Is it a crime to sacrifice one’s life for cow?
At the very outset, one must express his/her utmost anguish at the gruesome manner in which Mohammad Akhlaq was killed by a mob on the mere suspicion of keeping beef in his house. With no ifs and buts, one should very strongly demand the most stringent punishment for all those who indulged in such horrifying crime that one expects only from terrorists or professional criminals. They must be identified, shamed publicly and compelled to disclose at whose instigation they indulged in such a gruesome crime so that they too are awarded the strictest punishment under the law.
There is no doubt in one’s mind that our media, news channels and politicians of all major political parties are expressing their fuming indignation at what happened with Akhlaq. Every day one can get to read about Akhlaq in newspapers or magazines. No one can question that the perpetrators of killing of Akhlaq must be immediately brought to book and not allowed to escape unscathed.
What, however, deeply disturbs one’s innermost conscience is when one observes how a docaity took place in the house of a Muslim (Dilshad Bharati) from Meerut recently. Dilshad was killed during the incident and the dacoits decamped with Rs 1.10 lakh in cash and Rs 4 lakh jewellery. His elder brother Imran was stabbed and his father Shakeel Ahmad and others were looted at gunpoint. Yet police is not even believing the incident! However, Ari, one of the brother of the late Dilshad, alleged that one of the robbers was the son of the owner of an illegal slaughterhouse. Dilshad considered the cow very sacred and had not married in spite of nearing 40 years of age as he devoted his whole life for the sake of cow’s protection, who are killed every now and then. He used to immediately inform the police whenever he used to learn that a cow is about to be slaughtered illegally and it is a no brainer that because of all this he developed many enemies—beef mafia who were in the business of beef trade. He loved cows very much and used to get very upset on learning of slaughter of cows anywhere. He worked closely in tandem with an organisation named—“Sach” headed by Sandeep Pahal, who too has been in the forefront of struggle to save cows from being killed most brutally.
“My grandson stood for truth and his death will not go waste. Our family will not take rest so long as a single cow is slaughtered in the city,” said Dilshad’s 82-year-old grandmother, Begum in a choked voice. He was most brutally murdered by few goons, whom one will never call Muslims because those who murder innocents are only killers and they are neither Hindus nor Muslims. What an unbeatable irony that his family had earlier expressed their fear of his being eliminated yet he was not given a security cover. He was shot with bullets in the head in June 2014 and after seven months of suffering and battling for life, he ultimately died on January 22, 2015, after having undergone treatment in a number of hospitals in Noida and Meerut. Soon afterwards, his mother Najma went into depression and died a few months later. What one finds most shocking is that not a single leader or party–neither Samajwadi Party nor Congress nor BSP nor Left nor BJP nor anyone else–has ever bothered to highlight his supreme sacrifice in front of the media.
He deserves national award but sadly he has not been given enough space even in newspapers—not a single national English newspaper barring Times Of India has highlighted his supreme sacrifice in newschannels, which keep on chanting Dadri incident again and again. Dilshad’s original surname was Qureshi and his grandmother says: “He would often say that he was a true Muslim. If he could not tolerate disrespect of the Quran, how could a Hindu tolerate the butchering of an animal he considers his mother?” His brother Asif further stated: “There was a time when every nook and crany of Saddiq Nagar used to have illegal slaughterhouses. Dilshad launched a crusade against the slaughter of these animals and during the process we all four brothers stopped consuming meat of any sort.” Imran who is one of Dilshad’s brothers says: “More than 5000 cows and buffaloes are slaughtered illegally in the entire district on a daily basis. The hotspots are Shyam Nagar, Rashid Nagar, Sardhana, Harra Khiwai, Badda, Kithore, and so on. The police are corrupt or choose to be a silent spectator.” Dilshad was instrumental in sealing more than 200 illegal slaughterhouses in Saddiq Nagar area alone. But who cares? Everyone is chanting “Dadri, Dadri, nothing but Dadri.
One doesn’t grudge Dadri incident being highlighted but what one certainly grudges is that the Muslim from Meerut–Dilshad who devoted his whole life for the protection of the cow and who was brutally murdered by those in beef trade getting adversely affected by his acts–has not even been given a nominal space in any English newspaper or any news channel or ever remembered by any national leader of any major political party. Rahul Thakur, who runs Krishna Gaurakshak Dal and is a BJP activist and a close associate of Dilshad said: “He made enemies within his own community but did not compromise with his ideology. We all are now under threat. I too have escaped two attacks on me.”
Did he commit some heinous crime so that he is not being given due recognition? Most of the Indians are Hindu, but a large section of them never did anything for the sake of the mother cow nor can they ever dream of sacrificing their life for a cow even though we consider it to be sacred. An Indian Muslim from Meerut does it and pays for it with his priceless life yet our thankless nation ignores it and the whole nation chants Akhlaq, Akhlaq and nothing but Akhlaq. One should have full sympathy with him. He was an innocent victim of a crime perpetrated by criminals but the Muslim from Meerut–Dilshad–knowingly took on those indulging in beef trade and for the sake of the cow didn’t marry and all the time did everything possible to save the cow, yet this nation has no time to even remember him, let alone give him the high honour, which he so richly deserves. One can never in one’s life ever dream to do so much for a cow, yet in India, we see such supreme sacrifice are not recognised .
Why has no writer raised his voice for him? Why has no writer relinquished award for him? Why didn’t police give him protection knowing fully well that his life was in danger? His elder brother later said crying: “My brother has sacrificed his life for the sake of the cow and police knowingly did nothing to prevent his murder. Everyone will forget him soon.” He was right. Nobody—no political party, no political leader, no news channel, no English newspaper except Times of India, no magazine and infact no one—has time to even remember him once for the selfless supreme sacrifice he rendered for the sake of protection of the cow just because he cannot be a political fodder, who can give huge political mileage to anyone. It is truly saddening.
By Sanjeev Sirohi