 or 6 is violated. So its all about slaughtering rather than carrying or eating.

More importantly Section 4 and Section 7 rely on Veterinary Officers to implement the Act, not police. A certificate from A Veterinary Officers is needed before Slaughtering a cattle and Vatenary Officer can not provide certificate if

(a) The cattle is over fourteen years of age; or

(b) The cattle has become permanently incapacitated from work or breeding due to injury, deformity or any incurable disease.

Section 7 of the act give “Power to enter and inspect premises” to Veterinary Officer if “he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been or is likely to be committed”. No Veterinary Officer has been brought under question before or After the Incident.

It is Mentionable that Section 13 of the act give Power to grant exemptions to the State Government for any religious economical medical research or any other purposes. The Act also mentions that “operation of this Act will not be applicable to slaughter of any cattle on the occasion of Id-ul-Zuha”. Moreover the same law define “Cattle” means `Bulls, bullocks, cows, calves, male and female buffaloes and buffalo calves”

Though unlike Central Indian BJP ruled states, open cow politics is not launched in Assam or North east but the inner current of “Hinduttav” and Sanskritisation of tribal people do exist and growing in fact. Though officially BJP has have decided not to ban beef in other northeastern states and goa and the basic premise of BJP/RSS politics is divisive and that truth does not remain hidden always.


The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950 
(Assam Act 13 of 1951) 
Published in the Assam Gazette, dated 25th April, 1951.

[An Act] to provide for the preservation of certain cattle by controlling the slaughter thereof Whereas it is expedient to provide for the preservation of certain cattle by controlling the slaughter thereof;

It is hereby enacted as follows :

1. Short title, extent and commencement. – (1) This Act may be called the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950.

(2) It extends to the whole of the State of Assam.

(3) It shall come into force on such date and in such areas as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint in this behalf.

2. Application of the Act. – This Act applies to the cattle specified in the Schedule.

3. Definitions. – In this Act unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context-

(i) “Cattle” means an animal to which this Act applies;

(ii) [***]

(iii) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(iv) “Veterinary Officer” means a person appointed as such or invested with the powers of a Veterinary Officer under Section 4.

4. Appointment of certifying officer and Veterinary Officer. – The State Government may, for the purpose of issuing certificate under sub-section (1) of Section 5, by notification in the Official Gazette appoint-

(a) [***]

(b) any person to be the Veterinary Officer for any local area or invest any person with all or any of the powers of a Veterinary Officer in such area.

5. Prohibition of slaughter of cattle without certificate. – (1) Notwithstanding anything in any other law for the time being in force or in any usage to the contrary, no person shall slaughter any cattle unless he had obtained in respect thereof a certificate in writing signed by the Veterinary Officer for the area in which the cattle is to be slaughtered that the cattle is fit for slaughter.

(2) No certificate under sub-section (1) shall be issued unless the Veterinary Officer is of the opinion (which shall be recorded) that-

(a) the cattle is over fourteen years of age; or

(b) the cattle has become permanently incapacitated from work or breeding due to injury, deformity or any incurable disease.

(3) Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the Veterinary Officer to issue a certificate under this section may, within fifteen days from the date of communication to him of such refusal, appeal to the prescribed authority against the order of refusal, and the prescribed authority may pass such orders thereon as he thinks fit.

(4) The prescribed authority many at any time for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of any action taken under this section, call for and examine the record of any case, and may pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit.

6. Prohibition of slaughter of cattle in places not prescribed for the purpose. – No cattle in respect of which a certificate has been issued under Section 5 shall be slaughtered in any place other than a place prescribed in this behalf.

7. Power to enter and inspect premises. – (1) For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Act, the Veterinary Officer or any person authorised by the Veterinary Officer in this behalf, shall have power to enter and inspect any premises within the local limits of his jurisdiction where he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been or is likely to be committed.

(2) Every person in occupation of any such premises as is specified in sub-section (1) shall allow the Veterinary Officer or the person authorised, as the case may be, such access to the premises as he may require for the aforesaid purpose and shall answer any question put to him by the Veterinary Officer or the person authorised as the case may be, to the best of his knowledge and belief.

8. Penalties. – Whoever contravenes any of the provisions contained in this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.

9. Offences to be cognizable. – Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898), all offences, under this Act shall be cognizable.

10. Abatements and attempts. – Whoever abets any offence punishable under this Act or attempts to commit any such offence shall be punishable with the punishment provided in this Act for such offence.

11. Officers exercising powers under this Act to be deemed to be public servants. – All Veterinary Officers and other persons exercising powers under this Act shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).

12. Protection of persons acting in good faith. – No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall be instituted against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules made thereunder.

13. Power to grant exemptions. – The State Government may, by general or special order and subject to such conditions as it may think fit to impose, exempt from the operation of this Act the slaughter of any cattle for any religious economical medical research or any other purposes:

Provided that the operation of this Act will not be applicable to slaughter of any cattle on the occasion of Id-ul-Zuha festival on such conditions as the State Government may specify regarding privacy.

14. Delegation of functions. – The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, delegate to any officer of the State Government all or any of its powers or functions under Section 13.

15. Power to make rules. – (1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules may provide for-

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Did Leo Tolstoy say that Hindutva will one day rule the world?

"Lev Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana", 19...

“Lev Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana”, 1908, the first color photo portrait in Russia Français : « Léon Tolstoï à Iasnaïa Poliana », 1908, le premier portrait photographique en couleur en Russie. Suomi: “Leo Tolstoi Jasnaja Poljanassa”, 1908. Ensimmäinen Venäjällä otettu värimuotokuva. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A piece of text is currently viral on WhatsApp which contains 9 quotes purportedly by certain Western authors/philosophers etc. In each one of these quotes, they are stating how great Hindutva or Hinduism is and some even predicting that it will be the religion that the entire world will follow. The quotes also made it to mailing lists and one such copy dated 29th March 2017 is available here => A verbatim copy of the 9 quotes is as follows:

Have you ever read these Western philosophers1. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

Hindus and Hindutva will one day rule the world, because this is a combination of knowledge and wisdom”.

2. Herbert Wells (1846 – 1946):

“Until the effectiveness of Hindutva is restored, how many generations will suffer atrocities and life will be cut off, then one day the entire world will be attracted to it, on that day there will be Dilshad and on that day the world will be inhabited.

3. Albert Einstein (1879-1955):

“I understand that through his intelligence and awareness he did that which the Jews could not do. In Hinduism it is the power that can lead to peace.”

4. Huston Smith (1919):

“The faith which is upon us and this is better than us in the world, then it is Hindutva. If we open our hearts and minds for it, then it will be good for us”.

5. Michael Nostradamus (1503 – 1566):

“Hindutva will become the ruler religion in Europe, but the famous city of Europe will become the Hindu capital”.

6. Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970):

“I read Hinduism and realized that it is for the religion of all the world and all mankind.” Hindutva will spread throughout Europe and in Europe, big thinkers of Hinduism will emerge. One day it will come that Hindus will be the real stimulus of the world. “.

7. Gosta Lobon (1841 – 1931):

“Hindus speak of peace and reconciliation. I invite Christians to appreciate the faith of reform.”

8. Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950):

“The entire world will accept Hindu religion one day and if it can not even accept the real name it will accept it by name only.” West will accept Hindutva one day and Hindu will be the religion of those who have studied in the world “.

9. Johann Geith (1749 – 1832):

“We all have to accept Hinduism now or later and this is the real religion. If I say no to Hindu, I will not feel bad, I accept this right thing.”

Even before we start exploring whether these quotes are genuine or not, here’s a funny coincidence. The above 9 eminent people also happened to say the same wonderful things about Islam and Islamic Sharia. A Facebook Page called Iqra posted the following Hindi Text in a Facebook Post dated Nov 18, 2015, an english translation of which is available in this forum post dated Dec 19, 2015 =>

क्या आपने इन पश्चिमी philosophers को पढ़ा है:
1. लियो टॉल्स्टॉय (1828 -1910):
“इस्लामी शरीयत ही एक दिन दुनिया पर राज करेगी क्योंकि इसी में ज्ञान और बुद्धि का संयोजन है”।
2. हर्बर्ट वेल्स (1846 – 1946):
“इस्लाम का अनावरण फिर उगता होने तक कितनी पीढ़ियां अत्याचार और बदबख़्ती जीवन कट जाएगा तभी पूरी दुनिया उसकी ओर आकर्षित हो जाएगी और उसी दिन ही दिल शाद होंगे और उसी दिन दुनिया आबाद होगी सलाम हो उस दिन “।
3. अल्बर्ट आइंस्टीन (1879 – 1955):
“मैं समझता हूँ कि मुहम्मद ने अपनी बुद्धि और जागरूकता के माध्यम से वह किया जो यहूदी न कर सके, इस्लाम ही वह शक्ति है जिससे शांति स्थापित हो सकती है”।
4. हसटन स्मिथ (1919): “जो विश्वास पर हम इससे बेहतर कुछ भी दुनिया में है और वे इस्लाम है अगर हम अपना दिल और दिमाग इसके लिए खोलें तो उसमें हमारी भलाई होगी”।
5. माइकल नोस्टरीडाम (1503 – 1566):
“इस्लाम ही यूरोप में शासक धर्म बन जाएगा बल्कि यूरोप के प्रसिद्ध शहर इस्लाम साइडर राजधानी बन जाएगा”।
6. बर्टरांड रोसल (1872 – 1970): “मैंने इस्लाम को पढ़ा और जान लिया कि यह सारी दुनिया और सारी मानवता का धर्म बनने के लिए आया है, इस्लाम यूरोप में फैल जाएगा और यूरोप में इस्लाम के बड़े दाई सामने आएंगे एक दिन ऐसा आएगा कि इस्लाम ही दुनिया की वास्तविक उत्तेजना होगा “।
7. गोस्टा लोबोन (1841 – 1931):
“इस्लाम ही सुलह और सुधार की बात करता है सुधार ही विश्वास की सराहना में ईसाइयों को ही आमंत्रित किया हूँ”।
8.बरनार्डशो (1856 – 1950):
“सारी दुनिया एक दिन इस्लाम स्वीकार कर लेगी, अगर यह वास्तविक नाम स्वीकार नहीं भी कर ले रूपक नाम से ही स्वीकार कर लेगी, पश्चिम एक दिन इस्लाम स्वीकार कर लेगा और इस्लाम ही दुनिया में पढ़े लिखे लोगों का धर्म होगा “।
9. जोहान गीथ (1749 – 1832):
“हम सभी को अभी या बाद मे इस्लाम स्वीकार करना होगा यही असली धर्म है, मुझे कोई मुसलमान कहे तो मुझे बुरा नहीं लगेगा, मैं यह सही बात को स्वीकार करता हूँ कि इस्लाम माफ कमजोरी की वजह से नहीं रखता बल्कि मुसलमान अपने धर्म पर भरपूर विश्वास और अपने विश्वास के प्रतिबंध के कारण माफ करते हैं”।1. Leo Tolstoy (1828 -1910):
“Islamic Sharia will one day rule the world because this is the combination of knowledge and wisdom”.
2. Herbert Wells (1846 – 1946):
“Islam Unveiled How many generations until then rises and tortured Bdbkhti life will be cut if the whole world will be attracted to her and would be married on the same day as the heart and saluting the same day will be the day that populate the world” .
3. Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955):
“I think that Muhammad was his intellect and awareness through which he could not Jewish, Islam is the only power which can be peace”.
4. Hstn Smith (1919): “We believe that Islam is nothing better in the world and if we open our hearts and minds to it, then it would be best for us”.
5. Michael Nostreedam (1503 – 1566):
“Islam is the religion will become the ruler of Europe, but Europe’s famous cider will become the capital city of Islam”.
6. Bertrand Rosl (1872 – 1970): “I read and realized that Islam is the religion of the whole world and all humanity has become, Islam will spread in Europe and Islam in Europe will one day that will come great babysitter Islam will be the only real excitement of the world “.
7. Gosta Lobon (1841 – 1931):
“Islam is a matter of improving the reconciliation and improvement’m invited Christians to appreciate the faith”.
8 Bernard Show (1856-1950):
“The whole world one day accept Islam will, if it takes real name not accept name will accept the metaphor, the West will one day accept Islam, and Islam will be the religion of educated people in the world “.
9. Johann Gith (1749 – 1832):
“We all have to accept sooner or later the real religion Islam, a Muslim says to me then I will not mind, I’ll admit it right that Islam sorry because of the weakness but Muslims do not believe in their religion and their faith due to restrictions on the bumper are sorry.

If we are to believe the above two passages, that would mean that Leo Tolstoy believes that both Hindutva and Islamic Sharia will one day rule the world. Quite an impossibility. In fact, Leo Tolstoy has authored a book called “What I believe” in 1884 in which he expresses his firm beliefs in Christianity. Thus, he couldn’t have been a proponent of either Hindutva or Islamic Sharia. Moreover, Leo Tolstoy died in 1910 and the word “Hindutva” was popularised by RSS ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1923 in a pamphlet titled “Essentials of Hindutva” which Savarkar had written while in imprisonment, a full 13 years after Leo Tolstoy died.

Did Leo Tolstoy say that Hindutva will one day rule the world?

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Now, Demands for a Gau Mantralaya : Vishwa Hindu Sena Gau Raksha Vahini

Yogi’s Beef With Meat and the Bones of Contention

How has the Yogi sarkar’s crackdown on slaughterhouses impacted UP’s meat industry? The Quint travelled more than 250 kilometres from the national capital, to the city of Bareilly, to get to the meat of the matter.

For a country used to complaining that politicians don’t deliver on campaign promises, the Yogi government comes as an exception. First, the anti-Romeo squads and then, the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses – the speed with which Adityanath has moved on two of his manifesto’s flagship promises has delighted his supporters.

More than half of Uttar Pradesh’s licensed slaughterhouses have been “temporarily” shut down for not following norms. The shutters are down on dozens of illegal abattoirs as well.

Outside the Hanuman Mandir at Civil Lines, Bareilly, 60-year-old Brij Mohan is confident that Adityanath is a Prime Minister in waiting. (Photo: The Quint)
Outside the Hanuman Mandir at Civil Lines, Bareilly, 60-year-old Brij Mohan is confident that Adityanath is a Prime Minister in waiting. (Photo: The Quint)

But not everyone in Uttar Pradesh is overjoyed.

They talk of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ but that’s not what they are doing. The government is snatching away livelihoods, the daily bread of the Qureshi community.

In the three decades that 62-year-old Mohammad Yunus has been rearing and selling buffaloes, he has seen many governments come and go. So what drives him to level such a serious allegation against the new Yogi sarkar?

‘A Climate of Fear and Extortion’

Yunus responds, “The police are stopping our vehicles and demanding bribes. Yes, it’s happened before, but now, it’s on an unprecedented scale.”

55-year-old Mohammad Aslam, a bufallo seller from Faridpur, claims, “Recently, there have been instances of the police stopping our tempos and then others arriving and seizing our buffaloes.”

We used to transport 12-13 buffaloes a day to the slaughterhouse. But because of the fear and extortion, now we take just 1-2, and on some days, none. This is Yogi Adityanath’s way of targeting Muslims.

Mohammad Yunus, Buffalo Seller

“If you’re taking away our trade, then the government must give us something in return too, right? Give us jobs, or lands to till?”

A Vegetarian’s Empathy

Among all the people you’d expect to support Yunus’ demand, an upper-caste Hindu gentleman who swears by his vegetarian diet and respect for the gau mata would likely be the last. But as I discuss state politics with a Bareilly resident who fits that bill, he says he’s certain there is a Hindutva agenda behind the Yogi government’s moves on the meat industry.

He adds, with a distinct wariness:

Look at the speeches Yogi has made in the past. That is what he is made of, and that is not going anywhere. And now, he has the might of the state behind him. We must think about what will happen to the butchers and their families. And all the other Muslims involved in the trade. They have families too.

The buffalo sellers we meet say they wouldn’t want to hurt Hindu sentiments either.

If it is a cow (being slaughtered), let them hang us. Because we do not support the killing of cows either.

Uvais Qureshi, Buffalo Seller

But what about claims of cow meat being available in the state, for those who know where to find it?

There are certain Hindus and Muslims who do sell cow meat illegally. They are giving all of us a bad name and spoiling our business.

The buffalo sellers are unanimous in saying that their grievance does not arise from Yogi’s crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses. But they allege that even those functioning legally are being targeted. In the first ten days of inspections, as many as nine legal slaughterhouses in the Bareilly zone were closed down.

Uvaiz argues, “The government is cracking down even on those slaughterhouses that are functioning legally. And that is hurting us financially. I am selling a tenth of what I sold before.”

Tariq Qureshi, a 40-year-old buffalo seller from Bareilly, sums it up, “Let Yogi act against what is illegal, but why is he acting against what is legal?”

IG Bareilly: Cops Must Not Overstep Their Mandate

IG Bareilly, Vijay Prakash, does not altogether rubbish the allegations of policemen stopping buffalo sellers and asking for bribes. “There must be some policemen on the ground doing nonsensical things. But it has gone down. If you say that at some places, this is going on, we will look into it.”

Responding to complaints of legal slaughterhouses facing the brunt of the crackdown as well, Prakash admits:

In parts of UP, there are complaints of the inspection committee overstepping. I heard of a sub-inspector saying, “If you don’t have buffalo or mutton, why can’t you have chicken?” He has no business to say that. So, policemen too have been instructed again to not act in such a manner.

“The committee headed by the District Magistrate, which is inspecting the various slaughterhouses, should not shut abattoirs based on frivolous reasons.”

Bareilly Ke Bazaar Mein, Mutton Goes Missing

A city abattoir, set up and run by Bareilly’s municipal authority and used solely to slaughter goats was shut down on the 25th of March for not having clearances. With the only other municipality-run abattoir in Bareilly having been shut a year and a half ago for modernisation, mutton traders say they now have nowhere to go to slaughter their goats.

150 restaurants and 200 mutton shops are on a ten-day strike against the closure of the abattoir at Shahdana Chowraha, claims Nadeem Qureshi, the man helming the protest. Shutters down, Nadeem’s restaurant, Zayka Chicken & Kabab Corner, bears a desolate look on an otherwise busy Thursday evening.

The meat market at Shahmat Ganj is no better. Even those looking to buy chicken return disappointed, as every meat shop is closed in protest.

Meat shops on strike in Bareilly (Photo: The Quint)
Meat shops on strike in Bareilly (Photo: The Quint)

We’ve submitted a complaint letter to the District Magistrate against shutting down the slaughterhouse at Shahdana Chowraha. This needs to be resolved at the soonest.

Nadeem Qureshi, Kabab Shop Owner

Mutton shop owner, Mohammad Nazin, says “We have many Hindu customers buying mutton from us. We can’t go to the private slaughterhouse with our goats because they slaughter buffaloes there as well. Hindu customers won’t buy our meat if we get it cut there. So we need the municipal slaughterhouse to reopen.”

If the municipal slaughterhouse was not following rules, it is the municipality’s responsibility to fix it. Why are we being made to suffer for what is their fault?

Nisar Ahmad, Mutton Shop Owner in Bareilly’s Shahmatganj

The Quint asked that exact question to Sheeldhar Yadav, Commissioner of Bareilly’s municipal corporation.

“Yes, the slaughterhouse was shut as it did not have the requisite clearances. But we are working hard to ensure that the other slaughterhouse, which was shut a year ago, to be modernised, can be opened in a few months. The demands of the meat traders will therefore be met soon.”

But is soon, soon enough?

Bareilly’s Biggest Slaughterhouse Running at Less Than Half Its Capacity

On the city outskirts, in Mohanpur, is Marya Frozen Agro Foods’ vast mechanised abattoir. Built to cater to the company’s high export demands, the slaughterhouse has so far passed the inspections of the new government. Yet, Marya too is facing the heat.

Officials there claimed that usually, buffaloes would be slaughtered at the plant from 8 am to 7 pm. But when The Quint visited the abattoir, the slaughtering sections of the plant were empty by 1 pm.

Marya Frozen Agro Foods’ abattoir in Bareilly has stopped work by 1 pm. (Photo: The Quint)
Marya Frozen Agro Foods’ abattoir in Bareilly has stopped work by 1 pm. (Photo: The Quint)

A thousand buffaloes are slaughtered daily here. Now, it’s down to 350-400 buffaloes a day. A huge plant running at less than half its capacity. The cops are harassing people who are transporting buffaloes. So production has crashed.

Haji Shakeel Qureshi, Chairman, Marya Frozen Agro Foods and representative, All India Meat Association

Wealthy and influential, Haji Shakeel Qureshi needs no introduction in Bareilly. The proprietor of the city’s largest slaughterhouse was part of the delegation of meat traders that met the CM and his Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh in Lucknow on the 30th of March.

Before meeting the CM, even I thought the move against slaughterhouses was to target Muslims. But the CM assured us that he is here to work for people of all religions.

But Qureshi doesn’t mince words on the losses that the industry is currently suffering.

In just ten days, the meat industry in UP has had losses of 75 crore rupees. Three crore people in the state are affected by the crackdown. Even legal slaughterhouses are being shut. The government is losing a lot of revenue too.

On the problems being faced by Bareilly’s mutton traders, Qureshi says, “Till the civic authorities get the clearances for the municipal slaughterhouses, the local administration has asked us to help by allowing people to get their goats and buffaloes slaughtered at our abattoir, so that a law and order situation doesn’t arise. So currently, traders can come to our slaughterhouse and get the work done.”

Now, Demands for a Gau Mantralaya and a Meat Ban During Navratri

Ashish Sharma of the Vishwa Hindu Sena’s Gau Raksha Vahini demands a complete meat ban during Navratri. (Photo: The Quint)
Ashish Sharma of the Vishwa Hindu Sena’s Gau Raksha Vahini demands a complete meat ban during Navratri. (Photo: The Quint)

Ashish Sharma is the District President of the Vishwa Hindu Sena’s Gau Raksha Vahini. The self-styled vigilante cow protection group welcomes the new government’s actions against slaughterhouses. But is quick to remind us that their members continue to keep a close watch on the roads.

We stop any vehicle that we suspect has a cow inside. If it does, we call the police. Let those in the vehicle explain why cows are being transported. But we let vehicles transporting buffaloes pass.

Ashish Sharma, Bareilly District President of the Vishwa Hindu Sena’s Gau Raksha Vahini

The Quint asked Sharma from where his Vahini derived the authority to stop and search vehicles.

“Once the cops asked us that too. I said I’m part of the Vishwa Hindu Sena’s Gau Raksha Vahini and showed the police our IDs. That was that.”

But Sharma is upset on hearing reports that the BJP is not making a beef ban a poll promise in the election-bound states of the North-East.

It is wrong that the BJP is not talking about a beef ban in the North-East. Cow slaughter and consumption of beef should be banned across India, from Goa to Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram. We will write a letter to PM Modi about this.

The Gau Raksha Vahini also has two key demands from the Yogi Adityanath administration.

We will petition this UP government to create a separate Gau Mantralaya or Cow Ministry. Also, we demand a total ban on all types of meat during both Navratris and the entire month of Sawan.

60-year-old Brij Mohan, a garland seller outside the Hanuman Mandir at Civil Lines, thinks along similar lines. “The selling of meat itself is wrong, and municipal authorities should no longer be running slaughterhouses. Why should they? All of this should be stopped.”

I remind Brij Mohan that even within the Hindu fold, there are large numbers of non-vegetarians, including most Dalits. He responds brusquely:

God has created many things to eat. Will people die if they don’t eat one particular thing? Let the butchers and those in this trade seek a different job. If required, the government should help them seek new professions.

‘Notebandi Yaad Hai?’

51-year-old Bareilly resident Peter Masi is a Christian. Surprisingly enough, he too is vegetarian. Laughing at my incredulity, he says “Not all five fingers of the hand are the same. Similarly, not all Christians eat meat!”

Bareilly resident Peter Masi compares Adityanath’s crackdown on slaughterhouses to PM Modi’s demonetisation drive. (Photo: The Quint)
Bareilly resident Peter Masi compares Adityanath’s crackdown on slaughterhouses to PM Modi’s demonetisation drive. (Photo: The Quint)

Peter is optimistic. “Things will come back to normal again, don’t worry. The municipal corporation will have to reopen its slaughterhouse. The clearances and paperwork will come through and the abattoirs will open their gates again.”

The crackdown on meat is like notebandi. Of course there were problems, but then we came back to normal, didn’t we?

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