This article is about mammad ikka. Mammad or Mammadikka as he prefers to be known is a well-known face to a major part of alleppey’s population. Though a butcher by profession, he has none of the cliché crude rough look usually associated to his fellow butchers. He has been serving beef and mutton to generations of families.
It was on the eve of first day of Ramadan that the circular banning cattle slaughter came into effect. He blatantly admits how worried he was. The old government and its schemes never reached him but then he was left in peace to earn his bread, but now the circumstances posed a threat to the only one profession he knew. His logic is simple
“We both have a cow each, you can worship your cow and all the same I should have the same freedom to act according to my whim. As long as I don’t pose a problem with your actions you can’t deny me my beef.“He knew changes were happening for quite some time, that all across India human rights were being violated for the sake of cow rights but he never expected a nation wide official intervention. Instances of people being harassed and even slaughtered, from different parts of the subcontinent added to his worries.
Two weeks into the slaughter ban his life hasn’t been much affected. All thanks to him being in Kerala. It’s true that procurement has become a little difficult but ironically demand for beef has seen a boost among his customers. It’s with a sly smile that he remarks that the customers want to have their fill of beef before a more encompassing ban is effected. With different courts of justice spread across the country pronouncing different and often contradicting justices the whole picture is nothing less than a mayhem. Despite all this he is optimistic. He is sure that all the chaos happening all across the country is not going to barge in to Kerala.
It is not the state govt’s denial of central notification or the order of the high courts that supplement his optimism, it is his belief in Keralites. Separatists and fascist forces have time and again tried to create unrest here and failed desperately. It’s the majority he appreciates, for all credit is due to them for not being narrow-minded enough to put cows before humans. This is the reason behind the wry smile playing on his lips.
PS – When an individual is unwilling to give up his beef it’s just not his taste buds he is succumbing to, it’s his freedom of choice he is upholding. Call the Keralites Somalians, Pakistani’s or whatever but at least a human life weighs more than that of a cows over here. And meanwhile instances like these should bother you more than a plate of beef.