Eid al-Adha is an Arabic word that means the “festival of sacrifice”. Pronouncing Arabic was akin to cracking a walnut with nose for the Muslims of the sub-continent, because they were all Hindus who later converted to Islam. So, the people of the sub-continent rechristened Eid al-Adha to Bakrid or its disjointed noun Bakra Eid. It was not only easy to pronounce, but also easy to comprehend. Bakra Eid is an Islamic festival on which goats are sacrificed. Some gallant Muslims do not hesitate in killing even cows and camels. Bakrid comes every year like every other festival and often becomes a major topic of discussion. Animal lovers repudiate this festival because of their fondness for animals, leftist thinkers and animal protection groups observe a day of thoughtful silence, possibly to reflect upon other important things in life. Muslims celebrate the festival regardless of the mayhem and the silence and all the debating parties quietly retire only to wait patiently for the next year. This year Bakrid falls on the 21st of July and all the groups are gearing up for the great showdown. In Uttar Pradesh, Hindu Hriday Samrat Yogi Adityanath is the Chief Minister, and his actions are in perfect sync with the adjectives that he often gets adorned with. The loudest voice in the Bakrid discourse this time, is also his.
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has issued some instructions in his familiar aggressive style which are as follows:
- Sacrifice of cows and camels is prohibited
- Sacrifice of any other prohibited animal is prohibited
- Sacrifice is prohibited in any public place
- Gathering of more than fifty people is prohibited
The whole world is battling the corona pandemic at this time and in such a situation, these instructions aren’t just timely but also very logical. In any case, when a festival becomes a public tableau, then the importance of the festival is all but lost. It is true that India is a secular country, but if a festival of a particular religion become a source of disease and trigger for fear for others, then such instructions are absolutely necessary. During Bakrid, the slaughter of animals in public places can cause many health hazards. The sight of blood and agonizing animals can be disturbing to many.
Cow is revered in the Hindu Dharma and Hindus get incredibly angry at the mere mention of the slaughtering of cows, so the prohibition imposed on cow sacrifice is a welcome step. Although Yogi Adityanath is a Hindu Mahant, his idea of Sarva-Dharm-Sambhaav is commendable. With his timely directives, Yogi ji has allowed the Muslims to celebrate their festival, while ensuring that Hindus and Public at large aren’t left seething in rage.