Irony could not get more amusing. Today is Eid al-adha. Pricey animals are just another means to flash money. Muslims sacrifice a goat (or in some countries cow or camel) to symbolise the sacrifice made for Allah. I won’t bore you with the details. The link has more information.
As symbols go, one can have no quarrel although I do believe that we need to understand that what was a message at one time has got to be internalised.
Today’s papers mentioned about this goat called Khusi (happiness) who is going for Rs 21 lakh. The owner is not a Muslim and he had planned to sell the animal to the slaughter house months ago, but the potential buyer refused to butcher Khusi because he has some pattern on his black body that resembles the symbol '786' in Arabic and there is also some crescent moon formation.
That butcher probably felt that he would bring holy wrath upon himself. Now, things have changed. Buyers want this fellow badly. Imagine being able to flaunt a sacrifice that is so expensive. This goes completely against the spirit of what was intended. If something is so sacrosanct then how are they willing to go ahead and kill it? Will they preserve the hide and frame it with the holy words?
Naturally, the seller knows he has got a golden goat and he is waiting for the amount to reach over Rs. 51 lakh. I don’t blame him. I also respect the butcher who refused to buy the beast. It is the wealthy sacrificers, the ones who think they are following god’s dictates, who need to get their heads examined. If we go by the faith, then they ought to sacrifice their own children and only then will god spare them. But can we expect that? Anyone who can afford this much, would have kids who wouldn’t care and just Google the details. Symbols remain just that.
The other aspect in a country like India is that due to several faiths and communal riots at the sight of cows and pigs near places of worship, this becomes one more opportunity for a ‘tense situation’. I’d find this laughable had it not been so worrisome. Animals are slaughtered everyday for consumption and it is by Christians, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs. Heck, butter chicken is not a Muslim speciality and the Malayalees also have meat dosas. So, this sudden concern by people of other faiths for animals is a bit precious.
Besides, animal sacrifices are common in some Hindu temples. Certain cults also perform human sacrifices. Real babies are killed due to superstition, sometimes for the silly reason of increasing virility if you drank the baby’s blood.
We are, for all the aggressiveness, becoming more and more impotent because those who need to be heard are silenced. Charlatans and totems work on minds too numbed by rituals – and these days such rituals are also politicised. Religion is far from anyone’s mind.
Yup, Eid Mubarak and may we all learn that if we want a ticket to heaven then don’t make life hellish here.