In politics, electoral considerations, pragmatism and opportunistic convenience often trumps core ideological principles – if you had any in the first place. BJP has once again demonstrated that, in it’s book, there is nothing wrong in different yardsticks for different people and places. And the party is absolutely fine with shunning it’s professed core values for electoral success and a pan India umbrella acceptability.
In North India, the party is running an aggressive campaign against beef, condoning lumpen cadres who harass and thrash people for possessing beef, and empowering so-called Gaurakshak vigilantism. A hapless person named Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched in a village near Noida last year over rumour that there was beef in his refrigerator. Eateries and shops were raided based on the rumour that they served beef. There is clamour from sections of hardliner BJP supporters and cadre to make cow slaughter punishable by death.
In Uttar Pradesh, the newly appointed CM Yogi Adityanath, has disrupted the entire supply chain of meat industry in the state because of his shutting down of slaughter houses which had incomplete paperwork. Even buffalo meat selling small butcher shops have been shut down. The largely unorganized meat industry is bearing the brunt.
But, BJP plans to expand its presence in the turf of North East. And with elections to be held in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland – all 3 are Christian majority states where beef is widely consumed – the party has said that it won’t ban beef in these states because it respects local customs and dietary preferences.
To allay fear and suspicion, both the Meghalaya and Nagaland state BJP chief’s assured the people that ‘beef ban’ in these states is out of question.