What exactly is Beef Politics? With continuous and unrelenting social media debates between people over communalism, secularism, fundamentalism, and nationalism people have completely forgotten a critical component that unites all the country together, i.e. Diversity of India.
India is easily one of the most diverse nations in the world. From a plethora of languages spoken in India to varied terrains and geographies, from scrumptious and mouth-watering cuisines to distinct and ancient cultures, from a variety of religions living peacefully to different and diverse regions, Indian truly is a continent in itself.
Can “Beef Politics” undermine the Great Indian Diversity?
India is the birthplace of four major global religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism, besides having the second-largest population of Muslims in the world. India is also home to a large number of highly persecuted Ahmadiyya sect, besides also being home to Zoroastrians and people from the Jewish community.
India is one of the most multi-lingual countries in on the planet. According to a recent census, there were about 1600+ languages spoken across the country. The most widely spoken languages in India are Hindi / Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, and Tamil.
In terms of geography, India is surrounded from the north by the highest mountain range in the world – The Himalayans, a massive arid desert lies in the west – the Thar Desert, and surrounded by water on all the three sides by the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and The Bay of Bengal
Beef Politics in India Media
One of the topics which has been sensationalized in the Indian media is “Beef Politics”. People and politicians in India need to realize that India is a country of almost 1.25 Billion People. This basically means Indian alone has more population than the combined population of two continents i.e. Europe and North America, which encompasses around 70+ countries.
Politicians should not expect the entire population of 1.25 Billion to adhere to similar beliefs, customs, traditions and dietary plans. Hinduism is the most widely practised religion in India, but the way of practising drastically varies from regions to regions. For instance, Ganesh Chaturthi is the biggest festival of Maharashtra, but it is not widely celebrated in many other parts of the country like Kerela, North East India, Jammu & Kashmir etc.
Kashmiri Pandit Women Don’t Wear “Mangal-Sutra”
Most of the Hindu women from the Kashmir Pandit community don’t wear “Mangal-Sutra” or even apply “Sindoor”. They have their own rituals and beliefs and instead use a long gold string in their ear called “Dejhoor” which symbolizes a married woman. Even the festival of “Karva-Chauth” is not celebrated within the Kashmiri Pandits community and is neither celebrated in most of North East or South Indian states.
Non-Vegetarian Food During Navratras in West Bengal
Navratra is another important festival widely celebrated throughout the country. The nine days of Navratras are believed to be very pious days, where many people fast and do not even consume onions; non-vegetarian food is out of the question. However, in West Bengal, almost the entire Bengali community vigorously eats non-vegetarian food, especially fish, which is part of their tradition and culture. Same is the case with Beef, most of Hindus, do not consume any kind of beef, but many people from South India, West Bengal, Kashmir Valley, and North East India are not really averse to consuming beef. Why should a section of people from certain groups or regions questions the beliefs, values, and traditions of other communities? Afterall, India is a large and diverse country, and it is unrealistic to expect the entire population of 1.25 Billion people to have similar beliefs, values, and dietary habits. However, the entire population is certainly expected to adhere to the Indian Constitution.