Well for one – I had heard a lot about this Pakistani movie. All the reviews were very good. So I borrowed the DVD from seventymm and saw it.
I would rate it at 4.5 stars. The movie is worth watching. It opens a lot of eyes and makes you really think about religion, culture, happiness, children etc. etc. There was this argument of what we consider as taboo in religion ………which is not truly a religious taboo – but a cultural taboo. So we end up mixing religion with culture. This was what got me thinking of the taboo we have in our culture on beef eating. We claim religious reasons to it – that “all” Hindus don’t eat beef (which is so very far from the truth). That really is so much of hubris. The reality is that this is a cultural trait which we have carried on for so long without reason. True we worship cows – but what stops us from eating them as well. Why do we see a contradiction between worshiping and eating. Does the contradiction arise because we have to ‘kill’ to eat. Whats so gory about killing cows when the same gore doesn’t become associated with killing other forms of life to eat. There isn’t anything wrong with killing as long as it can be eaten and the killing happens in the right way (that’s my view).
Today there was this interesting argument which we had at home. It had to do with eating beef. My mother is quite aware that I eat all kinds of meat.
So there was this context at home where I was telling my dad that I eat beef. Suddenly the argument took off from there. My mom took my side – while my father and sister rallied against me. The argument which my dad and sister posed was that being a Hindu we should not eat beef and my dad added that a cow is the ‘milk giving god’. Well for that matter even a goat or a sheep would give milk. Add to that pigs, camel etc. etc. would produce milk. Why edify a cow just because it gives us milk in greater quantities. My mom however has absolutely no problems with me eating beef – as long as she doesn’t end up eating/preparing it. I had the same problem in Egypt when other Hindus with me would cringe at me when I ordered a beef burger. They would stand a feet away from me and give me awful looks – while they themself would eat a good chicken burger. Why this? Do I become a demon because I eat beef. That’s my belief and I don’t force them on it – so why not respect me for what I am and not discriminate against me.
Besides the history of Hinduism has many many references to beef eating. Eating beef was not taboo at all. It was only the later post-vedic brahmanical culture which brought about this practice of not eating beef. I can quote quite a few Hindu scriptures myself where there is ample evidence of beef eating being common. I know the vedas mention it (although I don’t remember which one). I know a story from the Devi Bhagavatam where there is cows meat offered etc. etc. I can go on an on. But the point doesn’t lie there. It lies in people’s attitude of discriminating – when they see others doing what you yourself don’t do.