Thrissur: Popular writer and Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award winner Sarah Joseph on Saturday said she would return the award to protest the lynching of a Muslim in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he ate beef.
“The country is now passing through very tough times. I feel it’s worse than the black days of the Emergency,” said Joseph while announcing her decision to return the award she won in 2003.
“I was honoured to receive the prestigious award. But now I feel we the writers have a role to play in the way things are going on in our country. So as a matter of protest, I will return the award along with the cash award that I received then,” she told reporters here.
“There is a fear that has engulfed in what one eats, when one expresses love, and there is some sort of curb on what one wants to write and speak. This does not augur well,” she said.
Referring to the lynching, Joseph said: “Our prime minister is a frequent flyer and gives big speeches on his trips abroad. The sad thing is that while he was away a man was beaten to death because he ate beef.”
With this decision, she joins other writers, including Nayantara Sahgal and Ashok Vajpeyi, former chairperson of the Lalit Kala Akademi, who returned their Sahitya Akademi awards.
Joseph, 69, received the award for her novel ‘Aalahayude Penmakkal ‘(Daughters of God the father) first published in 1999.
She heads the Aam Aadmi Party’s unit in the state and contested the Lok Sabha polls from the Thrissur constituency last year.
A report by IndiaSpend suggests that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centered on issues related to cow for over eight years
The report is based on the survey of reports in English language media available online since 2010
86% of those killed in the incidents related to cow protectionism, according to the report, were Muslims
New Delhi, August 19, 2017: Cow vigilantism and the violence related to it is not an unfamiliar story in India these days. But a report by IndiaSpend has highlighted the scale of the issue.
According to a survey that took into account the reports in IndiaSpend, the data was accessible online since 2010- it claims that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence that centered on issues related to cow for over eight years, 2010-2017, making them 86% of the 28 Indians that were killed in 63 incidents related to cow protectionism.
97% of these incidents, according to IndiaSpend, were reported after the Modi government came to power in 2014. 32 of the 63 cases were from the states that BJP governed when the incidents were reported. No less than 124 people were injured in these attacks, more than half of which were only based on rumors.
20 such attacks were reported in the first six months of 2017, more than 75% of that in 2016, making it the worst year for cow-related violence.
The attacks included a range of crimes such as mob lynching, murder, attempt to murder, harassment, assault and even gang rape. These attacks were reported from 19 of the 29 states of India, with Northern states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Haryana topping the list. 13 of the total 63 cases were reported from the Southern and Eastern states, with six being reported from Karnataka. Northeast accounted for only one incident, in which two men were murdered in Assam, on 30th April 2017.
“Lynching does not find mention in the Indian Penal Code. No particular law has been passed to deal with lynching. Absence of a codified law to deal with mob violence or lynching makes it difficult to deliver justice in the cases of riots. However, Section 223(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 says that persons or a mob involved in the same offense in the same act can be tried together. But, this has not proved to have given enough legal teeth to (the) justice delivery system. – India Today, 25 June 2017”
Out of the 63 attacks that were reported over a span of eight years, 5% faded away without any reports of the attackers being arrested. In 13 attacks (21%), police registered cases against the victims or the survivors. In 23 attacks, the attackers were mobs or people belonging to the Hindu groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and local Gau Rakshak Samitis.
From 2010 to 2017, which is the period being considered, the first attack of cow related violence in which four people were injured and three were arrested, occurred in Joga town in Mansa district, Punjab, on June 10, 2012.
“Led by activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Gowshala Sangh, villagers gathered in the morning and broke into the premises of the factory…The mob went on the rampage damaging the factory and setting ablaze the houses of at least two of those running the unit, Ajaib Singh and Mewa Singh,” reported The Hindu the next day.
In August 2016, in Mewat, Haryana, a woman, and her 14-year-old cousin were, allegedly, gang raped after they were accused of eating beef.
On May 30, 2017, a Ph.D. scholar in IIT Madras, was attacked for eating beef, when he was at a vegetarian mess on the campus.
33 out of the 63 attacks since 2010 were based on rumors.
In a recent case on April 21, 2017, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer from Alwar in Rajasthan was beaten to death, on suspicion of carrying cattle for slaughter.
On June 11, 2017, in Rajasthan, officials of the Animal Husbandry Department of Tamil Nadu’s government were attacked by cow vigilantes, for transporting cows in five trucks, mentioned the Indian Express report. The fact that they had a no-objection certificate (NOC) and official permission from police and other authorities did not prove any help.
Massive protests have had happened in states like Kerala, West Bengal, and in the Northeast, since the Centre decided to modify an existing law against cruelty to animals, to ban sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter. The Threat of cow vigilantism, after all, has only been increasing.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha
A report from credit rating agency ICRA shows that India’s annual buffalo meat exports will touch the Rs 40,000 crore mark in the next five years, compared with Rs 26,682 crore in FY16
In the last 8 years, India’s buffalo meat exports have recorded CAGR of 29 per cent, rising from the Rs 3,533 crore-level in FY08
For the last two years, buffalo meat has been the highest agri-related export from India and its contribution to the total exports revenue has almost doubled to 1.56 per cent in FY16, from 0.76 per cent in FY11
Buffalo meat exports from India are likely to grow by 50 percent over the next five years, thanks to growing demand. A report from Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India shows that India’s annual buffalo meat exports will touch the Rs 40,000 crore mark in the next five years, compared with Rs 26,682 crore in FY16. This means compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 percent.
In the last 8 years, India’s buffalo meat exports have recorded CAGR of 29 per cent, rising from the Rs 3,533 crore-level in FY08. “While India has been exporting buffalo meat for almost two decades, the industry has gained momentum only in the last decade. This can be attributed to multiple factors like increasing demand from developing countries (like China, Vietnam, Thailand, etc), slaughtering method meeting the religious requirements of certain ethnicities, price competitiveness, high buffalo population, and low domestic consumption,” said Sabyasachi Majumdar, senior vice president — corporate sector rating, Icra.
Within India, Uttar Pradesh accounts for the highest share (28 percent) of the total buffalo population and has also emerged as the leading buffalo meat producer — housing around 60 per cent of the total standalone slaughter houses, standalone meat processing units and fully-integrated meat processing units.
India’s buffalo meat exports account for around 20 percent of the world’s total buffalo meat/beef exports (in volume terms), making it the largest exporter, overtaking Brazil and Australia.
India by and large exports only buffalo meat, compared with other countries which primarily export beef. This growth has been driven both by volume expansion (CAGR of 13 percent) and an increase in realisations (CAGR of 13 per cent). For the last two years, buffalo meat has been the highest agri-related export from India and its contribution to the total exports revenue has almost doubled to 1.56 per cent in FY16, from 0.76 per cent in FY11.
The buffalo meat industry is largely unorganised and only moderately regulated. It also remains vulnerable to risks pertaining to social and political sensitivity, sustainability of buffalo population, disease outbreak and high competition from global beef industry (this was evident in FY16 when the buffalo meat exports from India declined for the first time in almost a decade as depreciation of Brazilian currency made Brazilian beef cheaper).
Additionally, there is considerable scope for improvement in the industry infrastructure, which lags the standards of some of the major global beef exporting countries. However, the government is addressing these challenges by focusing on improving industry infrastructure through direct as well as private sector participation, the rollout of schemes to sustain the availability of buffaloes for slaughtering and developing a wider regulatory framework to ensure quality control.
“In the long term, buffalo meat exports are likely to continue to report healthy growth, driven by improving infrastructure, a sizeable buffalo population, a relatively lower price of Indian buffalo meat, and steady demand in the international market,” said Majumdar. (IANS)