About Indian cows : state, religion and western philosophy

@topffer (30533)
France
June 15, 2017 9:59am CST
It is an exam day today in France for high school students. They are having their philosophy exam, an important exam to get the bachelor’s degree closing their high school studies and opening the doors of colleges. So, let’s speak philosophy today. Last month, when I was discussing with an Indian member, I was told that I was seeing things from my euro-centric la la land. It is possible that I have an euro-centric point of view on many things and that I do not understand well the Indian culture. There was an interesting subject given this morning : «Can we free ourselves from our culture ?» Indeed, it is not an easy task, and even if I try to not judge, I am sometimes stupefied by what happens in your country. Last time was in May 27th, for the ban you put on the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets in India. Why are you mixing religion and politics ? In the 17th C Spinoza wrote in his Theological-Political Treaty that it was «pernicious, for the Religion as well than for the State, to grant to ministers and priests the right to promulgate anything or to interfere in the affairs of the State.» Each one at home, and the (sacred) cows will be well kept ! Later Marx in «A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right» implies that mixing religion with state affairs turns to a complete mess. He does not tell it like this because a philosopher does not speak like a caretaker, and he has another method to face the problem : religion is a collective representation offering positive and negative aspects, we need to attack the bad collective representations to create a better world, the abolition of religion being illusory. It seems a lot more difficult to attack prejudices and received opinions coming from religions in the way Marx wants to do it, than to put a fence between religions and the State like suggests Spinoza, and after having been a Catholic state during 1500 years, France became a lay state in 1905 : anybody is free to have the religion he wants, but the state does not intervene in any religious affair or support any religion. Let’s come back to cows and buffaloes. As I read in the Constitution of India that «The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them», I am asking myself how the ban you put on the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter cannot be considered like a discrimation ? All Indians are not Hindu, and such a ban deprives of their work thousands of people : livestock owners, traders, butchers, etc. India was the largest beef meat exporter in the world in 2016, with 20% of the world trade. It seems that the domestic consumption was even more important than the export, so this decision represents a serious disaster for your economy. Indeed, it is your choice to decide that the welfare of your cows is more important than the wealth of your country, and Australians can rub their hands, they are becoming the first world exporter of beef meat, and the price will probably rise. Like we say in French : «the misfortune of some people makes the happiness of other people.» But it would be another subject.
11 people like this
8 responses
@LadyDuck (121455)
• Switzerland
15 Jun
I have never understood why politics and religions should mix. We had the same problems during many years in Italy, but things are slowly adjusting in our days. I think that it is impossible to free ourselves from our own culture. It something that is in our genes and we cannot change and I think that it's fine this way.
2 people like this
@topffer (30533)
• France
15 Jun
It is true, I will always see things somewhere from a Western point of view, even if I am probably making more efforts than average due to my profession to understand other cultures. And for India, when I read their Constitution which has been written in 1949, I think they have done a big retrograde step here.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (121455)
• Switzerland
15 Jun
@topffer I fully agree with you about the Indian Constitution. For what I know every law of a country MUST respect the Constitution, I am surprised by this fact.
2 people like this
@topffer (30533)
• France
15 Jun
@LadyDuck Lol, ideally yes, but not always. I do not know their organisation, but I suppose they have something like a Constitutional Council or a Supreme Court to tell if it is constitutional or not. You made me smile, because I was thinking of the travel ban of Trump. Despite of his tweets, I tend to believe that the US Supreme Court will not find it very conform to their laws.
2 people like this
@Sreekala (18781)
• India
16 Jun
Yes, the government mixes the religious beliefs and politics for their own advantage. It has already made many conflicts in different parts of the country. There are lots of issues created with this ban. I agree Cow is the sacred animal for Hindus. Infact it is scared animal with its qualities not only for Hindus but also for all human beings. The specialty of Cow is, it is giving milk, milk is used for making many other products. Then cow dung is a great purifier and it can kills germs, Many houses in Kerala, used cow dung to maintain the floors of houses (this was very earlier and before concrete buildings comes in the state). Cow's urine is a medicine for cancer and many other ailments (this is scientifically proved already). It has another quality, if any poison get in, it will collect in the neck of the cow, it won't harm ita milk or any other body parts. I also heard cow breaths oxygen and breathe out oxygen too. Considering all these things cow become a sacred animal. As a Keralite, my impression on beef was, (till this ban taken place),it is the meat of buffaloes and oxen, Most of the people had this impression and nobody know cows are getting slaughtered. It may be seems funny, but this is a kind of belief of common people including me. You can't predict when you get the meat from the shop whether it is cow's meat or any other animal’s meat. The ban and following issues helps to enlighten the people, what they are eating actually in the name of beef. I agree, the unnecessary bans will not make any good to people or country, other than getting bad name for the country internationally.
2 people like this
@topffer (30533)
• France
16 Jun
Well, I think that other countries exporting meat are rubbing their hands and are blessing you. If there is a global lack of 20% of meat in the world, the price of beef might rise a lot more than that in a few months. The ban concerns also buffaloes and camels for what I read, not only cows. If it was just to make people aware of what they were eating and buying, a law about informing or/and putting a label would have been enough and would not have deprived people of their jobs. Thank you a lot for all the information you are giving in your response, I have learned a lot of things that I did not knew.
2 people like this
@Sreekala (18781)
• India
16 Jun
@topffer Thanks to this ban as I also got educated with this much information on Cow. Since some people are trying to educate people through media, after the ban, I got an opportunity to gather all these informations.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30533)
• France
16 Jun
@Sreekala I forgot to ask you : you are a Hindu and you are eating meat ?
1 person likes this
@Mareena (452)
21 Jun
First mistake is in bringing religion in politics. They says cows are holy and worship it. Other animals are also there in their belief....especially tiger, snake etc....let the most worshiping political leader to worship any of this too....will be a funny blessing....
2 people like this
@topffer (30533)
• France
21 Jun
It would make a difference for me : I eat beef meat, not tiger and snake meats, so they are free to worship them.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30533)
• France
22 Jun
@Mareena "Carpe Diem"? It has always been my philosophy, and I would not be able to do something that I do not like. I am happy to live in a country where a politician is not allowed to vote anything related to religion. I had a beef carpaccio with parmesan cheese on it today. The cheese was Italian and the beef French.
2 people like this
@Mareena (452)
22 Jun
• Pamplona, Spain
15 Jun
I have to admit that I don´t know anything about that and how it all came to be. All I know is that one of my Nephews is taking the last of his G.C.S.E exams amd his Mom got killed two years back and I feel the need to support hiim in some way whichever I can of course without interfering in their normal life. So I am just posting the odd message of encouragement to him as I know that he can pass them with flying colours. Its just to let him know that I am there seeing as his Mom is no longer here.
2 people like this
@topffer (30533)
• France
15 Jun
I think GCSE is the equivalent of the "Brevet des Collèges" in France. I do not know if they have already had the exam. The schools are closing on July 7th here, and, as many are working on their exams my street is more quiet than usual. It reminds me that I worked also very seriously for my bachelor's degree/end high school exam. It is probably the exam that I worked the more seriously, as I needed the diploma to go to college and my parents were not far to control what I was doing. How did the Mom of your nephews has been killed ? A car accident ? I am sure that he will be pleased to receive a message of encouragement from you.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
15 Jun
@topffer It was a bike accident tops on a very dangerous road. It left me totally gobsmacked when I knew as I found out on Facebook and I thought I was reading about someone else till I realized it was my Niece well Imean one of them. Her Sons did tell me and she had only been at a new Job two weeks or so and she was knocked off her bike at about two or three in the morning and was found hours later. You did very well to get your Exam through. I really hope he passes his Exams as he has been through so much and the youngest is but 11 years old. Yes I only usually drop them a line in the chat at times like this and we get on very well like that they live their own lives and I know how they are at least. His other two brothers pulled up their socks after a long time of despair and have got their qualifications also and new Jobs so I am very happy for all of them. Its the youngest one I worry about sometimes but I think he will be okay. Take care and have a good night tops.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30533)
• France
15 Jun
@lovinangelsinstead21 It is the kind of news that we would prefer to not read. It is difficult to understand why the author of the accident has not stopped And better to not think at the possibility of an accident when riding a bike. A first exam is something important. I wish to your nephew to manage to succeed to his GCSE. Have a good night.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (41127)
15 Jun
So I should get mad at India for having to pay so much for hamburger? I'd been wondering who to blame for it...
2 people like this
@topffer (30533)
• France
15 Jun
You can expect to see the price of your hamburger rising by 20% soon. It is time to stock hamburgers in your freezer.
2 people like this
@YrNemo (8469)
16 Jun
Is philosophy exam a MUST for all French high school students in order for them to get into French university? (sounds tough if it is so, especially for migrants there.) Many Indian Friends I have had so far, are happy with just chicken and fish. Perhaps beef is not that important to the food habit of many Indian over there?
1 person likes this
@topffer (30533)
• France
16 Jun
India was the first beef exporter, and was eating as many beef as they were exporting, according to stats. Yes, philosophy is a must for all high school students, but it weights not the same for any student, because of a multiplying coefficient given to the score, for example the coefficient is 7 for a bachelor's degree in literature, and only 3 for a bachelor's degree in science. A bachelor's degree gives the right to register in a college, but colleges have also en entrance exam available for people having no bachelor's degree, and a few diplomas not needing any diploma to register. The only one coming to my mind because I studied criminal law, is a 2 years "capacity in law" that is followed mainly by police officers and gendarmes. They are needing this diploma to register to a closed competition of investigating officers ; it also gives them the right to register directly in the 2d year of law studies, and with a 2d year's law diploma, an equivalence is available to register to a few other colleges, for example to study philosophy, although I do not think that many cops are studying philosophy.
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (8469)
16 Jun
@topffer Glad to hear that the required philosophy score/mark for science candidates is only 3 with respect to 7 for literature ones. Philosophy in general, from what I heard, is not for the faint-hearted (but then, we are not French ). Oh, by the way, didn't know that India used to be the first beef exporter (and consumer)! Must be at the time foreigners were still governing India? (I should go doing some research about this instead of bugging you shouldn't I! - but I am in a lazy mood...)
1 person likes this
@topffer (30533)
• France
16 Jun
@YrNemo It might be very interesting or very boring, depending of the teacher. It is true for many classes, but more for philosophy. Mine was not bad, although we spent 3 months on Marx, who is boring, but as you see I kept some sequels and I can quote him. To tell the truth, it is one of the only philosophers that I have quite never read after high school, I had had too much. I think there are less hours/week of philosophy in science than in literature. In literature we had 8 hours/week and it is still the case.
1 person likes this
@silvermist (15823)
• India
15 Jun
In India , around 80 % of the population are Hindus and the rest of the religions together come to 20%. 71% of Indians are non-vegetarians.That means all Hindus are not vegetarians. Our prime minister likes to mix up religion and politics.In my state Kerala ,97% are non-vegetarians. Though slaughtering cows are taboo for some Hindus,all Hindus do not 'worship' cows.
1 person likes this
@topffer (30533)
• France
15 Jun
So, people in your area cannot eat anymore a piece of beef, or it has to be imported meat ? I think that any decision mixing politics and religion is a bad decision, and I was thinking that your constitution was preventing that kind of laws.
1 person likes this
@manasamanu (3756)
• Bangalore, India
16 Jun
It is bad what the government are doing mixing politics with religion, Yes I agree that cow is religious to us in many reasons, but the politicians cannot take advantage of this and create communal problem. India is a secular country which means every religion can follow its path and culture. They are free to practice any religion. I hope this sorts out soon.