27 February, 2021

Fangs Of A Vigilante Herd

In the last two years, Alwar has shot to infamy for what’s politely known as cow vigilantism: a short roll-call includes the lynchings of Pehlu Khan, Mohammed Umar and Rakbar Khan.

Fangs Of A Vigilante Herd
outlookindia.com
2019-03-15T12:18:56+05:30

“You ask us about issues? Put your camera aside, dress like us, and take a few of these cows out on the road. You’ll know what we face,” says Shaukat Ali (in pic), 33, a dairy farmer from Alwar’s Jajor village. Jajor may be barely 150 km from the national capital, but these semi-arid zones of north-eastern Rajasthan could well be part of a parallel jurisdiction, taunting mainstream consciousness with events that seem to obey some other law. In the last two years, Alwar has shot to infamy for what’s politely known as cow vigilantism: a short roll-call includes the lynchings of Pehlu Khan, Mohammed Umar and Rakbar Khan.

Ali’s family lives with those of his three uncles, and they together own 300-350 cows. About 50-60 lactating ones are at home, the rest have been left to roam about in the jungles for the season. Cattle-rearing, transporting, sale and purchase had never been issues for this family of traditional dairy farmers. In recent years, that way of life has been dealt a body blow. It’s not just reigning politics, even the...

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