吃牛肉:我的自由?

印度禁止吃牛肉的规定引起很大的争论。 Manav Bhuhshuan讨论了为什么这不但和种姓歧视有关,而且还涉及限制言论自由。

印度教徒认为牛是神圣的动物,穆斯林则视猪肉为”Haram”(禁忌)。但是这两种肉类都是印度贱民阶级达利特人的主食,所以他们认为近日某些地区的牛肉禁令是种姓歧视,限制了他们基本的言论自由。 2012年4月,奥斯玛尼亚大学(Osmania Univeristy)的学生在海得拉巴发起运动,希望学校食堂可以提供牛肉。右派学生团体则以强烈反对和暴力回应此运动。然而,达利特的运动扩及至数十年来左翼学生政治活动的阵营:尼赫鲁大学(Jawaharlal Nehru University)。

近年来不论是政治意见或是法庭决议,对牛肉和宰牛的议题都渐趋保守。主流政党和印度最高法院都赞同州政府的禁令。事实上,宰牛的争议伴随着种姓和宗教的议 题,还有阶级层面的考量。著名的学者Praful Bidwai曾表示:“对弱势族群来说,少了牛肉,食物花费会增加”。所以,食你所欲的自由变得十分敏感,其未来也更不明确。

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    I, for one, have no problem with ban on cow slaughter. Infact, I might even support the reasoning behind the ban only because a significant section of Hindu society considers it sacred and if banning sustains the cultural and religious kaleidoscope, which India is, then so be it. Having said that, cow slaughter was already banned by many state governments long ago and it is not a new issue. However, this ban doesn’t, shouldn’t, mean ban on slaughtering of bulls and bullock (which were included in the slaughter ban in Maharashtra recently) as they are not considered sacred and thus shouldn’t offend anyone. Another point which should be noted is that beef in India traditionally has been buffalo’s, bull’s and bullock’s meat and is known as poor man’s meat. It serves as a protein source for less privileged section of the society which can’t afford mutton or poultry. By a blanket ban, one of the very few sources of protein for malnourished in India would dry up reducing the already insufficient per capita nutrition intake of the poor.
    Another social/economical aspect which one must consider before committing ourselves’ to the blanket ban is that only old bulls , which were unfit for farming, were sold by farmers to the slaughterers. Farmer in India, who are usually under tremendous financial strain, simply can’t afford to take care of the old bulls till they die and it was a source of a small income to them. Now, after the beef ban, they would be forced to leave the beast in open and these stray cattle would further obstruct the traffic in already congested Indian roads. For tackling this, the government will have to make many shelter houses which would again cost the exchequer a fair bit.

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    Why does a community have to eat a particular animal? Is it only about taste or is it about their right to offend the other religion?

    Why is it almost always the case that in India an overwhelming majority of those who want to protect their right to eat beef always get violent when someone talks about his right to eat pork? Both are just animals with four legs.

    There are certain Indian cities like Haridwar that are strictly vegetarian. It has been so for centuries and no one complained about it ever. There are certain Indian cities like Deoghar where mouse traps are not sold because the little creature is supposed to be the carrier of Lord Ganesha !!!

    Why in the name of freedom do you want to hurt millions of people’s religious sentiments, as long as it is not hurting anyone in any significant way?

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    I think to kill any species of the world for our test is not a natural way.For Example – If a lion kill any antelope then it is a natural way and then he eat it. By this way, there is no any disturbance in life cycle. But when we kill any species of the world which is not any natural way then it increases the disturbance in the natural system. Now when we are talking about Humanity, we know that human is most intelligent species of the world , then it is our responsibility to think about every species and their protection so that there is no disturbance in the nature. Now if i am talking about beef ,Killing any species for beef will generate a great disturbance in the natural system for humanity.
    Thank You!

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      I have to objections: firstly, whatever is natural is not necessarily ethical or preferable. In some denominations and religions, blood injection is prohibited because it is assumed as non-natural against the god’s will. However, is it ethically acceptable to leave a child to die in the basis of such belief? Piercing is another example. Men and women in most of the communities had used piercing throughout the history. But is piercing really natural? Then the second question will come up: what is natural and what is non-natural. While in some societies, circumcision is assumed as necessary for sexual pleasure of men and women – which is a natural desire- in some others it is defined non-natural and even brutal in case of infants. All in all, defining ‘natural’ and ‘non-natural’ not only doesn’t help us to solve the dilemma but also it leads us to more complicated dilemmas.

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“言论自由大讨论”是牛津大学圣安东尼学院达伦多夫自由研究计划下属的学术项目。

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