Beef ban: Big Brother is creeping into our lives every day

We will soon be a nation on the sly rather than the fly. Carry on like this and it is a given. Slyly imbibing alcohol in states that are dry. Slyly finding connections to bootleggers. Slyly concealing our booze so we cannot be reported. Slyly chewing kebabs and keema cutlets when no one is looking. Slyly looking for a salmon steak.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Quick hide your food, here come the saviours of the State.

Slyly buying meat and chicken from the black-market. My kingdom for a korma, my palace for a prawn.

Slyly going on a date in the shadows to avoid prying eyes. Shhhh, step softly.

Surreptitiously moving our herds of cattle for grazing. Because what if we are mistaken as cow killers when all we are doing is transporting the herd. Like the fifteen men in Jaipur who were attacked and thrashed by gau rakshaks: One of them lost his life.

Who will listen?

Why would you want to be in the leather tanning business and paint a bulls eye on yourself? Why join the clean-up crew to pick up carcasses? Who will talk down the mob? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

When will it stop? Where will it stop? Do we have to sit in fear with a friend or colleague of the opposite sex. Share a coffee with a watchful eye for a goon squad hell bent on "protecting our morality". How will we explain our relationship, when we confronted? Why do we have to explain? 

What if they are upset by what she is wearing, don’t like the laughter in her eyes, don’t appreciate the happiness on his face? These are not our values. How dare you enjoy each other's company. Something is fishy here (and even that is dicey).

Lunch and dinner will be fraught with its own dangers. Even our words will have to be carefully considered so that we are not misunderstood. Will saying ‘grace’ be offensive to some come the morrow? Is it a sign of publicly converting people to Christianity?

Imagine, if you will, in a cruel, but probable scenario: Somewhere on this path that we seem to be hurtling down on, you are chatting with a friend. You begin to argue about his attitude at the office. You say: What’s your beef mister? Stop being so aggressive.

There are a bunch of gau rakshaks at the next table. The word beef propels them towards you. They examine the remnants of the meat dish and call for the waiter. Their righteousness has everyone trembling. Because they will get you for this indiscretion— they have official benediction— they're here to save you from yourselves.

One day it might even be acceptable for the Gestapo to knock at your door to check what you're cooking.

My goodness, they're cooking koftas! Off with them! Into the van, now! 

That's not in the realm of the impossible.

What happens if the wisdom of our gurus decides the egg is an embryonic essence of non-vegetarianism since it comes from the chicken and should be banned. Will our little underground provider sneak into our homes at night clutching six eggs to be sold at a premium so we can have our omelette?

Orwellian concepts are creeping into our lives, even as we pretend they are not—so slyly that tomorrow, even thinking something may be dangerous — from a penny for your thoughts to a pounding.

Why are we doing this in the name of governance? Why?

Updated Date: Apr 05, 2017 15:51 PM

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