Disclaimer: The use of Left here represents the blinded Left and does not encompass the different Left movements, which have actually attended to issues.
The Left’s basic problem in India is not just that the movement is populated by elite, liberal bourgeoisie but also the very fact that it is hypocritical in most of the cases.
It disagrees on any form of coercive approaches or politics and yet resorts to forceful methods when it comes to issues to which people don’t agree with them.
One thing where this is clearly seen is the politics around beef. However I want to wholly support Left politics, I cannot seem to be able to do it.
Though the proportion of these “radical” leftists is really less, yet I think that their voice as keyboard warriors is still sizeable. It could be that my news feed is abundant with such negativity, but let’s consider the issue for a moment:
The extreme right is food policing, and the brutality has cost lives in the process. Anti-beef decisions and extremism have been peacefully countered, and recently with campaigns like Not In My Name.
If the government is following policies, attack the government. If people are being airheads about the issue one should definitely debate and satirize the problem.
But what I instead see in exchange is, the left ridiculing people who do not eat beef or people who acknowledge the properties of gau mutra.
I come from a place which involves gau mutra in their worships and people consider the excreta sacred. I wonder what would happen when people from my place interact with these leftists who have no regard for their culture.
Will they be laughed at? Will they be called “primitive”? Will they be ridiculed for being supposedly superstitious?
And all these questions combined repels me from left politics more because at the end of the day, it becomes elitist; at the end of the day it becomes just another ideology being forced down our throats in the name of liberation.
Quite some time back, I had a “radical leftist” brag on Facebook how he ate beef pickle in a gathering which did not approve of red meat.
What idiocy or lunacy is this?
I DON’T EAT BEEF.
Now, take what you want. If my non-preference for the meat speaks of my allegiance to saffron terrorism (*chuckles*), I really think your left politics is mistaken.
I have had people, mostly Malayalis, in my life who cringe when I say I don’t like beef.
Seems like the zealots are failing the left!
How should one talk about it?
Quite simply, attend to the problem how more sane people do it.
Talk about eating choices. Talk about the choice of belief.
Someone for whom beef is a part of the diet is equal to the person who considers cow urine sacred. Both are equal, and no politics should consider one or the other supreme. Nothing is supreme. People are just different.
Take a look at how the Government of Kerala decided to put forth their argument:
“The Government of India’s Gazette Notification prohibiting the slaughter of cattle and imposing restrictions on cattle trade is part of the effort to destroy the secular fabric of our country.
India is a land of different religions and cultures. Diversity is the essence of our democracy. The actions of our Central Government is in contradiction to it… People of all faiths have been consuming meat since time immemorial. By prohibiting slaughter, the Government has meddled with the people’s right to consume whatever food they prefer to… Once the prohibition comes into effect, raw material for the leather industry will not be available anymore. More than 2.5 million people work in India’s leather industry. Most of them are dalits. Hence, this prohibition will severely affect our disadvantaged sections.”
Do you see the difference between the way you speak and the way they do? I want that. If you can’t, I need to rethink about my allegiance with the Left.