What are the dummy schools in Gwalior
Another animal, please!
October 1917, Mahatma Gandhi comes to Bettiah, a small village in Bihar in northern India and lays the foundation stone for another Gaushala, a cow shelter. “The protection of cows is the very first duty for Hindus. That is sacred work, ”he calls out to the 300 listeners for his circumstances. He talks for a long time about religion, the obligation to save cows from death. Gandhi has a meta-level in his speech: every single word, every word, seems like an accusation from the English colonial rulers. In India at that time you only have to put the word cow and the word slaughter in one sentence to call for resistance, in Gandhi's case for peaceful. Policy against the English equals protection for cows. For over a century there had been bloody uprisings by the Hindus to save cows. The word Gaushala, made up of cow and protection, stands for a place where animals, sacred to every Hindu, but also to other Indian religious communities, for example the Jains, are safe, grow old in peace and can die. In Bettiah Gandhi says: “We should be aware that there are slaughterhouses in every major Indian city. Thousands of cows and bulls are slaughtered in it. ”For the British. In Gandhi's collected speeches and writings there is yet another address that he gave in Bettiah, three years later and again in the Gaushala. This time he sounds even more aggressive. “While the Muslims only occasionally slaughter cows for the meat, the English cannot go a day without meat.” For a while he heard that you could talk to them and convince them. "Now that hope has passed and I have called for them to stop working with them." The uprising against the British had now really started in India.
Today, in Bombay Pinjrapole, the word can only be translated as cow shelter, near the great Mathobag Temple of the Jains in the old town. In the courtyard there are cows everywhere, beautiful, fat cows that seem much more relaxed than the ones that hang around on the streets all over India. The Pinjrapole was founded on October 18, 1834 and looks almost as if nothing has changed. There are a few not rusted, which is rare in India, metal bars, but mostly wood and mortar plaster. The streets around Pinjrapole are narrow and crammed, the inner courtyard is quiet, the individual stables are not crammed with cows. Outside there are market stalls, three-wheel taxis, now and then a car, lots of pedestrians. And sometimes a cow trots around, stops everything. She is allowed to, she is holy. Even further out in Mumbai, earlier: Bombay, it still applies that when a cow is on the street, everyone has to be considerate. However, a lot is changing in the financial metropolis and with Bangalore, the most secular city in India. Old religion is becoming less important, money is the new one. The city administration is now having abandoned cows caught. They disrupt traffic and could deter investors. The taxi driver, for example, really doesn't understand why Europeans are so calm about the fact that for five minutes no wheel has been rolling on the street under the city highway on concrete pillars in Borivali, a narrow slum, because these three cows are standing there. That annoys him, he couldn't see it as nice and entertaining. No, he's not religious. He sees himself as a modern Indian. Mumbai is no longer a cow city. In some districts of Delhi and Chennai, cows set the pace of traffic a lot more, in the country, in the villages anyway. But especially in Varanassi, earlier the city was called Benares, the holy city on the Ganges, a true cow paradise.
What is striking about Pinjrapole in Mumbai is that the 240 cows here are all of one breed, brown, relatively short horns, quite lively. The temple is probably rich. Sounds absurd, but the cows seem satisfied and relaxed. Many Hindus resent that sometime in the 1970s cows were imported from Australia and Europe for breeding purposes. The half-breeds are not beautiful. It costs 50 rupees, a little more than a euro, to buy a large tuft of grass or a handful of grains at Pinjrapole. Mornings and evenings, when people are on their way to or from work, there is a rush. Up to 1000 tufts of grass and 300 handfuls of grains are bought daily. The believers want to do their part and feed the cows. Ramesh Bhardwaj is a merchant, he wears a chic blue suit and says he's not actually religious, but, well, he presses around, maybe he's religious after all. It is easy to give grass to the cows. Be tradition too. Does it bring luck? He thinks for a long time, suddenly laughs a bit embarrassed and finally says: “Yes, it brings me happiness in the sense that I am doing something good, something important. I feel better afterwards. ”He laughed because he wanted to be a modern Indian, computer, stock market, growth, forward, but at the same time still stuck to the old, cows, temples, yes, he was a vegetarian. He feels a contradiction. The times have changed.
Pinjrapole is a Jain cow sanctuary. Translated, that means the winner. You are a small religious group, not a Hindu. Winners because they want to conquer ignorance and desire. So far, 24 of them have done this, most recently Vardhamana Mahavira, in the 6th century BC. Extremely devout Jains wear a cloth over their mouths so that they do not breathe an insect under any circumstances. And before every step they sweep the floor with a broom so that they don't step on even the smallest creature. Of course these are a minority of the minority. Jains are vegetarians anyway. And today the most dedicated fighters for the cows. Wealthy Indians, Jains mostly buyers, had given cows to the temple. That used to be the way to do something for religion: you give sacred animals to the temple or the orphanage, the hospital, the school, the university.
Change of scene. The Hare Krishna Temple in Juhu, a wealthy suburb of Mumbai. Many Bollywood stars live here. The Hare Krishnas did not emerge until the 1960s and also in New York, are a small minority in India, many Americans and Europeans pray here to worship the god Krishna. In front of the ashram is an Indian woman with a cow and a bale of grass. A tuft, smaller than in Pinjrapole, costs 10 rupees. Change of scene to the Hare Krishnas because Bhima Das is here. He can explain well to someone from another culture why cows were and are sacred in India. He comes from the USA, the accent is from the northeast, has been in India for a long time and in the "Hare Krishna Land" of Juhu, as the Ashram is really called, one of the important ones. Bhima Das knows that strangers think differently and reduces the explanation to the supposedly important things that are logical for them. In the temple he has just explained to the believers and seekers what their god Krishna expects of them with complicated, twisted and, for people from the Occident, wishy-washy sentences. Now he is sitting on the floor of his small office, checking the emails and speaking in short sentences, manager-like: “The Vedas say that cows are sacred. Also in many old traditions. ”The Vedas are more than 2000 years old, in Sanskrit, the old language of India, which is hardly used today. Bhima Das looks up briefly and decides to get straight to the core.
“Cows are sacred because they give milk. It is very valuable food. A child is suckled by the mother and then given cow's milk. For that reason alone, the cow should be protected. ”He says what many Indians say:“ The cow is the mother. ”You make ghee out of milk. It's a long-boiled and thickened sauce, with an oil at the end. Ayuveda includes ghee. When it solidifies, it is pressed into the shape of a cuboid. Indians cut a piece of it in their rice or use it as frying or cooking fat. It tastes good. “Ghee used to be very important for victims. It was put into the fire. Even today, but not as often and as much as in the past. Cow dung, gabar, used to be important, the best fertilizer. When pressed, it was used to build houses. The cow urine was important, antiseptic, kept the mosquitos away. Cows were important for turning the water wheels. Cow stands for mother. A cow makes milk from grass. There is so much you can do with milk. You don't need the meat from cows, absolutely not. Using the milk is a noble way of taking life from the cow. She's giving it to you. You can't kill her. Unfortunately, it was much better protected in the old days. How cows are treated today says a lot about our time. We live in Kali Yoga, the age of hypocrisy and hypocrisy. "
The Hare Krishnas divide the development of the world into four stages, ages. We are, they think, in a not so good situation, for example at the transition from autumn to winter. So it's bad, but it's getting worse. For them it also applies: “If you kill an animal, you suffer kharma. Kharma is a response to what we do. You do something and it accompanies you in your next life, as kharma. ”So it can be a burden. You don't kill an animal because at some point, Kharma, you might be an animal. Killing a cow reduces your chance for a better next life. Not only the Hare Krishnas believe in Kharma, also the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Jains. Its 24 winners are people who, because of their perfectly led life, are freed from the cycle of rebirths, that is, they reach nirvana. Bhima Das says with great depth, not as loosely as in the rest of the conversation: “The body is used up, but the soul never.” He puts a hand on his chest. “Yes, if you kill a cow, you might kill your uncle. Simply put, now. In any case, it will burden your next life. But let's be honest, besides all of that, why do you have to kill a cow? Is there a real reason? Meat? ”, Says Bhima Das and hands the tin can with the sweets, the mixture of cow's milk and sugar common in India.
By 1800 the English had finally prevailed in southern India and were pushing north. Their policy was as follows: they left the maharajas in power, or at least officially, acted as their helpers, played them off against each other. However, there were a few strong rulers in northern India who were able to enforce the treaties: You are allowed to enter my country, but no cow is slaughtered in my territory. The Maharajas of Rajasthan, Jodhpur, and Udaipur, who were the strongest militarily, had such treaties with their patrons. On the one hand, the rulers wanted to use the British to get their neighbors under control. Because they were powerful enough, they could at the same time impose the cow slaughter ban on the British. Maharajah Ranjit Singh was the most powerful in the north and offered resistance for a long time, even when British troops were already in his country. Chaos threatened his death, especially in Kashmir, which was under his rule. The only chance the British had to hold out was to agree to a new ban on cow slaughter. In Rajastan, where the danger of an uprising was always greatest and the population was considered belligerent and skillful, no more cows were slaughtered until 1947. Brits got their meat from other provinces. There were deals like this elsewhere as well. Scientists have found that the rulers of Travancore, Mysore, Ramnad, Baroda, Indore, Gwalior, Kolhapur and many of the Kathiawad states had written cow contracts with the occupiers and many other arguably verbal agreements. Only: the English had to feed their soldiers, and they wanted meat. Attempts to hide slaughterhouses in barracks from the Hindus never worked long because there were Hindus recruited among the soldiers.
The British were able to cheat their way through until around 1830, when the first mutinies and uprisings broke out. The suffering of the cow has become the great symbol that the colonialists are bad and must go. It ran through the history of the subcontinent until the end of British rule. Rumors made the rounds that the 20,000 or so British soldiers were lubricating their bullets with cow fat. A kind of voodoo was believed to be possible in white people. For years the Indians boycotted the sugar brought into the country by the British because it was whispered that cow gelatine would be used for sugar refining. The myth dragged itself through India for forty years, sometimes the British secret service discovered it in Delhi, sometimes in Bengal, sometimes in Armisatr, sometimes in Lahore. Unlike tea and salt, the British sold very little sugar in India.
As early as 1800 there were riots to save cows, and after thirty years more and more. In 1857 the first major uprising, a conflagration: the British brutally beat it down. The result: there were now five times as many British soldiers, 100,000, in the country. They needed more provisions. So more cows were slaughtered. Devoted Indians later repeatedly complained that the resistance had led to more cow slaughter. From 1860, the Sikhs in the Punjab in particular fought with the conviction that a ruler who allows cows to be slaughtered must not be a ruler. The Sikhs have a reputation for being tough, dangerous warriors; their country, including Rajastan, has always been the most troubled in India. The Sikh sect of the Kukas fought openly and covertly with terrorist means against the occupiers for one single reason: Save the cows! During this time, many wandering monks began to roam all over India and agitated against the English. The first argument was always: these people slaughter cows. Some of these sanyasins and swamis were later models for Gandhi: they asked the devout Hindus to remain peaceful and to buy cows wherever possible, preferably from butchers, of course. During this time hundreds of Gaushalas were founded in India.
The concept was old, there have been cow sanctuaries in India for 5,000 years, scientists say, the Vedas say that cows are sacred and that they are entitled to human help. And: in addition to the religious argument, an economic one emerged. For the first time in the spring of 1881 in the leaflet “Gau Karunanidhi” Swami Dayananda, a wandering monk who has since become a legend, calculated: a cow can feed so many people if it is slaughtered, only so many people. “Killing cows ultimately leads to the economic death of a society. It destroys the natural order and harmony of the universe. ”This combination of economy and religion now appeared again and again in leaflets. It was also Dayananda who collected signatures against the killing of cows to be sent to Queen Victoria in London. His goal was 10,000 signatures. It is not clear how many signatures were actually collected, but 40,000 were sent to London from the small state of Mewar alone and 60,000 from Patiala. They were ignored. In 1893/94 there was the second big cow rescue revolt in India with thousands of deaths. Again the British prevailed.
Mostly Muslims worked in the slaughterhouses. According to Dharampal's standard work "The British Origin of Cow-Slaughter in India", this is the reason for the hatred that is so dominant today between Muslim Pakistanis and Indians. Further back: When the predecessors of the British, Muslim Moguls and their troops, invaded India in 1200 and prevailed in the north, they initially slaughtered cows publicly to demonstrate to the defeated Hindus who is now in power. Later, the Muslim moguls repeatedly used a means of pressure: you give up or we slaughter cows. So it was quiet, cows were hardly slaughtered, the situation relaxed and around 1700, when the Mughal rule came to an end, almost no cows died in their domain at the butcher's or during sacrifices. It was not until the British occupation that the opposition between Hindus and Muslims increased. The English rely mainly on the Muslims in India. Queen Victoria wrote on December 18, 1893, or better, had her name written after the second great bloody wave of cow rescue riots: “There is a need to be fair, but I think Muslims need more protection than Hindus , they are much more loyal to us. The uprisings against Muslim cow slaughter are only a pretext, actually they are directed against us. We slaughter a lot more cows than the Muslims. ”As I said: the British Army never slaughtered in public, always in the barracks.
The Muslims, however, lived directly between the Hindus and some of them sacrificed a bull once towards the end of the year, the exact date changes depending on the position of the moon, on the holiday of Bakar Id. Bakar is Arabic for cow. In the past, Arabs often slaughtered camels that day. When they occupied northern India from 1200 onwards, they often passed over to cows. There were so many. Historians have shown that in all of the Muslim-ruled northern India, at most 20,000 cows were slaughtered annually, mostly at Bakar Id.And: There was a period of 200 to 300 years when the Muslims in India did not butcher any bulls. Most of the Muslims in India come from then converted Hindus who, even when they became Muslims, traditionally did not harm any cow. Nevertheless, under the rule of the British, Bakar Id became the day with the greatest potential for crisis in India. The occupiers mostly preferred the strong minority of Muslims in order to get a better grip on the Hindus. In 1890, for example, the Hindus boycotted Muslim shops in Aligarh for almost a year because of a slaughter that they believed had taken place too publicly. Shortly before the second great cow rescue riot, Aligarh also sent the chain letter that traveled all over India. The flyer said: whoever sells cows to Muslims is also a cow-killer. Anyone who received such a note and did not forward at least four, even if he is Hindu and has not harmed a cow, is a cow-killer. Queen Victoria's Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne, wrote to her in his long "Notes about you anti-cow-killing movement" on December 28th, 1893 that for the sake of peace one should introduce that from now on only Muslims who also live in the Last year it can be proven that Bakar Id celebrated with a bull victim, was allowed to kill a bull again. And that the killing should only take place “in a suitable private sphere”. Colonial government officials should pre-inspect the places of slaughter. Which the Queen refused. Support the Muslims, not the Hindus.
When India became independent in 1947, attempts to keep it united soon had to be abandoned. Pakistan quickly split off. The British colonial policy of playing the two religious communities off against each other had long since become independent. For example, Anuradha Sawhney, a young, educated, smart, non-religious Hindu who heads the PETA office in Mumbai, says: “It's automatic. When I meet a Pakistani, that is, a Muslim, I become very cautious because of my upbringing. This is not a rational thing, it is an instinct that all Hindus have. No matter how enlightened they are. “PETA is the big animal welfare organization. Millions of refugees moved through India after the separation, Muslims went to Pakistan in the north, Hindus from there to the south. It was one of the greatest migrations in human history, far greater than that after the end of the Roman Empire in Europe. The two states, both nuclear powers, are regularly dangerously close to the brink of war. Kashmir, which belongs to India but has a large Muslim population, is a region of civil war. After the breakaway from Great Britain, Gaushalas emerged in abundance in India. The administration of the new state alone establishes 160, some of which can accommodate up to 2000 cows. But the Gosadans, as the state Gaushalas are called, are unpopular, too big, they don't do the individual cow justice, they say. Gaushalas and Pinjrapoles, run by foundations and associations, have a better reputation. There are around 3000 in India around 1950. Every now and then, always during the election campaign, they receive financial support from the state, so in 2000 the then Prime Minister Jaswant Singh, accompanied by several buses full of journalists, personally presented checks in nine Gaushalas.
Rajendra K. Joshi of the Vinijog Parivar Trust, an animal welfare organization in Mumbai that has rescued tens of thousands of cows as a lawyer and plaintiff in court over the past decade, says, sitting in his cramped, humble little office: “Gandhi said the first thing we did after independence, it is forbidden to slaughter cows. ”Which succeeded. Article 48 of the Indian Constitution says: Cows are not to be slaughtered. Basta. But: it also says that you cannot complain against an Indian federal state and refer to the Indian constitution. Cow slaughter is allowed in the states of Kerala and West Bengal, both of which have communist governments. “1,000 trucks go there every day, crammed with cows. The law that only six cows are allowed in a truck is ignored. A lot of bribes flow because there are many restrictions on these transports. ”For Joshi, horse trading and slaughter is a cancer in Indian society that leads to corruption. In the other states, no cows are slaughtered, but bulls do. “That is, of course, quibbling. When this was written into the constitution, the word cow stood for the species, not for the sex, bulls were also part of it, the Bakar Id crises clearly prove that. At that time, bulls were slaughtered, which led to crises. Today it's a deliberate, malicious misinterpretation. Today masses of bulls are slaughtered. ”There are several such reinterpretations. The reason for this, according to Rajendra Joshi, is the new religion, money. "Today politicians only think of money."
Joshi speaks very softly, he's a man almost too peaceful by European standards, worked for a bank for seventeen years and didn't feel well. When the chairman of the animal welfare organization asked him to work for him, he said yes, and gave up a lot of money. He's been feeling better since then. He doesn't drink tea, only milk. Because tea, which is available nowadays always, everywhere and without a break, is actually not an Indian drink. The English initially gave it away for free until everyone got used to it, then tea suddenly cost something and became big business. Joshi is one of the Indians who do not incorporate an English word into their Hindi, although he speaks English perfectly. Nowadays a mixed-mong is spoken on the streets of Mumbai, in a Hindi frame 30 to 40 percent of the words are English. Anyone who does not do this shows himself to be a patriotic intellectual. Joshi says what the Hare Krishna follower Bhima Das also said: with cows as labor, anyone could grow grain cheaply. “No labor, seeds, fertilizer costs, almost no transport costs. It wasn't just religion, it was also economy. In the past, a cow was never slaughtered by a Hindu, never. It would have been utterly immoral to sell cows. It could only be given to the temple or to a university or school to finance it. But selling would have been a sin. ”The British army demanded meat, and when many American soldiers came to India during World War II to continue against the Japanese in East Asia, even more cows were slaughtered. Joshi argues not religiously, rather green: people no longer burn cow dung as they used to, they are still poor, so suddenly they are chopping wood in the forests. Now the water rattles straight through, is not held on the surface by roots, so there is erosion. “The cow is the connection. The whole cycle of nature is disturbed by their death. "
More food is needed by India's growing population, so the area under cultivation is being increased. Meadows where cows used to graze are disappearing. Joshi goes so far as to say: “The land actually belongs to the animals. Today the farmers have to buy fodder for the cows, they become impoverished. And the idea of Maximum Pro ﬁ t is new in India, the economy now rules and the cow is suddenly expensive. That's why so many walk around without a owner. ”It was all about money, cows are smuggled en masse to Bangla Desh and Pakistan for slaughter. In India, the slaughterhouses want to cut costs, so the conditions are devastating. The lawyer was often able to use this fact for successful lawsuits. “There is a large market for cowhide, which is mainly exported to Germany and Italy. The meat goes to Dubai, the Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. "
The figures according to PETA, the animal welfare organization: 350,000 tons of cow and beef are exported from India every year. Export value: three billion rupees, that's about 70 million euros. The value of the exported cowhide is four times as high. The figures from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization: In India, 14.5 million cows and calves were slaughtered in 2003. There are 3,600 licensed slaughterhouses in India that are not allowed to slaughter cows, with the exception of those in Kerala and West Bengal. In addition, PETA estimates there are around 32,000 illegal slaughterhouses. What is slaughtered there does not appear in the numbers. Which turns the 14.5 million into a trivial statistical blah. The Indian Statistics Office reports: India is the world's largest leather shoe producer after China. 71 percent of the leather shoes are exported. The largest importer is Germany, followed by Italy, then the USA by far. According to the Indian National Food Survey and the Indian Market Research Bureau, 29 percent of all Indians are still absolutely vegetarian today. The decline in this number over the past ten years has been rapid. In the north of India, 53 percent of households are already non-vegetarian, in the west 58 percent, in the south 84 percent, in the east 94 percent. With the exception of the computer metropolis Bangalore and a few tourist areas in the south, India is as divided as Italy used to be: the south is poor, the north rich.
The survey dates from 2002. 19812 households were surveyed. Which makes the survey not exactly representative. Especially since surveys were only made in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, but in the past it has always been proven that far more vegetarians live in rural areas than in cities. Animal welfare attorney Rajendra Joshi dislikes these statistics for another reason and wants to explain: “The majority of Indians are vegetarians. If you ask them whether they have eaten meat before, they say yes, because at some point, at a party, maybe a wedding, they ate meat. ”Once a year, maybe or once in a lifetime, but actually they are vegetarians. Then a meat eater is not automatically a cow eater. Chicken is most commonly eaten in India. According to UN statistics, 1.6 billion chickens were slaughtered in India in 2003. Chicken massala is almost a standard dish in more expensive restaurants. Joshi says that if an Indian eats meat, it is very likely to eat chicken. “Most Indians would never eat cow meat, never.” However, the statistics show some truth, he says. “The media, the modern times, this brainwashing that goes on everywhere and says meat is modern is nutritious. That’s getting ripped off in India at the moment. ”So the Bombay Times reports:“ Traditional vegetarians are becoming meat eaters in order to adapt to fashion. ”McDonalds, the group has grown extremely in India, but doesn’t offer beef, almost only chicken. Incidentally, not pork, so as not to annoy Muslims. Joshi is certain that the young people are more likely to eat meat than the old ones. And: “Religion is becoming less important. So more cows die. ”Because cow meat is cheaper, there are so many cows. If you order cut meat somewhere, in most cases cow meat is mixed in.
As a lawyer, Joshi is a very successful cow saver. The organization Viniyog Parivar Trust is inundated with calls. Concerned Hindus report when cows are loaded into trucks anywhere. Then Joshi or someone else from the organization immediately goes to the competent court. “And in 99 percent of the cases we can prove something illegal. Some states only allow bulls over the age of 15 to be slaughtered. The need for export is greater, however. So there are always cows with us. ”There is a state slaughterhouse in every federal state. The system corresponds to that in Germany. You bring the animal alive to the slaughterhouse, there it is slaughtered according to the rules, you can take your meat back with you immediately or pick it up later. “But the hygiene conditions hardly ever comply with the law. The trucks are too packed. And so on. ”Something can always be found. Around 6,000 animals are slaughtered every day in Mumbai's state slaughterhouse, Deonar. In the case of bulls, the law applies that he must be older than 15 years. “There is a veterinarian in the slaughterhouse who can only logically sign and stamp, but not check. He also can't keep checking whether there are cows around. "
A love story: Abrar Qureshi is actually a Muslim. He comes from a family of butchers. His grandfather was one. Two of his uncles and three of his cousins earn their living as butchers in Mumbai. They have four stores on Crawford Market. You are not allowed to slaughter cows, only bulls of a certain age or bulls, chickens. But no cows. They hate Abrar, their cousin. He's a devout Muslim, but fights for cows. Abrar, a large, calm man who looks like a threat and has a terrifying look, met Jayashree Sarakskar, now Zeenat Qureshi, a Hindu, as a student. It was love at first sight. You have been married for 33 years. Abrar, who worked as a salesman for dried fruits, owned a small textile factory and is constantly out and about in the greater Mumbai area to advertise his clothing to traders, has been fighting for cows for more than ten years. Before that, it was more theory, well, not eating meat, talking to people, but nothing more to put him to shame. But now he's right. Constantly "raids", raids. Once or twice a week she and the boys go out from their circle of friends. They're armed with hockey sticks. At three o'clock in the night they break into backyards, butcher shops, warehouses, and tea shops that have cow slaughtering in the back room. That is lucrative, cow meat is mixed in with meat or pork or something, because it is the cheapest meat if it is slaughtered illegally.
There were battles again and again. The police can't be trusted, they don't come, they are mostly lubricated by the butchers, says Abrar. So he storms the slaughterhouses with his own people. One of his helpers, he takes out photos, has been paralyzed in a wheelchair since a raid. One of them lost a foot, injured by a butcher's ax. Abrar was shot several times. Here, he says, are the articles. He puts three thick folders with articles of the time. Horror stories. Triumphs on the table. How he, the lonely hero, with the help of his dearly loving wife, brought the Fleischma ﬁ a to its knees. Well, one of the meat mafas after all. He has lists signed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, an agency of the central government, of his successes: 8 tons of cow meat seized, three days later 222 kg, the next 385 kg. Sometimes he confiscated meat or live cows every day for weeks. The breaks are seldom longer than ten days, the lists show years. “Yes, we get a lot of calls. There are a lot of people who don't like butchers. ”He shows the scars from knife stabs on his stomach. They are definitely not surgical scars. What he does is dangerous, he says with a stupid grin. “I'm not afraid, I do it for the animals.” He is vain, it could well be that he saves cows because he likes to see articles about himself and photos of himself in the newspapers. Magazines like India Today love him. In the 12 million city of Mumbai, he is a big part of society, known, popular as an animal rights activist, but often questioned, after all, he is a Muslim. Abrar has brought 98 articles, in Hindi and English, in which he appears. Not even all of them. TV stations send camera teams on raids. He received a medal in Delhi, the Venu Menon Special Award from the jury for his commitment to cows. He rummages around, luckily finds the brochure and points to his photo. If he hadn't been able to demonstrate that, there would have been a crisis. You can see it on the faces of his wife and daughter.
He speaks a lot about Maneka Gandhi and her Wildlife Trust of India, which also presented him with the medal. Maneka Gandhi, widow of Sanjay, the son of Indira Gandhi, who was supposed to be her successor, but crashed and died while flying, is India's most famous animal rights activist, also cow protector. She has visited the Qureshis many times, he says. He shows photos: Maneka Gandhi on his living room couch with his children, with his wife, with him. When you see him showing off his newspaper articles, you know: Abrar is extremely vain. He points to the photos of himself and Maneka Gandhi several times. For cow workers, Maneka Gandhi is downright sacred, although she has a suspicious reputation as a politician. She changed parties once. She was Environment Minister, responsible for animal welfare, from 1989 to 1991. Then briefly Minister of Social Affairs and Minister for Statistics and Program Implementation, always in the governments of the more religiously oriented BJP. Not at the Congress Party like her husband, her mother-in-law Indira, her sister-in-law Sonja and her husband Rajev, who, like his mother, was Prime Minister and died in an attack. Maneka Gandhi was also elected a couple of times as an independent candidate, the only campaign topic being the protection of animals, especially cows, in the Lok Sabha, the lower house.The Kennedys or the Bushs are small and meaningless to the US compared to the Gandhis to India. Whereby the name identity with Mahatma Gandhi is coincidental, they are not related, Indira Gandhi is a born Nehru and married a Parse who happened to have the same name as the Indian father Mahatma Gandhi.
Ok, Maneka Gandhi, who is often also called Menka, visits the Qureshis often and has already invited them. His organization People Who Care for Animals is now a name in the scene, Abrar also the state animal welfare O ﬀ icer for the prevention of cruelty against animals on account of honor. That is important to him. You have to know that there are tons of non-governmental organizations and associations in India that save animals, especially cows. That is quite a source of money. A lot is donated to help cows. Many collect. It is probably now more lucrative to save cows than to slaughter cows.
His family, at least the butchers, hates him, and he has stormed the beef shops of his cousins and uncles several times. But the love of his wife is worth it. When he says that, she smiles. They both know that this is what Indian journalists want, probably also those from abroad, because it sounds so romantic. She has very big eyes, smiles like a sunrise and says several times, "It's all about humanity". Jasmin, her eldest daughter, is there as an interpreter and says, "the Koran forbids Muslims from slaughtering cows". For sure? “Yes, absolutely sure, it just became naturalized.” Are you sure? "Absolutely." It sounds unusual. “No, it is like that.” Many Hindus say that. But it is clearly wrong. It seems to be a pipe dream, a striving for harmony that has also seized the Qureshis. In the Koran there is only one sura in which a cow appears, namely Al Bakara, which translates as “The Cow”. That is the second sura or actually the first after the opening. A cow appears in it in verses 67 to 71. The sura could actually also be in the Bible, it is about Moses who goes to the mountain and comes back with the ten commandments. While he was away, the people of Moses, the Israelites, started to dance around a cow, that is, to worship it. The scene in the Koran really corresponds to that in the Bible, only that the cow there is a golden calf. For Muslims too, Moses is a prophet, a forerunner of Muhammad. After consulting God, Moses demands that the Israelites slaughter the cow. Whatever they do. Otherwise a cow will not appear in the Koran. Jasmin, daughter of Abrar Qureshi, is irritated, says "maybe in the hadiths". These are quasi comments on the Koran, although one should not formulate it like that, because the Koran is, according to the religious principle, in contrast to the Bible, directly and one-to-one dictated by Allah. Interpretations, including comments, are therefore not allowed to be. The hadiths are a collection of sayings and deeds ascribed to Muhammad and the first Muslims and appended to the Koran about 200 years after Muhammad's death so that it can be better understood. There is another scene in the Koran in which a fat veal is served. Nevertheless: the Hindu myth that Muslims are actually not allowed to slaughter cows is not true. There are even Muslim scholars who emphasize just that. Muslims are allowed to slaughter cows. Christians too, but with Christians somewhere the Hindus have fewer problems than with Muslims in their country.
The Qureshis refer to the following: The Koran says that one must obey the laws of the state in which one lives. And Indian law forbids slaughtering cows. Right. And: the Muslims in the illegal slaughterhouses that it haunts do not slaughter halal, but rather impure, they do not let the animals bleed to death, as their belief dictates. The Muslim halal corresponds roughly to the Jewish kosher. Abrar is now exactly where Hare Krishna followers Bhima Das and lawyer Rajendra Joshi were: religion used to play a major role, today many people no longer care about the regulations. “It is becoming fashionable to eat meat. The younger generation only thinks about money and being cool. Abrar wants to tell you one more thing, he comes from a family of butchers and knows the tricks: “When meat is rotted, it gets light. Butchers rub blood on it so that it gets color. Often they also spit Supari on it. ”This is a brutally hot nut dust that is sold in India to be chewed in a banana leaf wrapped in a banana leaf. He takes out his ID. Yes, he is an “Honorary Animal Welfare O icer for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”. It's about religion, yes, but actually, he repeats, it's about humanity. And his wife says again: "Yes, it is a matter of humanity." In their association People Who Care for Animals are Hindus, Jains, Marashti and Muslims. And, that is very important, the association is integrated into Maneka Gandhi's People for Animals.
Bhavin C. Gathani heads For Animals in Distress, which is part of the nationwide Animals Lovers Association Society C.T. is integrated. Bhavin is similar to Arbar because he also looks a bit dangerous and always talks about humanity and the duty to save cows. But only Jains work for him and he gossips a lot about Muslims, these cow slaughterers. Bhavin himself is Jain. Like Abrar, he is an honorary Animal Welfare O ﬀ icer. The cigarette and pakka supari nut dealer in the Malad district of Mumbai sponsors the Ahimsa Hospital for stray animals. And with his own donated money he bought three small Murati buses and converted them into animal clinics. He not only helps cows, but especially cows. Near his shop he is now sitting with four helpers in an office, well, office, in a kiosk with three walls, waiting for the phone to ring. Bhavin is hyperactive, fidgeting, talking, rushing. He is a bit pudgy, although he is constantly on the move. Again and again he gets up, fetches something, sits down, gets up, puts it back on the shelf without looking at it. Many of the documents have been eaten by rats. As a Jain, he can't set traps or throw poison. Bhavin keeps talking: “Many butchers call to blackmail their colleagues. We do a lot of actions. Always at night, three or four times a month, at least. You can't trust the police, they all bribed. So we go there, cause trouble, then the police have to come. Of course, if there are witnesses, they arrest the butchers. It has never been the case that there was no cow meat. Always illegal. My drive? There is a feeling in my heart Humanity. As a Jain, I am also obliged to do so. We recently rescued 56 cows. There were 56 on the truck. Only six are allowed. 22 people work for me. My father gives most of the money, I put a lot into it myself, money and time. We get donations. It's awful here, people go to the temple and pray for the cows, buy some grass beforehand for a cow in front of the temple. But they take money from butchers and leave them alone. Policemen, I mean. Let's go. "
Bhavin pushes for the BMC's cow pound. The abbreviation stands for Bombay Municipal Corporation, a division of the city government. It is an inner courtyard full of cows of different races, colors and conditions. BMC catchers drive through town. If there is a cow somewhere, the cow catchers jump out, grab the cow, bring her here. That was a bit of theory now. There are more and more cows without owners. But mostly cow owners who let their cows move around and only bring them to be milked once a day pay a little bribe. This is still more lucrative than feeding the sacred animals, because when they hang around the city like this, they can feed on rubbish lying around in the large containers or on the ground. Or they are, which is particularly practical, fed with grass or grain by devout Hindus or Jains. Three trips with the cow catchers result in a cow, a clear show catch for us, the journalists. A lot of people work at the Cow Pound, everyone supervises everyone, nobody is responsible, a bureaucratic miracle. Many cow owners whose animals end up here go to court to get their cows back. They are usually given a fine that is far higher than the usual bribe. If you pay the fine, you can pick up your cows. The income is, like parking tickets in European city administrations, firmly planned into the city administration's budget. And the bribe for the cow catchers counts as part of their wages. Religion doesn't matter here. But some cannot afford the penalties, so cows gradually gather in the cow pound. If the yard is full, they are carted to the largest Gaushala Mumbai, half an hour outside the center. The Gaushala is not state-owned but is financed by a Jain foundation. The sooner the cows that nobody wants are there, the better for the BMC's budget. Bhavin occasionally delivers confiscated cows to the cow pound, but is moving to delivering them directly to the Gaushala for the sake of the cows, he says.
The Vasai Cattle Shelter has nothing homely like the Bombay Pinjirapole in the center. It is on one level and is seven hectares in size. In the past, says the Gaushala's vet, Dr. Sonkamble Ramesh, the cows were in the pastures to graze. That is no longer possible today. More and more cows keep coming. The Gaushala is crowded. 870 animals are there. It's Sunday afternoon, treat time. About forty people stand in the stables and wait, families from Mumbai who have brought all the grains with them as cow feed. As a donation or a sacrifice. During the week the cows get hay, on Sundays the believers bring better things. The cows stand in the open, pushing towards the huge stables. The workers of the Gaushala open the bars, the cows crowd, the people in the stable chant "Hare Krishna, rama rama". They are not Hare Krishna followers, but Jains, some also Hindus. But Krishna is also a god to them. The doctor says: “They are good people” and leads to the large black marble plaque on the administration building. The donors for the Gaushala are engraved there in gold. Some gave 5 lakh, around 1000 euros, which is a lot of money in India. In the office there is a poster of the Bombay Humanitarian League, the sponsor of the Gaushala, founded in 1910. That was the time when such a foundation was a clear protest against the British. Today it's just emergency management. The Gaushala's manager Admaran Madvi, who has been doing the job for 22 years, says most of the cows here have been weeded by dairies. They want to get rid of the old animals. If the people are bad, they sell them to slaughterhouses. If they are, well, medium, just let the cows loose. And, that rarely happens, sometimes dairies even bring their old cows here themselves. Of the 870 here, six are currently still able to give milk. The rest is "dry". Then Madvi explains that religion has lost a lot of its importance in India. As he said this, he pointed several times with his left hand outside in the direction of the cow stalls. If everything were all right, there wouldn't be so many cows here.
Fortunately, Bhavin went on a pilgrimage. That is why he, the hectic man who can seem so threatening, does not drive Jain or not, today in one of the three Maruti tin cans that are financed. The minibuses are mobile veterinary clinics, he says. There are medicines on board, the most expensive of all. Dr. Amit Ramesh Bhutkah, a young veterinarian. In the morning a call had come in, a cow is doing badly, in Borivali, in the slum, near the city highway. It takes a long time for the cow ambulance to find the place. There are no addresses here. The search takes an hour. Finally, there is Anusaya Bhosde, an old woman, with her cow. Maybe the woman is not that old after all, but life in the slum ensures that you look old sooner. Her hair is gray and she has deep lines on her face. Anusaya Bhosde is a beggar. She walks around with her cow, which has no name, takes money from people who want to help the cow and her too. There's a lot more money with a cow, she says. Now the parasites, notes Dr. Amit firmly. His three helpers hold the cow with difficulty. The doctor feels the pulse under her tail, feels her stomach, listens to her with a steadoscope. Yes, he repeats, as suspected, parasites. He gives her an infusion of nutrient solutions. When he rams the needle into the cow's vein, it mooes loudly and pitifully. No more with the injection with Pain Killers. All of this happens right under the highway in Borivali in the 12 million city of Mumbai. Dr. Amit says this is a humanitarian act. The cow clinic doesn't ask for any money, help selflessly. Anusaya Bhosde does not understand the question: where does she go when she is sick? She is never sick. But if it does. She smiles and after a long pause says I would call the ambulance. But she only treats cows. She nods. She has never been sick. Fortunately, there is help for a poor woman like her when the cow is sick. Is the cow more important than she? It also takes her a long time to understand this question. The cow feed them. The cow is sacred.
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