A political stampede over India’s sacred cow

By Rev. Dr. Joseph D’souza

India is in chaos again, but this time it’s because of cows. And it’s all happening during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s world tour that’s underway this month.

It’s terrible timing for a prime minister aiming to show an India that’s moving forward and not backward. Yet some in his BJP Party are inclined to wander off in a direction of Hindu theocracy that restricts religious freedom and empowers religious radicals. One of the consequences is the global defamation of Hinduism by its own adherents.

The latest crisis began when India’s government announced a ban on the commercial transportation of cattle for slaughter, sending the world’s largest democracy into a frenzy. Overnight, the livelihood of millions of Dalits (sometimes called “untouchables”) and tribals, who survive on the beef, leather and bone industry, was destroyed, while millions of Christians and Muslims, who also consume beef and depend on cattle trade, found themselves confounded.

But the commotion doesn’t end there.

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