Recounting the horror of watching his father Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, being mercilessly beaten by cow vigilantes on April 1, Arshad’s voice shook with anger and disappointment. At the Constitution Club in Delhi, Arshad was a part of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan’s talk on “Agrarian Crisis, Cow Politics and Lynching”.
“Musalmaano ko kuch log bolte hai Pakistan jaane ko…par main iss Desh mein paida hua tha aur iss Desh ka hu,” said an emotional Arshad.
“Dairy farming is not a new profession. We had all the documents too. For us (Muslims) as well, the cow is ‘mata’ but you can’t kill a human being for it,” he said. “It’s been three months since my father was killed but there is no conversation around justice,” he added.
Also present at the talk were eminent historian Professor D N Jha — who wrote The Myth of the Holy Cow — and JNU professors Vikas Rawal and Archna Prasad.
Summarising the arguments he made in his book in favour of beef-eating by our ancestors, Jha said, “Sustenance and sacrifice went hand-in-hand during the Vedic period… Bharat Mata, Gau Mata, Hindutva are 19th century concepts. We must question the antiquity of it.”