Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beef ban in India

“Hegemony is conceptualized as noncoercive relations of domination in which subordinated groups actively consent to and support belief systems and structures of power relations that do not necessarily serve—indeed, may work against—those groups' interest”- This powerful statement made by Mumby in "The problem of hegemony: Rereading Gramsci for organizational communication studies" aroused my interest to juxtapose it with the current upheaval in India with beef ban.

Hindutva, one of the hot topics of India, has brought India into the lime light globally. One of the recent disrupts was the ban on cow slaughter to bulls and oxen, and the sale of beef as punishable. This law has affected the livelihood of thousands of butchers, vendors, restaurants etc. This law has been implemented in several states like Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh.

Hindu fundamentalist groups are celebrating their victory. Their aspiration is to bring India back to its religious values. Cow is sacred. But it is sacred to whom? Only the upper caste Hindus! Beef is consumed not only by Indian Muslims and Christians, but also by many low-caste Hindus, the Dalit. Beef is affordable and an essential source of protein. For the poorer section of society who can’t afford to have the luxury of eating other expensive meats, beef suffice. This imposition of the  BJP-led Central government of our secular nation has not only hit the dietary plans of the poor but also the beef industry which employs a vast number of peopleIt has also affected the leather industry which employs a vast number of people. 

Drawing this to the culture centered approach, the hegemony of the BJP-led Central government has provided it with the power of reshaping the structures, and agency to redefine the culture of India, in broader sense to redefine Hindutva.

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