Dear Gau Rakshaks,

I understand that you are riding on the wave of power right now, feeling emboldened with the change of regime since 2014. I also understand that this sudden spasm is a result of pent up emotions since long and not a product of overnight political demagoguery. You wish to crack a vengeance on those who have desecrated, abused and tortured your holy cow, with impunity, over many decades. I understand that yours is an act of retribution oriented towards teaching a lesson to those hitherto protected by the state.

I am not writing this letter to lecture you or advise you on the inappropriateness of your act. Nor do I intend to mock at you at hypocrisy of your act, that on one side you are thrashing the Muslims and Dalits on the issue of cow slaughter, while on the other hand the incumbent government (of which you all are affiliated directly or indirectly) is promoting pink revolution, successfully achieving the feat of making India the top beef exporter country of the world. You too are a humble person like me, vulnerable to emotive actions, when passion begins to dominate reason. Energy, if channelized properly, can be fruitful, to you as well to the nation. And for energy to be functional, reason should dominate passion.

My letter contains few questions, which you don’t need to answer to me, but to yourself. And you’d reason it out yourself whether your actions are channelized properly, or being (mis)used by political and economic elite for their material gains.

Let me begin with your daily chores.

  1. When you wake up in the morning, do you ensure that the toothpaste that you’re using does not contain glycerine made from fat of holy cow? Yes, glycerine is derived from tallow (fat). Though Colgate, Close-Up and Pears (or for that case any brand) would claim that they derive their glycerine from vegetable sources (soyabeans or palm), would you actually believe that they would derive their input material from a veg-source which is costlier than the non-veg counterpart, just for the sake of respecting your faith??

  2. Do you actually check whether the shaving cream that you use, the soap, the hair cream, the shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers etc. that you use are not derived from holy cow?? The “Panthenol”, “Amino acids”, or “Vitamin B” can be either from animal or plant source. Please check before use. The fabric softener you use contains Dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride. What is the source??

  3. Brushed your teeth?? How about a cup of tea? But wait, please ensure that the sugar you are using has not been whitened using the bones of cow.

  4. Let’s go for breakfast. What would you like to have? Poori, chapatti with Chhole? Please ensure that the refined edible oil of Adani that you are using is not adulterated with tallow (beef fat). For your information, the patriotic government that you elected surreptitiously removed the 32 year ban on tallow imposed by Indira Gandhi govt. in 1983 after disclosure of beef fat being using by companies in vanaspati (vegetable cooking oil).

  5. Ok, let’s move out. What would you prefer- car or bike? Please check the tyres. No, not for the air pressure, but whether the tyre manufacturer has used animal based stearic acid which helps the rubber in tyres hold shape under steady surface friction.

  6. Want to stick something? Use glue, but please ensure that the glue is not animal glue, made from the boiling animal’s connective tissue and bones or from hides of bovine animals. Fevicol ka jod hai, tutega nahi.

  7. Let’s go shopping. But please avoid using plastic bags. Why?? Many plastics, including shopping bags, contain ‘slip agents’, which reduce the friction in the material. What are those made of? Animal fat of course. Although polymers are manufactured from petroleum feedstock, plastics manufacturers often use additives of animal origin to improve material properties and/or to aid in processing of raw polymers.

  8. Let’s get to your basic work- thrashing and beating the Dalits and the Muslim cow traders. Please make sure that you don’t get hurt in the scuffle. And if you do, please ask the Doc to give you tablets and not capsules, because the capsule covering is again made from animal protein. If you need a stitch, please ask the Doctor what are those surgical threads made of. They are normally made from the intestines of holy cow.

  9. Frustrated?? OK, let’s watch IPL. But wait. Do you know that the game which sets your adrenaline running involves cow? Holy cow. The leather covering of the ball used in cricket is made from the hide of calf, cow calf.

  10. Ok. Chill. Have a puff. But cigarette too is non-vegetarian. The cigarette bud contains pig blood. But pig is a taboo for Muslims, isn’t it? You should not have any issue with it. What about gutkha?? Do you know that the supari contained in gutka is the left over supari, obtained after cleaning the hides of bovine animals?? What more do you expect from a packet of Rs. 2? Fresh supari?? Check yourself, the manufacturer’s address. Kanpur?? Isn’t Kanpur the hub of tanning industry?? Got it? Google it yourself.

  11. Ok. Avoid those, since they are injurious to health. But then those jelly beans and candies, the ones you take home for your kids, too are non-vegetarian. They are made from animal bones. The lipstick that your women use at home is also made from beef tallow, apart from the red dye produced by crushing cochineal beetles. It is also used in yoghurt, ice cream and eye shadow.

I can point out hundreds of such products, (and honestly you provided me the necessary spur to research on it) but I suppose I have made my point clear- it is not the Dalits and Muslims who are destroying your faith. The corporate world has screwed up your belief system beyond redemption. So why attack the poor people who eke a living by trading those cattle for paltry sum. The real business is being done by the corporate. Would you dare attack them?

Ok, you are against beef eating. But how would you take out the bones, the intestines, the hoofs, the hides, the tallow etc required for manufacturing your daily use products?? So, live and let live. There’s space for everybody. In your communal frenzy, you are destroying age old bonds. What for??

Live in harmony. Don’t play in the hands of demagogue leaders, who use you as foot soldiers, and then abandon you like dead cows once their political objective is achieved.

Cheers. Relive the age old bond. Make merry with your neighbour or your friends, who do not necessarily belong to your community. Love your countrymen.

But, don’t burst crackers. No no, not for pollution sake. In fireworks, stearic acid is often used to coat metal powders such as aluminium and iron. This prevents oxidation, allowing compositions to be stored for a longer period of time. Any guesses where this stearic acid comes from?

Farhan Rahman on FB