Peacock Justice
Columns, In Black & White

Peacock Justice

June 3, 2017

Oh!  It seems Salman Bhai is not the only adult-virgin in India. There is another good-looking star who is also a virgin, the peacock, our national bird.  So how do peacocks procreate then… it seems, the peahen drinks the tears of the peacock and that’s it, it has a baby peafowl. This discovery was made by a High Court Judge based on facts such as ‘myth’ology.

By now everyone knows these special ornithological discoveries were made by Justice Mahesh Chandra Sharma of the Rajasthan High Court on his last day as Judge. He gave this ‘coitus-confusious’ talk after delivering a 139-page ruling (!) in response to a petition alleging maltreatment of cows in a local animal shelter.

Even in the last judgement, Justice Sharma had interesting insights into the animal world. While he recommended that the cow be declared India’s national animal, he also noted that the cow was the only animal that inhaled and exhaled oxygen and was a mobile “clinic” and that its urine had miraculous properties of destroying germs and preventing ageing! That’s it, soon we are sure we may have Pathanjali anti-ageing serums and the main ingredient will be cow urine! Probably, it will be called Gausutra anti-ageing cream.

Now, when it comes to politics even animals are an instrument of vote-bank politics. So the divine bovine has now become a political bovine. But while we want to protect the cow, do we love it? No. Where are the cow-lovers when cow owners leave their cows on the roads to eat plastic bags next to dustbins? Where are these bovine fanatics when overloaded bullock carts are pulled by suffocating bullocks behind smoke-spewing tempos? Where are the Gaurakshaks when cows are openly transported in goods autos in standing position, which is illegal?

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Guess, that is because they care only about cows that are being sent to the slaughter house. But we are sure a cow would rather be slaughtered than have a painful death as plastic fills its belly or when their legs break during transport and unable to feed, they die of starvation.

To be bovine in India is not divine but a life of burden. The holy cow and its progeny are beasts of burden that have been exploited for the purposes of religion and politics in this country.

The cow may be sacred but what about pigs, goats, sheep, fish and chicken? They are God’s creatures too. In fact, in coastal areas fish is considered vegetarian!! How convenient. In a democracy, one community’s wish cannot become the law for all. It’s not Saudi Arabia, hell even there you get pork and alcohol which are considered haram in Islam.

In a free nation with a Constitution and personal liberties, it is one’s right to choose what they want to eat unless, of course, they’re vying for their neighbour’s chicken.

Above all, whose cows are being slaughtered? It’s the poor farmers’. A milch cow can be milked for up to 12 to 14 years, after that it is of no use to the farmer. Now the farmer is left with three choices — use it to plough land, sell it to the slaughter house or send it to Pinjrapole where she will live out the rest of her life, which is about another 15 years. Now if a farmer were poor, he would obviously sell it to a slaughter house which typically pays around Rs. 2,500 per cow.

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Taking up the issue of just cow slaughter is only going to end up as a political game in which personal freedoms will be slaughtered and our Constitutional rights bloodied. Banning cow slaughter is going to send the practice underground and give birth to a new black market in which thugs, cops and government officers will thrive.

Now the more disturbing aspect of the former Judge’s statement is when he in his 139-page judgement recommended life imprisonment for anyone killing a cow! And the reason why he thinks life imprisonment is justified is because he believes there are “330 million Gods and Goddesses” that reside in a cow!  Thank God, I was never in front of this Judge seeking justice!

In any other country there would be a call to review all the judgements pronounced by this Judge because he has a prejudiced mind. And a prejudiced mind cannot be fair. An unfair mind cannot deliver justice in a complex, multi-cultural and multi-religious society like ours.

This Judge’s statements will scare anyone who seeks justice. May be, it’s time to reassess how we select Judges. It’s not knowledge or education that makes a person fair. It is a sense of humanity and check of reality. Else, they will deliver only peacock justice!

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