One of the prime reasons extremist groups cite when calling for the ban on non-vegetarian food in the country is that meat invokes the animal instinct in the apparently civilised human being and turns him into an animal. I beg to differ. On the other hand, I have reasons to believe that non-vegetarians are a tolerant bunch of well-meaning people.
Take the beef ban in Maharashtra for instance. Yes, they protested. Their voices echoed across several social media platforms. But in no way did it turn them violent (except for the rare flinging of expletives under the influence of alcohol that was consumed to drown the very injustice we speak of). Instead, they walked away from the scene, quietly, to the mutton/ chicken stalls in the neighbourhood. They got over juicy steaks over mutton biryanis and chicken kebabs. That's them. The peaceful kind.
The latest of such events (since bans have grown in stature they shall henceforth be known as events) will kick off in Maharashtra this Friday. The citizens of Mumbai will be forced to stay away from not just beef, but all forms of meat (with the exemption of chewing brains) for four days starting Friday. The plight of Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation dwellers is worse. They will be away from their Chicken Tikkas and Mutton Hyderabadis for a mammoth eight days.
"But why", you'd ask. Because a certain community of non-meat eaters decided that a whole lot of people, irrespective of caste/ creed/ religion/ opinion/ common sense, not being allowed to eat meat could and should be a crucial ritual of their festival - festival that ironically calls for fasting. That the mayor who issued the order is part of that community also played a small role (the kind Yuvraj played when India won the World Cup) in the implementation of the ban. She said thus, "We had initially decided to shut it for 18 days but since it clashed with Bakri-Id, we are enforcing it only for eight. This is a democracy and this has been passed by a vote." Does someone else feel that the term "democracy" in her statement has been marinated in irony and barbecued with copious amounts of irony sauce? I bet you do.
"What will the non-vegetarains do", "Will they react", you might ask. Well, as has been the method over many a year, as stated in one of the paragraphs above, the non-vegetarians will react. Peacefully. Will there be silent protests? Yes. Will there be not-so-silent protests? Yes. Will social media platforms see a plethora of witty, cynical and distraught, suicidal remarks? Yes. Will there be smuggling of meat? Might. Will this give birth to a cult of illegal meat sellers who will eventually grow bigger than the Mumbai underworld? Maybe. But will there be violence, looting and bloodshed? NO. A big, emphatic NO in that loud font that we subtly call Impact.
As was the case earlier, the peaceful populace of non-vegetarians would turn to dal kichdis and palak paneers. With a grimace, alright. But turn they shall. It might taste like prison food to them, but they will wash it down, with large glasses of lassi and buttermilk. And the occasional beer if above the permissible drinking age. But not once will they burn down mosques and vandalise church premises. No. They are a peaceful bunch, them non-vegetarians.
Now, imagine a scenario and see what would happen if the same "democracy" was exercised during Christmas and vegetarian food was banned. All this to celebrate the birthday of none less than the son of God. Imagine. Imagine the horror.